In one of the largest global trials in the history of work, the Coronavirus pandemic prompted a dramatic change of working into remote working. As portions of the world reopen, the experiments continue, adjusting to a post-pandemic reality in which remote and in-office work is no longer either/or options.
Employees' adaptability was demonstrated during the move to remote work. Now, with the impending return to work, businesses have another opportunity to embrace the unknown. This time, instead of just hours, they had months to plan. After more than a year of unparalleled circumstances, many employees around the world are suddenly being offered unprecedented flexibility.
By 2020, practically every team would be discussing remote work. What was the best way to do it, What were the hurdles, and if it was a good fit for them? In 2021 however, the discourse has switched to the hybrid model. Now that people are starting to gather in person again, how can companies effectively integrate remote workers with an in-person component at their existing office spaces? Organizations are discovering that their workforce is unwilling to give up remote work as offices reopen.
People who began working remotely as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic largely support it and plan to do so in the future. Companies can no longer claim that they can't operate remotely (a popular argument for avoiding remote work before 2020), but they also cannot expect employees to return to the office full-time in the face of an ongoing worldwide pandemic. The hybrid model is the most common answer and it is one that every company appears to be grappling with right now.
A hybrid work model is one in which an employee's schedule includes both in-office and remote work. Employees have the option of working from home on occasion and coming into the office on other occasions. There is no such thing as a universal hybrid model. Each organization creates a hybrid work model depending on the company's needs as well as the individual employee's demands.
The hybrid work model is frequently mentioned, yet there isn't a single well-defined example. In the end, it will require a combination of working remotely and in the office. The hybrid approach appears to be different for each organization so far, although there are a few common features. Some of the popular hybrid work model structures are:
In order to manage a hybrid workforce, your company must be able to combine the benefits of remote work with the collaborative opportunities of face-to-face work in a physical office setting.
According to a study, 47 per cent of employees would hunt for another job if their employer does not adopt a flexible working paradigm. As a result, employees clearly value hybrid work.
But what draws them to a hybrid work model? Below are some benefits for both the employees and the company.
A hybrid workplace is a tried and true solution for distributed teams and workforces, but companies still need to sort out a few glitches in the hybrid model. These few flaws add up to some obvious risks, but the good news is that many of them can be avoided with a thoughtful design and management of the hybrid workplaces.
Change is sometimes voluntary, but it is often unavoidable, in either case, it is not without its difficulties. The past year has seen a significant upheaval in our tried and tested working habits, and most businesses are now using this as an opportunity to rethink their strategies and implement long-term adjustments.
Hybrid working arrangements appear to be one of the most popular paths forward, although its specifics are still being worked out. Some risk has been seen from hybrid workplaces but here are some solutions to the challenges faced.
Allow your staff who are working remotely to participate in all critical events, such as celebrations and manager meetings. You can send them monthly goodie bags, gift cards, or even a modest presence on their birthdays to include them in office celebrations.
You can also hold virtual business happy hours so that all of your staff can take part. In addition, make sure that distributed team members meet with their supervisors on a weekly basis. This will allow them to discuss their job progress and resolve issues quickly. Make room in your monthly budget and schedule for modest but important rewards. It will surely improve employee satisfaction and push them to achieve their best.
Asynchronous communication refers to communication in which team members are not expected to answer right away. You provide them with all the information they need to accomplish a task, and they finish it on their own time. This relieves the stress of having to be online all of the time and responding to all inquiries in real-time.
Of course, in order to apply this strategy effectively, you must provide all of the tools and information connected to the project or assignment to the personnel. Notes, specs, and valuable links connected to the work can all be added. Employee efficiency and production will increase as a result of this form of communication.
Meetings are an important aspect of every organization, whether it is based remotely or not. However, if these meetings are not properly prepared and performed in a distant setting, they may become chaotic or even unproductive. You would not need to hold meetings for each phase of the process if you use the asynchronous communication method.
However, weekly updates or even casual team meetings will be required. Planning these meetings and taking into account the multiple time zones of remote personnel is tremendously beneficial. Establish clear agendas and convey them to all members ahead of time so they can arrive prepared.
It is critical to start and complete meetings on time, whether they are an hour-long Zoom video conference or a 15 minute Google Meet, to prevent wasting anyone's time. You can also invite all staff (both in-house and remote) to join the meetings from their own laptops. This way, employees working from home will not feel left out when the rest of the company gathers in the conference room.
For more tips on overcoming the drawbacks of hybrid work, watch the video below.
Working from a distance is referred to as remote work. It enables your staff to work on a more flexible schedule and from any location, which is significantly more convenient for many in today's workforce. Teams working in mixed environments make up the hybrid model.
Your staff may work from home for part of the week and in the office for the rest. Many organizations are using the hybrid approach to some level when they return to in-office work. Some of their employees are returning to work, while others are still working from home. It is totally based on what works best for your team when selecting the model.
|Having the option to choose the work environment which can boost employee productivity greatly in the hybrid method||Only those employees who can adjust well to remote working will be more productive in this case. Not everyone can perform as well at home as they would in the office|
|A hybrid organization must establish policies to ensure that all information is distributed consistently to both in-house and remote workers||Because all workers work remotely, the company already has a standardized mechanism in place to communicate all information|
|Meetings in a hybrid team might take place virtually or in the office||Meetings in a remote company are always virtual, using video conferencing tools like Zoom, Skype and others|
|Employees who work remotely may feel left out of settings such as team lunches, birthdays, and so on||The fact that everyone works in various locations brings the remote workforce together|
|Is more adaptable, allowing employees to choose whether they want to work in an office or from home||All professionals in a remote organization must work outside of a regular office atmosphere|
By pushing people all throughout the world to work from home, the pandemic has forever transformed the way we work. And, while there'll always be opportunity for improvement and learning, we've now arrived at a moment where organizations aren't merely adapting to remote work, but are actively planning to make it permanent for some or all of their staff. As this notion develops, some businesses have successfully implemented their own hybrid work model.
Microsoft first stated their intention to introduce a hybrid work paradigm in October 2020, and they've subsequently given even more information about their philosophy and practices for this new model. In summary, the software behemoth will allow each employee to work from home 50% of the time or less without the need to seek permission from their boss. Employees who want to work from home more than half of the time must get permission from their boss. They'll also have to give up their desk or office at Microsoft's headquarters, although they'll have designated areas when they need to report in person. Those who are approved for permanent remote work can also choose to relocate.
Citigroup presented its own version of a mixed working environment in March of 2021. Employees at the nation's third-largest bank made plans to return to work full-time from the office earlier this month, prompting the decision. Citigroup's CEO, Jane Fraser, stated that the company's choice was influenced in part by the fact that many employees benefited from the flexibility of working from home during the pandemic. She also discussed how employees' ability to engage with coworkers and management from their home office affects their chances of adopting a hybrid work paradigm. Employees at Citigroup's Manhattan headquarters who work in bank branches or data centers are not eligible for the hybrid working arrangement. Fraser also revealed that video meetings would be banned on Fridays, or also known as "Zoom-free Fridays," and that a small percentage of the 210,000 employees at this location would continue to work remotely 100% of the time.
In March 2021, the Detroit-based automaker stated that it would use a hybrid work paradigm for its 30,000 employees who already work from home. Ford employees who worked from home during the pandemic can request permission from their managers to continue working remotely. Only instances requiring face-to-face contacts, such as group projects and some meetings, require them to come into the office in person. Ford Motor Company spokesperson David Dubensky stated that due to the nature of the company's operation, it is impossible to offer remote working to all employees. This is especially true for people who work in the manufacturing industry directly. In an internal study conducted in June 2020, 95 percent of the company's employees stated a desire for hybrid working.
While the hybrid work model isn't new, it's gaining a lot of traction with employers and employees. Many large tech companies have already adopted entirely remote or hybrid work methods. As a result, it appears like working from home is the way of the future.
Many studies suggest that the benefits of a mixed workplace outweigh any potential drawbacks. This is compounded by the fact that some employees are unable to return to a centralized location. Companies may have adopted a hybrid work paradigm in response to the Coronavirus Pandemic, but it is one that will outlast the pandemic as the new way to accommodate everyone's unique work styles and preferences.