The Benefits of Hybrid Working Model
According to recruiters, many employees enquire about a hybrid workplace model. If an organization does not provide a hybrid workplace model, many of its employees may look for other options that offer the same. Such inclination towards a hybrid workplace model is there for a reason.
And here is why –
- Flexibility – A hybrid workplace model offers immense flexibility as it allows employees to work when and how they feel most productive
- Better work-life balance – Flexibility in work timing offers better work-life balance. When employees have less time to spend commuting, they can get more free time to take care of the things that crop up in their personal lives.
- Reduce exposure to illness – Initially, employees had voiced their concern of COVID infection from traveling to and from work. Essentially, the more they stay inside, the safer they feel. However, with the vaccination, the infection rate has dropped significantly.
- Reduced overhead costs/ Save on real estate expenses – This is a big saving option for companies as they can save a lot on office rents and utility bills by adopting a hybrid workplace model. Such savings on real estate expenses can amount to huge numbers annually. Many organizations rent shared workspace for periodic team meetings.
- Hire talent across the globe – When you don’t have a dedicated workspace that demands mandatory attendance, you can hire talents from far-off places. Many organizations have hired global talents without having to pay an exorbitant amount for relocation.
- Increased employee productivity – Organizations have recorded overall better performance from their employees working in a hybrid workplace model. Factors that contribute to boosts in productivity are increased autonomy to choose work hours and location and repurpose commuting time.
- Redefining collaboration – A hybrid workplace model offers greater opportunities to collaborate. Employees can come to the office in person to discuss grave matters with the core team and collaborate to go forward.
Why are Companies Considering the Hybrid Work Model for their Teams?
As we have discussed the benefits of a hybrid workplace model, it is clear why companies are adopting this work culture as they come out of the remote working culture. For readers’ convenience, here is a list of reasons why a hybrid work policy gains popularity once they are introduced.
- It promotes better work relationships – Employees get to interact with each other better, which was not possible during remote working.
- It prevents virtual meeting burnout – Face-to-face meetings save from virtual meeting burnouts and increase social skills and boost confidence.
- It improves work-life balance – Once you log out of the office, you are done with your work, and that’s how hybrid workplace models help you clear lines between work and personal life.
- It gives employers access to a wider talent pool – As employees get to meet others in person, they get to know others better. It helps them identify others’ talents and also learn from them.
- It makes tracking employee performance easier – Employers can track individual performance better in hybrid work culture, much better than tracking Google sheets.
What are the things you should consider before switching to the Hybrid Work Model?
Now, if you ask yourself, ‘what is hybrid workplace?’, we hope you will have the answer by heart. But what are the things you need to bear in mind before you decide to set up a hybrid work model! Here is the answer –
- Finding the right balance between remote working and in-office attendance
- Gaining clarity on the hybrid work policy
- Inclusion of all employees (those who are working remotely and those who are attending the office regularly)
- Create a lively company culture by including fun and interactive sessions like Friday Games or Fun Fridays
- Ensure data security to protect your company’s intellectual data
[You can also read our guide on how to create the best office setup for remote working.]
Challenges of managing hybrid Work Culture
The work from office culture is the most manageable, with the leaders and managers being on the same floor working alongside the team. On the other hand, organizations can face the following challenges in managing a hybrid work culture.
- Developing the right hybrid model – Developing the right hybrid office model is a big challenge because there are not many established hybrid workplace models to follow. Every hybrid office model, therefore, is bespoke to organizational needs.
- Increased security risks – With hybrid office models, security continues to be a risk and a concern. With employees working from home using their own networks and probably their own devices, HR and IT departments need to invest heavily in end-user education and security.
- Managing people effectively – In a hybrid workforce, remote team members may feel isolated or unseen. Managers, therefore, must ensure that both on-site and remote workers have the same opportunities and exposure. Everyone needs to be evaluated on the same parameters.
- Employee isolation and disconnection – Creating an employee interaction channel becomes crucial to keep employee disconnect in check, which is a major problem faced by remote employees.
- Creating seamless connectivity – Organizations need to develop barrier-free connectivity that allows hybrid teams to communicate quickly and efficiently. It can help avoid disparities, silos, and knowledge loss.
How to make a hybrid workplace model work for your business?
Despite the challenges, an organization can make a hybrid office model work efficiently. Turn the challenges in your favor. Take the following steps to eliminate the hurdles.
- Eliminate Collaboration Barriers and create employee interaction channels for better communication
- Train your leadership members to manage hybrid employees efficiently
- Upskilling Employees can help them feel prioritized and also enable them in contribute better
- Technology Upgrades and Data Protection is crucial for eliminating any theft of both physical and intellectual property
Hybrid workplace best practices
The abrupt shift to the work from home or remote work model a couple of years back got many of us longing for a regular office shift. Now, the world is gradually moving towards the status quo by implementing a hybrid workplace model. Here are some of the best practices that businesses may follow.
- Getting employee buy-in early – Managers need to answer questions from their teams to maintain clear communication pointing out the value of the chosen model and also maintaining transparency.
- Investing in the right tools, technology, and equipment – Invest in productivity and communication tools, provide equipment for a safe and healthy work from home office.
- Focusing on employee experience and maintaining a positive and engaged culture – Get employee feedback through listening tools and demonstrating action.
Other than the above-mentioned pointers, you can also practice the next steps –
- Holding consistent team check-ins and career progress meetings through video conferencing
- Offering continuous education opportunities for employees and managers alike
- Tracking goals and performance metrics
Getting Adapt to the Hybrid Working – Transition Procedure
To adopt a hybrid work model, first, you need the right people with the right mindset. After that, you will need processes and technology to support your hybrid workplace model. Here are a few things that you need to keep in mind, follow, and practice for a smooth transition into a hybrid work culture.
Survey your employees to find out what they need
Interaction with employees works best when it comes to knowing their needs. If you are a business owner or a manager in any organization, you can set up one-on-one meetings with your colleagues to know what they require. You can also send out survey forms asking if they need any apparatus or networking devices.
Develop employee personas
If regular face-to-face interaction is difficult for you, you can create employee personas using different technologies.
Build the infrastructure that’ll support flexible work
Encourage team leads to set clear KRAs (key responsible areas) for their team members. Include communication in their key roles, and encourage them to take part in building the flexible hybrid workplace model. You can also create office schedules to manage workplace traffic and provide employees flexibility.
Invest in company culture
In a remote working environment, the worst part is not being able to swing by your colleagues’ desks or have any water cooler chats. That only leaves space for grumpy professional conversations. Therefore, introducing events that encourage light-hearted communication among teams is the most crucial thing you can do to help your employees adapt to hybrid working culture.
Create a great workplace experience
When you invest in company culture, it automatically contributes to an employee’s workplace experience.
What are the pros and cons of a Hybrid Work Model?
Working from home was amazing, but it had many shortcomings. Similar is the case with the hybrid work culture. We have discussed at length the benefits of the hybrid workplace model, but for a comparative study, here are the points again.
Pros and Cons of hybrid working
Pros of hybrid working
Cons of hybrid working
- Better work-life balance compared to remote working
- Reduced cost of operations
- Increased employee productivity
- Redefining collaboration
- Employee prioritization
- Reduced client experience for those dealing with clients (lawyers, bankers)
- Increased employee isolation
- Increase cyber risks
- Difficulty in tracking productivity (as compared to work from office culture)