The future is hybrid

The Covid-19 pandemic upended our lives and how we work. When the pandemic hit the world in late 2019, organizations and businesses had to make agile decisions about continuing to work and ensuring the safety of their staff. Employers had to improvise to a new reality; working from home. Tech and social media giants such as Google and Facebook were among the first to offer their employees to work from home. Half of Facebook’s employees will work from home over the next decade.

Now that Omicron cases are sharply rising and there is no prospect of a no-Covid era in near future, coming back to complete on-site work doesn’t seem a healthy decision.  On the other hand, staying fully off-site is not suitable and practical for all businesses.

Hence, a hybrid work system seems to be not only a solution but has also been proven efficient. A research conducted by Steelcase demonstrates that 72 per cent of corporate leaders, globally, are keen to take up a hybrid work model. Another survey by Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research shows that 55 per cent of workers in the US prefer a hybrid working model. To many, the future looks hybrid.

A hybrid work model refers to a working system that allows employees to work from home or offices or other approved office spaces.

The hybrid work model is flexible and gives employees the freedom to choose where to work from and when to work. Given that people’s productivity hours differ from person to person, a hybrid system allows employees to work when they are most productive. In a similar vein, the hybrid working model helps employees to maintain a higher work-life balance. A survey conducted by UK Department for Business, Innovations and Skill shows that employees with flexible working hours have acquired 57 per cent higher work-life balance scores.

On the other hand, hybrid working allows employers to save costs of office spaces and facilities to accommodate all employees on-site. Furthermore, employers can reduce electricity costs and make the environment more climate-friendly. Employers can instead invest the money in building robust digital systems to ensure better and efficient connectivity between those working from home and those on-site.

Having access to a globally-wide talent pool is what most employers crave. With a hybrid work model, employers can build a team of staff from anywhere around the world based on people’s merits and skills. A hybrid work model diminishes location-bound barriers and allows employers to look beyond borders to find their best fit for a role. Plus, this work model paves the ground for shaping a diverse workforce. Having talented people from across the world working together is a dream team!

There are some challenges to the hybrid working model in terms of team management, communications, IT management, and collaboration between those who work from home and those on-site. Nevertheless, the challenges are far fewer than the advantages this model offers, especially since various online tools have been in use and some are newly developing to help a hybrid model work for the best, such as Slack, Ganttic and dozens more.

A hybrid work future is inevitable. This model has a lot more to offer to both employers and employees, along with flexibility and health and wellbeing advantages. Hence, it is important to dive deeper and explore other aspects of this model, including communications and teamwork.

 

Written by Humaira Rahbin