After COVID-19, many employees are now working from their homes rather than in an office. Yes, hybrid or flex-work has become commonplace, but is that good for employers?
According to a recent survey, approximately half (50%) of the U.S.’s full-time workforce reports that they could work from anywhere, including their homes, at least some of the time.
What Is Hybrid Work
A hybrid model is an arrangement where some people work at home and others work in the offices. Flexibility varies among these arrangements.
Here are some examples of different types of hybrid work policies and remote work options companies are using for remote workers:
Hybrid at-will employment allows employees to decide when they want to work.
A hybrid schedule allows employees to choose when they want to be at their physical space like a desk and when they prefer to be working remotely.
Hybrid manager-scaling: Managers decide when they want their teams to come into the building
Combination of 3 Types of Workouts
A hybrid workplace offers employees flexibility in how and when they work and gives them a better work-life ratio. Employees should be able to switch between working at their desk and working from anywhere else seamlessly without any loss in performance.
Hybrid Work has its Place
Almost half of the workers (47 percent) say they’d consider looking for a new job if their company didn’t offer a flexible schedule.
According to a recent study by FlexJobs, 77 percent of companies have already adopted some form of remote working. And 56 percent of those companies allow their workers to decide when and where they want to work.
You may be wondering why people choose to go into a hybrid working arrangement. Here are some of its benefits for both employees and employers.
Do What Works Best for You
An office-first approach means that people are required to be at their desks from 9 am to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. A hybrid work approach allows for greater freedom to choose when and where to work.
It means having flexible hours and working at different times. Some prefer to start their day earlier than later, while some do better after lunch. They can also choose whether they want to work alone or with colleagues on-location or remotely.
Better Balance Between Professional Life
A January 2022 study found that 63% of workers said flexibility would make them happier. According to Slack, that’s one of the reasons why people choose to go into a hybrid role. Flexibility allows employees to find a balance between their professional and personal life. They’re able to carve out time to do what matters most to them without feeling guilty about not doing their job duties.
Hire Talent from Anywhere in the World
Looking to broaden your skill set? Your business can access a broader range of talents in a hybrid working environment. Having access to a larger pool of skilled workers allows you to tap into a variety of expertise. This gives your firm an advantage, helps you enter new markets, and ensures round-the-clock productivity levels.
A recent study said 87 percent of employees were worried about their health and overall well-being when it came to returning to work, according to envoy.com
A hybrid working environment means fewer people in the office at any given time. This reduces the chances of an infected person spreading the virus to others. Since people can telecommute in most hybrid working environments, sick workers can remain at home to avoid infecting their colleagues.
As companies become more aware of the dangers of COVID-19, they’re starting to enforce measures for employee safety at their offices. These could include requiring health screenings or proof of vaccinations for people entering the office.
Save on Real Estate Costs
With a hybrid work-from‑home arrangement, fewer staff members are present at any one time. For some firms, this means reducing the size of their offices. At the very least it helps you determine how much office space you require to support your staff.
Reducing office space requirements can save companies up to 30% in real estate expenses. These funds can be used to provide additional benefits for their employees, including offering them more flexible working arrangements.
Developing a Hybrid Work Model
When adopting a hybrid approach, you must be careful to choose the right people, processes, and technologies. Some considerations include:
Find out what your employees want from their jobs.
If you want to build a hybrid business strategy that fits your organization, talk to your employees first. Involving them will help you develop a working plan and a company culture that motivates people to get things done and keep them engaged.
Survey employees about their preferences for different types of setups at the office and their vision of the best company culture. Make sure to ask them about the type of setup and flexible schedules they would prefer to use and provide some examples. Ask:
- Would you prefer to work on-site or remotely?
- How often do you plan to be working on-site?
- Would you rather be able to work from home if you could choose where? What kind of flexible schedule do you want?
Get Ready to Start
Once you know what your employees’ needs are for hybrid working arrangements, you can begin to design a hybrid model that meets their needs.
Make sure that the infrastructure you’re building allows for flexibility.
A good way to determine whether you need new technologies or if you could already be using them effectively is to assess whether you’re using them in new ways. For example, you might not have been able to achieve certain goals by using old applications (such as email) because they weren’t designed for high-frequency interactions. Or, you may have used old techniques (such as word of mouth) to spread messages without realizing you were doing it. You can also evaluate whether you’ve missed opportunities to improve processes or increase efficiencies by assessing where your existing tools fall short.
You should establish clear guidelines for communicating within your organization. For example, you could use an asynchronous style of communication to allow office employees and remote workers, as well as remote teams from different parts of the world, to communicate at different times.
Create an employee schedule to manage workplace traffic and give office workers as well as hybrid teams freedom with their flexible work arrangements. There are several ways you can do this. For example, you could allow employees to decide whether they want to show up every weekday (at-will), or if they’d rather pick days off each week (hybrid). You could also let managers set employee schedules (manager schedules).
Make Sure Everyone Feels Appreciated
Your team’s productivity depends on its ability to create a great hybrid environment where everyone feels valued and respected. Make sure you reinforce your team’s sense of belonging by creating a positive working atmosphere.
If your organization has core business value statements, and great company culture then creating experiential opportunities as well as employee satisfaction around them is also important. For instance, if your organization believes that teamwork is important, you could organize an event where employees get together to solve a problem.
Employees Should Feel Comfortable at Work
Experience is the number one component of your hybrid working model. It’s important not to lose sight of it. While your hybrid employees may only visit the office once per week, it’s important to make sure that each week in the office is meaningful and intentional. The more staff members present, the happier employees will be and the better the experience for those who are there.
To be successful, a hybrid workplace must provide an excellent working environment for its staff.
Create Employee Personas
You can create a persona for each member of your team. For example, if you’re an engineering manager, you might create one persona for your technical lead, another for your product owner, and so on. These personas should reflect the unique characteristics of your team members for the future workplace. They’ll help you understand what motivates them, what they value, and what they expect from you.
Personas help you stay agile as you create new employee experiences and manage your space to meet their changing needs.
When building a hybrid workforce, be sure to gather employee feedback among your talent pool. Provide multiple ways for them to give input.
You should collect this kind of user experience data so that you can iterate as you go, building a hybrid workplace that works well for everyone making happier employees.
The hybrid model has become the norm for most companies these days and it’s going to be here for a long time. However, just like any working model, companies today face challenges and opportunities. They need to address the issues they face so that they don’t lose talented employees to better-paying jobs elsewhere.
Here at Search Masters, we have seen quite a bit of change in the marketplace. Companies getting employees back to their physical offices or having employees work in co-working spaces; there is nothing that is out of the ordinary. Today’s work environment is changing quickly, and finding the right help has become harder than ever. We love working with companies that are struggling to find quality candidates for a variety of roles. Regardless of how you want your employees to work, we can find the talent that will make your company succeed and advise you on methods to keep employees more efficient and retained longer. Reach out to us here, and we would be happy to setup a quick call on how we might be able to help your business succeed in today’s changing business environment.