One could argue that, in a sense, when we talk about hybrid working, what we are really talking about is the future, specifically the future of the workplace. The idea that employees should split their weekly hours between the physical office and their homes has been flirted with by several companies globally for a number of generations. However, with the unwelcome arrival of Covid-19, this idyllic flirtation has developed into serious, firm action, making the idea of hybrid working a reality rather than a mere fantasy.
In the beginning of the most devastating pandemic in over a century, workplaces globally had been forced to redraw the picture of the typical workplace on the spot. Almost improvising with an unprecedented obstacle, many companies found hybrid working a desperate solution. The change was sudden and its transition rough, but it blossomed into an unexpected success nonetheless, something exemplified by the fact that a large majority of the national workforce remain in favour of adopting a hybrid workplace even in the post-Covid world. For example, a June 2020 McKinsey report indicated that 80% of employees questioned stated they enjoyed working from home more.
What Is a Hybrid Work System
So then what exactly is a hybrid work system? A hybrid work system will generally vary from company to company, however what it consists of for the most part is a routine that sees an employee work from home two to three days a week, while spending the remaining days of the week working in the office, or vice versa. Under this system, managers and superiors alike have the power to organise the schedules of their employees, ensuring that at no points during the working week will there be more people in the physical office than necessary, respecting Covid-19 guidelines.
Amidst the rise in hybrid work popularity, a number of remote working trends have emerged, most notably bring your own device (BYOD) and choose your own device (CYOD). These trends consist of employees being allowed to use their own devices, whether at home or in the office, in relation to company work, allowing for businesses to cut back on IT costs. Also, these trends are beneficial for health concerns, as employees are now using their own private devices instead of office devices that have open access for everyone to use. Additionally, an employee is more familiar with his or her own device when working, allowing for a potential increase in productivity.
Five Key Benefits Of Hybrid Working
1. Better communication and increased collaboration
In a public workspace, it is easier for employees and employers to form better, more fruitful working relationships. Being in an environment where workers frequently interact with each other, and their manager, breeds the opportunity for greater working bonds between both parties. In such an environment, impromptu meetings can be held at any point during the day, where plans for the future can be laid out in explicit detail by managers, demonstrating a far stronger communication line. This is a much greater improvement on the home-based system, where meetings had to be planned specifically, catering to everyone’s needs and differing availability times. Also, at the end of the day, there is only so much that can be achieved in a Zoom call for example, paling in comparison to in-person meetings.
Home-based meetings relied, and still rely, on technology functioning correctly every time, and there remains high potential for things to go wrong in every scenario. However in the office, superiors can talk to their underlings freely and without any difficulty, allowing them to form a more intimate relationship, promoting an increase in collaboration. A hybrid work system allows for businesses to take advantage of this, receiving the best of both worlds.
2. Healthier balance between work and personal lives
Employees working in a hybrid system have the opportunity to effectively split their days between home and work without any fears the quality of their workload will decline. Employees staying home two days a week or so can tend to the needs of their family far more effectively than they would have been had they been stuck in their offices for eight hours a day, five days a week. Additionally, working from home part of the week allows for employees to cut down on commuting costs, increasing disposable income while also providing environmental benefits.
A healthy balance between home and work home life has been proven to prevent work burnouts, something vital in the current turbulent climate of 2021. Burnouts have the potential to drastically affect employees on a psychological level, a fact backed up by the Harvard Business Review, whose research showed that in the United States alone, employees suffering from the mental stress of burnouts cost over $125 and $190 billion a year in healthcare. That is a staggering amount, and any work system that allows for a reduction in burnouts, and a reduction in levels of stress, can only be helpful for the wellbeing of not just employees, but employers and managers alike. The hybrid work model consists of enough change-up in the week that it will become increasingly unlikely for workers to get bored, making burnout an increasingly improbable possibility.
3. Increased work productivity
As stated, the healthier balance of office and home lives allows for employees to become more satisfied in their work positions, while also largely eschewing the chances for creative burnout. This in turn will allow for an increase in work productivity from the average employee. But it is not just this, increased productivity is also known to breed from greater flexibility. Now employees previously distracted by their home lives can work freely knowing they are able to deal with their personal obligations first hand.
Additionally, switching between environments will allow for renewed enthusiasm for work in general. For example, if one employee has been working from home for two or three days, then when he or she returns to the office they can be greeted with all the benefits the office has over the home. For example, greater communication with colleagues, increased collaboration and more inspirational meetings from superiors. And by the time this enthusiasm begins to decline (if it does), then they are back at home working their weekly days from their personal spaces, where they can then reap the advantages of that environment, such as working in peace and not having to deal with daily distractions. Working from home, a safe environment of comfort for the employee, allows them to work freely, independent of city stresses. Then the cycle repeats and allows employees to recharge their batteries, and go again with renewed enthusiasm.
In the post-Covid world, workplaces globally will do their best to incorporate as many health measures as possible into daily routines. Managers have to prioritise the health of themselves and their employees now more than ever, reassuring the employee that they will leave work in the evening as healthily as they arrived in the morning. Also at home, it will of course be far easier for employees to adhere to social distancing guidelines, ensuring their essential safety. With assurances that they are safe and sound throughout, employees can do their work without the worries of becoming infected with Covid, leading to a clearer head when working, and in turn resulting in an increase in productivity.
4. Improved relations between employee and employer
The hybrid work model relies above all else on trust. Employers have trust for their underlings that they will complete their work at home as well as they would had they been at the office. In this setup, employees can easily gain the trust of their superiors by showing them their work enthusiasm and abilities, abilities that may have been overlooked in the past, but now will be examined with great detail by managers, to ensure the acceptable workload is being completed. As a result, the employee can feel better validated by the work they are putting in, gaining the trust and respect they rightfully deserve. Additionally, this also works the other way, allowing employers to better root out those underperforming, giving them the opportunity to address such issues.
Employers allowing their employees to complete their work at their own behest instils confidence, which in turns breeds loyalty. Workers who feel respected and seen are more likely to stay with their companies in the long run. Thus potentially ensuring the long-term viability of companies adhering to this hybrid work system.
5. Expanded range of talent
Given the fact that commuting is less significant than it previously was, employees who otherwise would have been unable to take certain jobs due to location problems are now unrestricted. They are able to work remotely for companies who may be based in different cities, provinces or even countries. This change allows for a range of employees with a wider variety of skills to be considered by companies as potential candidates, expanding the talent pool for businesses adhering to the hybrid work system.
Additionally, the wider range of talent available allows for businesses to address the diversity status of their company, giving the opportunity for managers to incorporate a more inclusive and varied workforce into their new hybrid work system.
Given the present state of the ever-changing work climate, we here at Ronspot feel we need to adapt with the times. That is why we have taken the measures to create some easy-to-use mobile apps that will greatly facilitate the smooth transition of a hybrid work system.
Our desk booking system app allows for employees to reserve desks at their respective offices on days when they have to go to work. Given the opportunity to view the real-time availability of desks in their office buildings, employees can with the tap of a button reserve a desk, located within social distancing range, as far back as 90 days in advance. Businesses who desire to downsize their offices upon transitioning to a hybrid system will find this app a massive help. Additionally, the benefits for employees are obvious, allowing them to maintain social distancing and stick to necessary health protocols.
Also, with our flexible working app, employers can efficiently manage their employees’ work, overseeing and monitoring their respective hours and seeing how much they complete. This user-friendly app would be a dream for employers, as it eradicates the possibility that workers are taking advantage of the remote work setting, with their work declining in quality and quantity. This is perhaps the biggest fear associated with remote work, its elimination is vital.
With the growing popularity of hybrid working, and the increasing likelihood of its prolonged existence, businesses will be forced to roll with the punches, and adapt to the changing times. At Ronspot, we believe that our apps have serious potential to ensure the smooth transition from part-time to fulltime hybrid working. As stated, the advantages for employees in the hybrid work system are numerous, too numerous to be ignored, so much so that it that its future is almost assured. In the end, we may emerge from the most devastating pandemic in a century, a happier and more well-adjusted workforce – for the greater good.
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