What is Hybrid Working? The work model that is here to stay
What is meant by hybrid working?
In simpler terms, hybrid working is a form of flexible working. This is a way of working that allows employees to work from different locations. Also known as a flexible working model. The meaning of hybrid working can be discovered within its name. For example, if you look at hybrid cars, they are a combination of the two electric and traditional engines. These cars are a creation of which can transition between electric and traditional engines. This is similar to hybrid working, where there is a combination of people working from home and at the office or even other places like public spaces.
These changes have been taken places under the circumstances of COVID-19, which played a massive part in these changes. Experts have said in the past that these changes are expected to be made over the next decade, however, these changes have happened sooner to the needs of the world today. Social distancing in the workplace is now needed where it is possible, therefore, remote working has become forced in businesses. There have been benefits for employees and employers working from home, however, the pandemic has also led to the social and mental needs of workers.
Will hybrid working become the new normal?
In a survey that was taken by Xerox’s Future of Work Survey, here it was stated that 82% of working places in 600 organisations will be going back to their workspaces in 12 to 18 months.
Even though many working places will be returning to the office, lots of businesses and companies with support hybrid working by increasing their digital and technology budgets to improve. Suggesting that many organisations are prepared and ready to embrace and get into hybrid working which is included in the change of working.
The future - How will hybrid working fit in it?
It all varies on the job role and the industry, it is in, as for some cases companies can find that tasks that were once done in the office or the workplace took up more time than it is done at home. In other cases, team building, projects may still require workers to be in the office for most organisations.
Some workers have discovered that they get more work done at home as there is no, distractions, socialising or just the general office distractions etc.
Hybrid working allows businesses to make use out of their office spaces into breakout area which can be used for future projects and collaborations. Or it can even be an opportunity in downsizing office spaces as some businesses may not need to use the space anymore. This can allow a business to:
- Afford and invest in larger teams with smaller on-site.
- Opportunity to recruit from different socioeconomic locations and background as there will be no need for an on-site presence.
What are the benefits of hybrid working?
One of the main benefits of hybrid working is having the opportunity in recruiting from a wider pool of talent. There are two other main benefits to keeping in mind: increasing productivity and job satisfaction and well-being.
- Most people feel like when they are away from the office there are fewer distractions, therefore they work there best of home.
- Majority of the work is done on a computer which can be accessed and done from anywhere.
However, it is good to keep in mind that productivity for each person is different. One person that works very well from home and gains the results that are needed, another person may need an office to work in to achieve those results. Also, an office may have some distractions, being at home can have the same number of distractions just different ones. Having a flexible arrangement for having an option to work at the office and hybrid working, to allow a worker to achieve their goals etc.
Job satisfaction and wellbeing
- It can help increase employees job satisfaction by giving them the freedom to choose if they want to work from home or in the office.
- They can feel like they have more control of their home life and their working schedule.
- Having this kind of opportunity for your employees can increase their happiness and improve their wellbeing with hybrid working.
Better working relationships and collaborations
- This can allow employees to have the best of both worlds of coming into the office when needed. For example, when collaborating working face to face in an office is best suited, therefore employees can have the opportunity to do this as well as working from home when they want to.
What should you be considering when implementing hybrid working?
The trust – Something you should ask yourself are you able to trust your employees? This is because if hybrid working is going to be successful in your business a large part of this comes from your ability as an employer to trust your employees. Such as the employer having trust that their employees will complete the work needed. The trust works both ways where the employees will also need to trust that their employers will protect them, giving them the freedom to manage their workload that suit them best from either working at home or in the office.
Defining what hybrid working means to the workforce- As the employer, you must clearly define what hybrid working is and means in your business. This is so that all your employers are aware of exactly what they can and cannot do in the upcoming future. Within defining what hybrid working means for your business, you can provide a handbook for your employees including things like how they should behave when they are working regardless of the location and the way that they should communicate.
Having awareness of mental health and wellbeing- This is very key in any workplace and regardless of the location all employers must have awareness of the mental health and wellbeing of their employees. To ensure that you are helping your employees you can do the following:
- Giving mental health support and ongoing support all every worker.
- Providing training to workers on work-life and wellbeing in the digital world.
- Assisting managers with wellbeing and mental health training.
- Having good wellbeing and mental health policy.
Make the transition between the office and home seamless.
This can be done by some of the following:
- Tracking your employees’ absences.
- Managing employee holiday requests.
- Using an easy-to-use online system for holiday requests, communication etc.