What is Hybrid Working?
To put it simply, hybrid working is a flexible working model which allows employees to work from a variety of different locations.
Why has Hybrid Working become so popular?
Since 2020 and the Covid-19 pandemic, lounges, dining rooms, bedrooms and public spaces have become the new modern workplace. A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study of UK employees revealed that 67% of those working remotely since COVID-19 want to split their time between the physical workplace and home working in the future. With a focus on flexible working now crucial for most organisations you want to make sure your people can perform to their fullest.
What benefits does Hybrid Working provide?
So, what are the benefits of Hybrid Working, and why should you invest your time and money into thisnew form of working?
A nine-month-long Stanford study found that remote workers took fewer sick days and breaks and were 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts. Done well remote working can really boost your productivity.
Wider reach of talent
With Hybrid Working you can expand the reach of your employee base, attracting talent from all over the world. A study by Gallup found that nearly 33% of American employees would change jobs for more flexible work!
Retention of Talent
Hybrid Working is proving a significant part of the decision to stay with your existing employer or accept a new role with someone else. A study by Gartner found that by supporting a flexible work culture, employee retention rates could increase by 10%.
Reduced business costs
The cost of running a business is high, and physical offices are paying for rent, electricity, water, property insurance, office snacks, office supplies, and much more. By hiring remote workers, many of these costs are reduced or eliminated. It’s estimated that companies could save up to £8,000 a year for each employee.
Improved employee satisfaction
A study conducted by Owl Labs found that many workers feel that even one day of remote work can leave them feeling happier. Among respondents, 86% of people believe that working remotely alleviates stress and improves general well-being and health.
What is needed to support Hybrid Working for my people?
To begin Hybrid Working you need the appropriate hardware and communication tools that will allow your people to perform at their very best.
Enable you staff to communicate using a single unified communication platform. This can include products such as Cloud PBX and Teams Integration with Cloud PBX.
Enable your staff to work from anywhere at any time, reducing the costs associated with travel, time and office space by replacing in-person meetings with web collaboration using mobile devices such as Mobile Phones and Tablets.
Ensure that your staff are constantly connected and collaborating with by providing them with the best connection possible. Products can include FTTP, SOGEA, SOGfast and SOTAP.
Tips on Adopting Hybrid Working
We have a few tips that will help make sure you maximise Hybrid Working within your business:
Avoid ad hoc meetings and coffee chats. Meeting with someone because they are in front of you inevitably removes the opportunity from those that aren’t. Stop conference room meetings
if possible and run all meetings as if they were remote. It is almost impossible to make the experience equal for people who are present and those that aren’t. It’s best to avoid mixed-format meetings if possible, and either have them fully attended or fully remote.
The best place for leaders in a hybrid office is working remotely. The best way to make sure
leaders understand the true challenges faced by remote workers is to get them to be remote
Suppose your (head) office remains the crucial centre for collaboration, social events and access to leadership, and you chose a hybrid working model. In that case, you will make it harder for people to work or live remotely from your main catchment area and enjoy the same opportunities as people living near or working in the office. Therefore, it is vital to understand what the office is for (and therefore what it isn’t for) and give extra thought and effort on how to be truly remote-first or face
an uphill struggle to make this work.
Culture is at the heart of every business. That is why the Hybrid Working model must be adapted
to the very core of the culture. That means it must be promoted across the business and should be encouraged by top management to work hybrid.
Things to consider when going Hybrid
While there are benefits to hybrid working, it is not inherently risk-free. Here are some of the issues you need to consider:
Will you be able to offer a hybrid arrangement to everyone in your team or organisation? What will be the impact on those who you can’t accommodate? Will this then create an unfair environment for employees?
Uneven implemented hybrid working and bias towards employees who can get to the office, may lead to an office-based ‘in-crowd’, removed from their more remote-based peers. How will you
make sure their voices are heard?
Collaboration and innovation
Teams calls aren’t always the best platform for creativity to flourish and there are some tasks that work better when people are sharing a desk, rather than a screen. A lot of new ideas pop up from an impromptu conversation naturally while being in an office. How will you facilitate formal and informal collaboration if people aren’t in the office together?
Not everyone has space for a home office or super-fast broadband; for employees living in flats, for example, homeworking might not be productive at all. How will you support these members of your team if they’re expected to work from home for part of the week? How will you ensure they are in a safe, productive environment?