The pandemic has affected the business ecosystem in various ways. It has challenged the way people have perceived their relationship with jobs for generations. It initiated the world’s most massive remote work experiment.
And while many have adapted quite well to the work from home scenario, it is no secret that everyone is eagerly waiting for the pandemic to pass.
But that does not necessarily mean they want the pre-pandemic work model to return.
As businesses are at different stages of reopening, one of the most critical challenges they are facing is the design of the work structure post-COVID.
Need for a Hybrid Working Model
Many people have gotten accustomed to working remotely, and a study by Stanford shows the wide variation in employee demand for work-from-home post-COVID.
20% of the respondents have had enough of working solely at home and never want to do it. On the other hand, 25% of them want to go for it full time.
The rest 55% want a hybrid work style, which is a mix of both, working remotely, and in the office.
A hybrid working model is essentially the best of both worlds. The hybrid working model gives people flexibility, and the freedom to work when and where they want.
This is why most businesses are focusing on planning and optimizing hybrid working models.
What does a Hybrid Working Process look like?
There are different ways to make a hybrid model work. Some businesses may have employees whose work can be managed from home to work remotely while others who can come to the office will do so.
Others may have varying shifts for employees where half the force comes to the office in the morning and the other half during the afternoon. This is especially keeping in mind the social distancing norm.
But no matter what process businesses adapt, the main focus should be productivity and convenience.
You can designate tasks that require intense concentration to the work-from-home days. This is because while a task may take several hours to be done in the office, it may take only a few hours to finish at home.
A hybrid work structure allows people to create a schedule as per their convenience and still have a chance to connect with their coworkers on their terms.
One thing to keep in mind is that if you want to create a strong hybrid work structure, you will have to focus on creating an experience that includes your remote employees as intrinsically as your in-person employee workforce.
Benefits and Limitations of a Hybrid Work Model
The hybrid work model focuses on maximum productivity. It lets your employees work much more efficiently and produce maximum results. Additionally, it helps keep your organization going even if due to some unforeseen circumstance, you need to go digital all over again.
While companies will retain their physical offices, they would not need the same amount of space if they adapt to the hybrid working model. Mainly because even if companies have permission to open up their offices once again, they still have to adhere to the social distancing norms.
Surroundings play a huge role in your creative process. Several studies have shown that changing locations have a massive impact on creativity and productivity. When faced with mental fog, or trying to come up with creative ideas, a change in environment can help spark the imagination.
No single policy or program will fit all your employees. Even if you decide to give your employees more flexibility with the hybrid work style, not everyone may want to work from home. Those squashed in overcrowded homes, or with children, bad network connection, or no designated workspace might be at a distinct disadvantage.
Some people appreciate a fixed routine. It creates structure in their life and makes them feel efficient. But when you have a hybrid work model, it may be difficult for some to establish any kind of stable system.
Remote work accountability is one of the major concern’s businesses face. Managing and tracking your employees’ schedules and tasks may become tedious. Depending on the size of your organization, supervising your employees, and evaluating their performance will be a challenge.
Companies that are working towards a Hybrid Work Culture
Google CEO Sundar Pichai called for a hybrid work-from-home model.
According to a recent survey conducted by Google of its employees’ post-COVID desires, most employees want to return to the office, but not every day.
The survey states that the reasons why “Googlers” want to return to offices included face-to-face interaction with colleagues, the ability to socialize, and better collaboration opportunities.
Keeping this in mind and working towards this goal of creating a hybrid work structure, Google has announced that its workforce will remain remote (or will have the choice to stay remote) through 2021.
The only thing set in stone is change, and how you adapt to the change will define how successful you will be. 2020 has demonstrated how essential preparing for change is.
The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our world in ways that we didn’t foresee. But it has also shown us how to break free of our traditionally-set ways.
Though many businesses have tried hybrid work style, the pandemic has allowed everyone to see for themselves how beneficial this model is.
It is essential to understand that hybrid work is here to stay.
Organizations now have to optimize their work model to level the playing field for all their employees.
No matter what elements you decide to incorporate, you should remember that the key to successfully managing a hybrid work model is to have policies and programs in place that create sustainable and healthy ways of working.