December 4th 2021
The concept of ‘hybrid working’ is not a new one. Over the past decade, businesses have been implementing styles of this into their models. In recent years, with the advent of the covid-19 pandemic, even more businesses have come to accept that a form of hybrid working can actually be a better working model than the rigid 9-5 office days of the past.
You may be confused as to what exactly this style of working is, and how it can benefit your business. We’ll break down exactly what hybrid working is for you, and how you can implement it as a new normal for your employees.
What is Hybrid Working?
When we break it down to its’ bare bones, hybrid working is when your employees are able to split their time between working from home and working in the office. As we mentioned before, this model has been adopted the world over due to the pandemic, but it’s not likely that it’s going away any time soon.
Many businesses have found that this new way of working has actually increased productivity and satisfaction in their employees. It gives them more of a sense of autonomy with its flexibility and can provide more opportunities for collaboration through remote meetings and wider schedules.
Think of it as a combination of flexible and remote working, borne out of necessity, but also paying dividends when it comes to employee happiness.
The hybrid working model allows employees to work from a variety of different locations, combining time in the office with other locations such as at home, the quaint little coffee shop round the corner, or even different cities and countries if necessary.
As people around the world were suddenly unable to come into the office, businesses had to adapt to unpredictable times, which forced their hand into allowing more flexible schedules to become the norm. While hybrid working has been a growing concept for a while now, it’s becoming quite clear that this could become the working model of the future.
Some businesses have opted to go fully remote in their approach, whilst others have implemented the hybrid working model to keep a sense of balance in their employees and not lose that in-person collaboration that we as humans can sometimes crave.
Why are Businesses Considering Hybrid Working?
With the rate that digital working has taken over the world in recent decades, it’s no surprise that we find ourselves in a place where being physically present might not always be necessary. In fact, not being in work, quite literally, can even be a benefit to a company. It allows businesses to save on overheads and cut down on overcrowded office space.
We’re currently living in a world where internet access is becoming a human right. With faster and more stable internet connections available now more than ever, it’s of no surprise that a lot of work nowadays can be sufficiently delivered digitally. This coupled with the fact that high-end technology, such as laptops and tablets, are becoming more affordable, gives workers the means to produce top-quality work no matter where they are based.
Throughout the pandemic, businesses have had to adapt to delivery through digital channels. This meant that they had to up their information security game, as well as utilise more intuitive meeting and work delivery systems, such as Zoom, Dropbox and WeTransfer amongst others.
What really shone through the most, amongst all the uncertainty, was that employees were still just as productive when working from home, as they were whilst in the office. This ended up silencing anyone who thought that if people were to work from home, they would get lazier. In fact, it was the complete opposite.
With this new way of working now in full effect, it also opens up the option of hiring and recruiting remotely, which allows a business to find the best talent for the job, no matter where they are in the world.
What are the Benefits of Hybrid Working?
So, what really are the benefits of hybrid working? There are a few key advantages that this model can bring, both for your business and your employees alike.
- Increased Productivity
Working from home, even if it’s a few days a week, can drastically improve your employee’s productivity, as they find themselves in familiar surroundings, and are allowed the flexibility to get the job done at their own pace. This also allows them to work digitally, in smaller teams over the internet, to help in collaboration in a more colloquial setting.
- Improved Employee Satisfaction
Naturally linked to the above point, being more productive can lead to better overall job satisfaction. It also helps that they are given the opportunity to skip the daily commute a few times in the working week. We all understand that being stuck in traffic, and therefore late to work, can massively affect the rest of your day!
- Improved Mental Wellbeing
We are all becoming increasingly aware of how important mental health is these days. Allowing your employees to work from home can drastically boost a workers’ overall mental wellbeing and energise them the next time they are working from the office.
- Lowered Overheads and Office Costs
It’s a no-brainer that if you have less people working in the office, the lower your overall costs are going to be for that month. With reduced electricity and amenities usage, the money saved can be put to bigger and better projects for your business.
- Pandemic Safety
We are still living through a pandemic. Therefore, a clear advantage of adopting a hybrid working model, is that you won’t be putting your employees at risk. Less people in the office, means reduced chances of transmission of any viruses.
How Can You Get Hybrid Working Right?
Successfully implementing a hybrid working model for your business hinges on some critical factors.
- Clear Policies, Processes and Rules
It’s important to have clear processes in place when expecting your employees to complete their work from home. You can ensure all employees follow a daily routine, or devise one of their own, to make sure everyone is on the same page. You also don’t want to monitor them too closely, giving them time and freedom to adapt to their new working set-up.
- Legal and Data Protection
Moving to a hybrid working model can have legal implications for your business. Consider how this may affect terms and conditions of employment, and contractual locations. Some employees may have to change their legal place of work to their home address. This will also require revisiting how you store and transmit data through your company.
When moving to the hybrid working model, you can set up instant messaging tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Google Chat, and others to have clear lines of communication between everyone in the company. This ensures that everyone is connected during their working day, and no waiting on email replies.
- Training and Upskilling Employees
Hybrid working will bring its own unique challenges in terms of the training and development of your team members. With people working remotely, it can be difficult to teach them new processes successfully. You can incorporate teambuilding, skills days, and performance management into your model.
- Technological Changes
It goes without saying that if you need your employees to work, you might need to provide them with the means to do so. They will need all the necessary equipment to perform their duties correctly, the equipment they would typically use if they were working in the office. This is an important point when considering the move to hybrid working.
- Nurturing Office Culture Online
Many people these days are looking to work in a company that has a positive office culture, and this can sometimes be difficult to achieve when working remotely. Consider regular, informal online events for your employees to attend to encourage socialisation and interaction, which can help to create a positive atmosphere for your employees.
It’s no surprise that many companies are adopting the hybrid working model in current times. This doesn’t mean that offices are a thing of the past, however, not just yet!
If you’re in the market for a new office space or are upsizing or downsizing your space to accommodate a hybrid model, head over and take a look at our serviced office spaces or managed offices to view our huge selection and use our free office search tool to find great spaces in your area today!