The global pandemic has brought a change that challenged the core foundation of how we used to work. For a large portion of the working people worldwide, the typical 9-5 office hour with a one-and-a-half-hour round-trip commute was no longer the norm.
The concept of centralized office space to work has profoundly changed during this turbulent moment in human history. However, people would still argue against the benefits of remote or hybrid work (mixed work arrangement) for very good reasons.
Still, these arguments frequently ignore the importance of a balanced strategy to implement either properly. Many employees and business owners are attracted to the hybrid work model as they prepare to return to the workplace in some capacity.
What Does Hybrid Work or Mixed Work Arrangement Mean?
A hybrid working model is a location-flexible arrangement that allows employees to combine onsite and offsite work, as long as employees and their business owners agree. Post pandemic, various hybrid formats have emerged, providing employees with flexibility previously never offered.
However, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all hybrid work policy. That is why businesses can have some employees working entirely remotely, others working in an office, and offer others a mixed work arrangement combining remote and in-office work. A hybrid work model is preferable to employees and employers as it provides various benefits, regardless of the approach.
Hybrid Working Benefits to Employers
Moving into a new world of work, the hybrid work model offers competitive advantages to those companies that can make it work.
- Reduced real estate and office maintenance cost: To begin with, companies that are willing to accept hybrid working might reap significant financial advantages. Companies that do not need to provide a working space in an office for each employee can save money by shrinking their office premises. Office rent and maintenance expenses can be extravagant, especially in major, affluent metropolitan centers. Rent is lower for less space, and also, you will need fewer human resources to maintain the office premise.
- Improved worker performance: Businesses are likely to gain from their employees' enhanced mental health due to hybrid working. Happy and well-balanced employees are more likely to perform better.
It is no secret that many studies during the pandemic have found that when employees work remotely, their performance rises by offering flexible working options to businesses that can keep their employees happy and get the benefit of improved performance.
- Better Retention rates: One of the most common worries is that the hybrid work model hurts employee retention. Businesses are concerned that if their employees do not come into the physical office daily, they will miss out on the opportunity to develop strong connections with their coworkers and get connected to the company's goal.
When recruiters come knocking, these individuals will be less likely to stay loyal to their existing company than they would have been under the previous office-based system. Companies that refuse to offer enticing hybrid working arrangements are losing employees to companies ready to give them what they want.
It's probably correct to conclude that increased retention rates and a stronger ability to attract top employees are two potential benefits of hybrid working.
- A larger pool of talent: Businesses with hybrid work can employ from a much wider range of locations, which ties in with the previous point regarding higher retention rates and the ability to attract top personnel.
A company situated in Atlanta, for example, would have been required to hire people from Atlanta and the surrounding areas under an office-based strategy. However, in a hybrid model, the same company will be able to spread much wider when it comes to hiring, resulting in a considerable increase in the number of candidates from which to choose the right fit for the position.
- Ability to expand workforce without paying extra space costs: Hybrid working allows companies to minimize their office size and develop their workforce number without incurring additional space-related costs.
- Increased Insight Into Employee Performance: Analyzing and optimizing employee performance is critical to the overall success of any business because it allows employers to identify the strengths, weaknesses, and potential gaps that need to be addressed. Companies with hybrid employees usually use more shared technology and collaboration tools (e.g., Office 365, Asana, Jira, GSuite, CloudDesk, Zoom).
Businesses are also using employee monitoring software to keep track of employee work activity on various tasks using these platforms to get a better picture of what everyone is up to.
Hybrid Working Benefits to Employees
One of the main advantages of a hybrid work model is that it allows employees to be more flexible, which most people have grown accustomed to during the pandemic. In addition, increased productivity and employee happiness, stronger cooperation, and better outcomes for employees' mental health are other benefits of a hybrid work model.
- Improved Employee Satisfaction: People who have used hybrid working believe it gives them greater flexibility over where and how they work and the ability to spend less time traveling. These adjustments, taken together, have benefited the work-life balance of many hybrid employees and made them happier overall.
- Increased Productivity: Employees who work in a mixed work arrangement usually feel more empowered to use their strengths, which leads to more productivity.
Employees can work either from home or office depending on their work-related demands; some employees may flourish working from home, while others may require a peaceful and distraction-free workspace in an office. This flexibility boosts employee performance and engagement, which are crucial for high performance.
Most businesses that use remote employee monitoring software to track employee work activity have also reported an increased productivity level with hybrid teams.
- More Opportunities For Continuous Self-development: Another essential aspect of hybrid work, often underestimated, allows remote teams to engage in continual learning outside of their typical work setting. Suppose employees work a portion of their workweek from their office.
In that case, they can spend the rest of their time working from home and invest time in personal development goals, leading to improved job performance and growth opportunities.
- Saved Cost: Previously, employees had to spend a good amount of money for their daily commute to work. Over a year, this might amount to thousands of bucks in commute expenditures alone. Hybrid working reduces commuting costs for virtual workers by allowing them to work from home more frequently and essentially functions as a tax-free boost in extra cash income.
- Improvements in collaboration and relationships: A hybrid work approach, in contrast to remote work, provides an opportunity for face-to-face communication and cooperation, which is favorable for positive team-building and, as a result, improved employee collaboration.
Allowing employees to socialize in person will help increase collaboration across multiple departments, teams, and workgroups and enhance virtual work relationships. That is especially true in our current environment when many employees communicate and collaborate with their coworkers via screens rather than face-to-face interactions.
When working remotely, every in-person conversation, which may only happen during established meeting times, might lead to opportunities for mentorship, knowledge sharing, or the development of critical professional relationships.
- Improved Mental Health Outcomes: Working from home has proven beneficial to many people's mental health. In addition, employees could explore more possibilities to improve their health and fitness during remote work.
Hybrid workers also have an option to work from home, which results in a better work-life fit as they get more time for self-care. As a result, higher chances for a better work-life balance and mental health outcomes.
The Future Of Work Is Undoubtedly Hybrid
A hybrid work formula is the most outstanding choice for businesses wanting to adopt the rising demand for independence, flexibility, and face-to-face communication. Mixed work has several advantages, including higher productivity and greater employee happiness, better mental health outcomes for employees, and many more other benefits.
To create a successful hybrid work model, provide your employees with the right technology and give them access to everything they need to perform their tasks seamlessly regardless of their location.
Author’s Bio: Sabila is a Digital Marketing Analyst who works with CloudDesk to help companies successfully manage their virtual team. She is passionate about assisting people in understanding how remote work works through her easily digestible content. In her spare time, she loves to read and cook.