Today’s employees prefer a flexible workplace model where they can choose when to work in the office and when to work remotely.
While the hybrid model has been around for years, it’s become even more popular post-COVID-19. Some employees have discovered that they actually prefer working alone the majority of the time, with the option to check in for in-person meetings every now and then. Other employees like the idea of working in-person with their colleagues. They crave social interaction and truly miss it when they’re unable to bounce ideas off of each other in person.
Most companies have a mix of both types of employees.
So, what’s a company to do when some employees prefer to work from home while others want to work in the office?
Consider the hybrid workplace approach.
In this article, we’ll discuss what a hybrid workplace is, along with its pros and cons, and how to implement it into your workplace.
What is the Hybrid Workplace Model?
A hybrid workplace model has been described as the future of work. It’s a flexible work model that gives employees the power to work where they choose. Thanks to the Internet and advances in communication technology, working remotely has never been easier.
There’s no standard definition for what a hybrid workplace is. A hybrid workplace can look differently from organization to organization.
In some organizations, the hybrid workplace may consist of one set of employees who are always in-office while another set work remotely and come in as needed.
For other organizations, the hybrid workplace may have all employees work from home on some days and work from the office on other days.
In a hybrid work model:
- Your employee can decide when or if they come into the office
- You can decide when or if your employees come into the office
- Each team can decide when or if they work together in the office or remotely
And those are just some of the options available in a hybrid model. Here at The Receptionist, we require one in-office day each week and then leave it up to our staff to decide whether to work remotely or in the office for the rest of the week.
As you can see, the hybrid model is highly adaptable to your organization’s unique needs and can reflect your culture and values. The hybrid model also caters to your employees, allowing them to create the experience that best works for their lives, personalities, and work styles.
What are the Pros of a Hybrid Workplace?
By giving employees the option to work in the environment that best suits their personality, you will improve their individual productivity. People work well when they feel supported by their environment, whether that’s quiet or social.
Lower Operating Costs
When operating a hybrid office, you can scale down your office space because it will no longer need to accommodate all of your employees at the same time. This also changes the way that your office looks and functions. Instead of having private cubicles, you may have open office spaces with work tables where employees can work together in groups or set up impromptu desks.
Extended Hiring Radius
When you’re no longer limited to hiring applicants who live in (or are willing to move to) your area, you can hire people based on their talent and not just their proximity. This means that you can truly hire the best person for the job.
Greater Work-Life Balance
A hybrid work environment encourages employees to create a work-life balance that works well for them. Employees can arrange work around their life, instead of the other way around, which makes it easier for employees to take care of themselves. This type of arrangement also reduces burnout.One of the benefits of a hybrid work environment is that it encourages employees to create a work-life balance that works well for them. Click To Tweet
What are the Cons of a Hybrid Workplace?
When your employees are no longer in your immediate eyesight, it’s difficult to ensure that they’re staying on task. It’s also true that the hybrid work model isn’t suited for every personality. Some people will be less inclined to work, even when they’re supposed to be “on the clock.”
Difficult to Stay Connected
When you and your team aren’t in the same location, it can be challenging to coordinate your schedules and connect for an impromptu meeting. You may need to rely more on asynchronous communication.
Lack of Visibility
Although your remote employees can be doing a great job, because they’re not in the office day to day, it can be difficult to see their contributions to a project. As a result, remote employees are often overlooked for promotions simply because they’re not as visible as employees who show up to the office every day.
Although the hybrid model makes it possible to achieve a greater work-life balance, some remote employees tend to work more. It’s easier to work longer hours when you’re at home, simply because you can focus more. However, working longer hours can lead to burnout. And working from home can cause employees to blur the lines between work and home.
How Do You Implement a Hybrid Workplace Model?
You can set your organization up for success by implementing the following best practices:
Set business hour offices
It’s important for you to be clear about when your employees should clock in and be available for meetings and other collaborations.
When you’re working in-office, it’s easier to peek over your employee’s shoulder to see if they’re working on a specific task. However, when you’re working in a hybrid environment, it’s harder to get quick status updates.
When switching to this model, you’ll need to set SMART goals to ensure that your team is on track. SMART is an acronym for specific, measurable, actionable, realistic, and time-based. It’s essential that you implement mini-deadlines into your goals so that you and your employees can check that they’re on the right path and not behind.
Even though your team is not physically together, they’re still a team, and they should have access to the same benefits and opportunities. This is a crucial part of maintaining employee satisfaction and ensuring that your employees feel connected to the organization.
Ensure that you have the technology to support a hybrid work environment
You need to set up your office to support both in-office employees and those who will work remotely, either full-time or part-time. This means that your office should accommodate hot desking along with the ability to reserve private offices or meeting spaces.
Should you use a hybrid workplace model in your office?
To decide if the hybrid model will work well in your organization, you must first consider your employees. Will your employees be able to work remotely? Will they have the resources needed to do their jobs well in an environment where some team members are never present in person? And will your current work space be able to support both types of team members—those who choose to show up in person regularly and those who set up shop infrequently?
Before converting to the hybrid work model completely, you can consider trying it out temporarily when welcoming your employees back to work post-COVID-19.
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