Employees have made it clear they want greater flexibility in how—and where—they do their jobs. The pandemic showed that it is indeed possible to work successfully from home, forcing some employers to admit the reason they were reluctant is that they don’t trust their staff.
In spite of the success of remote working, many businesses are still deciding between adopting hybrid work or going back to pre-pandemic practice.
But the reason for this isn’t as simple as an issue of trust. For some businesses it’s a question of infrastructure, for others they may see that in-office work is more effective, easier to manage, and track results.
The hybrid work culture is being touted as the answer to the problem. A blend of remote and in-office, hybrid workplaces are looking at ways in which the wants of employees are met with the needs of the business.
But, is hybrid working for everyone? In this post, we’re going to look at 3 pros, 3 cons, and things you need to consider in order to decide if the hybrid working culture is a good fit for your business.
3 Pros of a Hybrid Work Culture
Hybrid work, when done correctly, nurtures an employee-centric workplace experience. As a result, the on-site environment is designed to meet their specific requirements and becomes a great place to work. Let’s take a look at three ways hybrid work may benefit your company and its employees.
1. Improve Employee Engagement at Work
When your staff has greater discretion over where they work, they’re more likely to balance their workloads, participate fully in job duties, and derive pleasure from their jobs.
If you don’t, the situation is reversed. Not only will engagement, involvement, and morale all drop significantly, but your staff may abandon permanently. According to a study on employee engagement and retention, as many as 52% of employees are likely to seek new employment in 2021. According to Gallup polls, more engaged workers are more likely to stay and produce better results.
Despite the availability of a flexible working arrangement, some workers may still maintain their regular routine. Simply having the option to work on-site or remotely is liberating and has been shown to result in more engagement at work.
2. Better Company Culture
Many executives are concerned that a hybrid work model would mean the end of company culture.
In fact, a fifth of CEOs believe employees must be in the office five days per week to maintain a healthy corporate culture. In fact, giving staff more control over when they have to work in-office may actually help to boost morale.
Hybrid work allows workers to move between various environments as needed and desired. As a result, they’ll be more driven to do their job when they arrive at the office.
An employee, for example, may complete solitary chores at home that don’t require face-time with coworkers. They can then join on-site project teams and develop relationships with their coworkers after coming on-site.
3. Improved Space Efficiency
In a hybrid work model, there are fewer employees on-site each day. You can make more efficient use of your business’s physical space than in organizations under the old model of employment because there is less crowding than in organizations under the traditional model of work.
A small, well-organized workplace is more productive and efficient. It allows you to notice areas for improvement without having your workspace feel too empty or cramped. As a result, your business may require less office space, lowering overhead expenses.
Removing the number of assigned desks is one way to adjust your workspace under a hybrid work model. Instead of having a lot of permanently allocated seats, you may provide hot desking options.
Freeing up this area allows you to add more of the types of space your employees desire. These can be casual meeting regions, huddle spaces, or quiet zones, among other possibilities. Employees are more inclined to come into the office to work if they’re provided areas that they enjoy using.
3 Cons of a Hybrid Work Culture
Hybrid work, like all other job models, comes with both benefits and disadvantages. Nonetheless, there are methods your team may use to overcome these challenges and maintain operational efficiency.
1. Staffs Find It Difficult to Figure Out Who’s in the Office and When
Flexibility implies more planning is needed across your business. If you don’t, you risk resource constraints if too many people arrive at once. People might find it difficult to know when their coworkers will be on-site. This may cause confusion and annoyance among your staff.
The good news is that you may customize your staff’s schedules to match your company’s needs. Your employees will be more empowered to show up at the workplace to interact with their coworkers, collaborate, and develop relationships if they have the appropriate schedule.
They’ll be able to maintain a traditional work style while still benefiting from hybrid employment flexibility. To ensure that you implement the scheduling model that is best for your business, get input from your workers and managers on scheduling policies and procedures.
2. The Office May Seem Uninteresting
Employees may like flexibility, but if there aren’t many people on-site, it may be dull. A lively workplace can be invigorating, but if half of your team works off-site on any particular day, it might feel lifeless instead. On-site staff might become uninspired and ineffective as a result of this.
It’s critical to create a working environment that people enjoy. To encourage employees to work, companies may take learning from the hospitality sector. Inviting your staff with an attractive lobby or entrance can pique their interest in starting their day. You may also offer snack and beverage carts throughout the workplace to generate fun moments.
These areas might help workers get closer and facilitate conversations between individuals who would never interact during the day-to-day operations of the company
3. Remote Workers May Find Themselves at a Disadvantage
In a hybrid work approach, remote employees may have more difficulties interacting with people on-site. Facetime conversations, quick answers, and face-to-face interactions all aid in the formation of workplace connections and cultures.
Fortunately, there is a method to prevent social isolation and poor communication via remote working. You may bring remote workers into the fold on a regular basis and ensure they stay connected to their on-site coworkers by making the appropriate investments.
An example of that is using project management software like Quire. Quire allows remote workers to stay connected with everyone on a team via messaging as well as being able to leave comments in real-time in tasks.
How to Determine Which Working Culture Your Team Needs
Not every team can adapt long-term to hybrid working culture. To determine which working culture your team needs, you need to consider:
- The infrastructure you have in place
When we say management, we don’t mean the people. But rather, you need systems in place to easily manage the infrastructure of a hybrid work environment. This includes everything from making sure different users can access all the necessary files and programs from their devices—no matter where they are.
Systems in place are a big factor. Do you have the software tools to enable a harmonious balance between remote and in-office work? How easy it is to collaborate and communicate?
This can make all the difference between a successful hybrid working environment and one that crashes and burns.
By having quality project management software that improves the communication and collaboration between all team members, you can give your business the greatest chance of making the hybrid work environment function.
Security is another big issue. The more people remoting in the great the risk. You need a security system that doesn’t negatively affect employee efficiency, while at the same time doesn’t impinge on your employees’ privacy.
Some businesses may come out the other side of the pandemic and see that it is simply more efficient and effective to bring everyone back to the office. And others may see the benefits hybrid working has on their employees and find ways to make a hybrid working environment function.
And, the advantage of making it function effectively is that this style of work culture can attract new staff to your business. And, since it won’t necessarily result in the traditional increase in overheads, businesses should look at hybrid work culture as a more effective long-term strategy for growth.