Hybrid model: The future of employment?

Published on: Wed, 16 Feb 2022
By: Fatmir, redwigwam

Covid-19 has accelerated strategic workplace actions in order to address a scattered workforce and promote digital transformation. Many firms are now rethinking their workplace strategy with an emphasis on safety and social distancing, employee experience, flexibility, and curbing expenses. All while balancing working from home and the office. 

A year of remote work has forced us to reconsider our typical work paradigms. According to Microsoft’s 2021 research, 73% of individuals who participated in a survey, expressed a desire for flexible remote work choices during the pandemic, and 66% of firms said they were thinking about remodelling physical facilities to better suit hybrid work settings. 

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In-Office, Remote, or Hybrid, Which Is the Way Forward? 

Order and accountability are promoted through office work, which may improve trust amongst employers and their staff. Creating an organisational culture is a natural process. Casual office chats, such as a worker wandering down the hall for an impromptu talk with a coworker, can lead to information exchange and collaborative issue solving. That’s difficult to reproduce in a virtual environment, since online meetings are frequently scheduled in advance – though it’s still possible with adequate management and execution. 

However, when several factors are considered, in-office work loses out to working from home. Due to obvious reasons like convenience, and the shorter or nonexistent travel time, remote workers report higher productivity. Working remotely also saves money. There is a huge cost savings for office space, which is one of the most expensive budget items for businesses. 

Hybrid arrangements aim to bring the best of both worlds together. 

How Will a Hybrid Employment System Shape Our Future? 

The modern office was built with productivity in mind. The Covid-19 pandemic, on the other hand, caused a major switch away from this paradigm. Almost overnight, safety surpassed productivity. According to another survey in April 2021, 99% of human resource professionals expect employees to work in some form of hybrid arrangement in the future. As a matter of fact, we’ve seem this in action with companies like Dropbox for instance, who made a permanent shift during the pandemic, allowing staff to work from home while still holding team meetings at the office. 

While some employees would choose to work from home full-time following the pandemic, the majority would prefer a balance of being in the office for part of the week and at home for the rest. As a result, a new phrase has been coined: hybrid working. Many companies are now pondering what “hybrid” means to organisation, how they can meet this new employee demand, and what will be required to make these new methods of working productive. 

In most organisations, implementing hybrid working will necessitate a considerable cultural transformation as well as the establishment of new working methods, guidelines, and procedures. Working from home throughout the pandemic taught us a thing or two, but hybrid will place greater demands on managers and organisations than the rapid transition to complete remote working. 

So, what should businesses consider when employing a hybrid strategy, and why?  

Employee expectations and wants have shifted as a result of the growing demand in more flexible working arrangements, particularly hybrid working. Organisation's that do not offer flexible working arrangements face increased turnover rates, lower employee engagement, and a potential inability to attract top talent. Organisation's can also benefit from hybrid working by lowering estate and facility costs, improving job satisfaction, and fostering diversity and inclusion. 

Perks of the Hybrid system of Work 

Regardless of various complications and problems of living and working during the global pandemic, employees have recognized a number of advantages to working from home, both for themselves and for their employers. Better balance between work and life, increased capacity to focus with minimal distractions, more time for family and friends, reduced travel time and costs, improved levels of motivation, and so much more. Savings on office space, increased employee job satisfaction, and lower absenteeism are also advantages of flexible working. 

The complete benefits of hybrid working as a specific type of flexible working is yet to be extensively investigated, but we can expect it to have similar benefits for both staff and employers when properly adopted and supported. 

Final Thoughts  

Irrespective of long-term strategic decisions concerning flexible and hybrid employment, organisations must focus on the now, and decide how and when employees can safely return to their workplaces after social distancing rules are lifted. Organisation's may want to plan for temporary hybrid work in the short term while simultaneously evaluating longer-term critical decisions on more fluid kinds of labor.  

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