In a recent survey, 87% of IT leaders said they’re “likely” or “very likely” to adopt a hybrid working model within the next five years. This is a major shift from the past year, where companies were forced to adopt either a fully remote or fully in-office model. Now, many companies are planning on allowing employees to work both remotely and in the office. But how can you ensure that this system will work long-term?
In order for any working model—whether it’s hybrid or not—to work for your business, you need to make sure that these three things are in place:
- The right technology – Your employees will need laptops and peripherals in order to work from home. They also need access to enterprise applications and networks. You’ll want to make sure that these systems are set up correctly so that they’re secure and easy to use.
- Clear communication – Whether employees are working remotely or in the office, they should have access to the same communication tools. This will help them stay connected with their colleagues, regardless of where they’re working from.
- Supportive management – In order for a hybrid model to work well, managers should be supportive of remote work. This means encouraging remote workers by making sure they have the tools they need, communicating regularly with them via email or video chat, and being flexible when it comes time for them to take time off.
Remote work is here to stay. It’s more convenient, less stressful, and better for the environment. It also gives workers more control over their schedule and lets them work from wherever they want.
As more employees embrace remote work as a viable, long-term option, companies are starting to get serious about it. They’re investing in tools, policies and even training to make sure their remote workers stay productive, engaged and secure while they work from home.
And they’re noticing the benefits. A recent Gallup survey found 63% of employees who primarily worked remotely during quarantine said they were more productive since going remote. And organizations with a strong remote work policy were able to make the transition faster than organizations that didn’t.
Productivity isn’t the only benefit — companies are also saving money by cutting back on office space and other expenses that come with operating a physical location. For example, when Twitter announced it would allow its employees to work from home permanently, the company said it would be selling its corporate headquarters in San Francisco — saving them $200 million in rent each year.
Although there are so many benefits, there are some CONS to consider as well. For example:
- Remote workers are more likely than their in-office counterparts to say that they feel left out at work. Besides being a hindrance to the social aspect of work, missing out on these relationship-building interpersonal interactions can negatively impact the actual work being done. Employees that have shared positive social exchanges are more likely to work better together.
- If your workplace is a hybrid of remote and in-office employees, you may find that it’s tough to collaborate with your team. Running brainstorms and meetings where some people are in a physical meeting room and others are calling in via a conference call tool such as Zoom leads to a certain us versus them mentality. Those in the office may feel that those at home have it easier and are working less, while those at home may feel left out of conversations and events taking place in the office.
- As a result of the division between at-home and in-office workers, businesses may now see higher levels of burnout amongst their employees. A recent McKinsey survey found 49 percent of office workers say they are feeling burnt out. This may be caused by mostly remote employees feeling that they need to work harder and for longer hours than their in-office colleagues.
As a conclusion: Working in an office has its benefits. It allows for face-to-face collaboration and brainstorming, quick problem solving, and more. But for many employees, remote work can be just as productive, if not more so—leading to increased happiness and employee retention. However, there are many factors to consider when trying to implement this kind of working structure successfully. In the end, everything is about pros and cons! Hybrid working model is not an exception.