The Benefits of Hybrid Working
— January 20th, 2022
As the world continues to emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, companies are reconsidering many of their most fundamental beliefs about how and where employees carry out their work.
Employees themselves have become accustomed to the flexibility and convenience offered by remote work with many no longer wishing to return to the office full-time.
However, many companies don’t intend to make their workforces fully remote anytime soon. Hybrid work is a way to combine the best of both worlds – the autonomy of remote working mixed with the social and cultural advantages of face-to-face contact.
One study by Accenture found that 58% of respondents had already been hybrid working during Covid-19. These people reported better mental health, stronger working relationships, and less burnout than people who worked entirely on-site or entirely remotely.
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Hybrid working has many variations and is definitely not one size fits all. Some companies might allow every employee the flexibility to work on-site and remotely part of the week. Other organizations may opt to have their staff working either full-time remote or full-time on-site. Another option for employers is to offer a combination of the two.
When planned carefully and strategically, the benefits of a hybrid work model are plentiful and have the potential to improve an organization in several ways.
Firstly, it’s important to understand that an effective hybrid work system encourages:
- High performance
- Positive work relationships
- Effective work habits
Benefits of the hybrid work model
The switch to remote working during the pandemic succeeded in putting a number of myths to rest - particularly that employees working from home are less productive than those based on-site. A survey found that 40% of individuals feel they can be equally productive and engaged whether they are working fully from the office or from home.
Better work life balance
A recent study by Slack found that flexibility is a key reason employees are attracted to the hybrid work model. There are numerous positive effects of having a good work-life balance including less stress, a lower risk of burnout and a greater sense of well-being.
Harvard Business Review found how physical and psychological problems that occur as a result of workplace stress and burnouts cost companies in the US between $125 and $190 billion a year in healthcare spending. These costs only increase when you factor in effects like increased turnover, loss of talent, and lower productivity.
Wider talent pool
Another hybrid working benefit is that businesses with a combination of in-person and remote employees have a much larger talent pool to choose from. In a hybrid model where some employees are fully remote and others are office-bound, those granted permission to work solely from home are not confined to one location.
This undoubtedly opens up more opportunities for companies to foster diversity by eliminating certain barriers from the hiring process.
Increased job satisfaction
According to a study from Hi Bob, those employees operating within a hybrid model are significantly more satisfied with their jobs than those working exclusively from home or in the office. There are a number of reasons for this including the fact that hybrid working models leave less opportunity for workers to be micromanaged and allows for them to make decisions without constantly needing approval from their employers.
The freedom provided by hybrid work makes them feel more in control and respect for doing the job they were hired to do.
Makes tracking employee performance easier
Employee performance tracking is essential for an organization to meet its strategic goals. In addition, keeping a tab on employee growth and development is essential to elevate their skills and capabilities. Hybrid teams, in particular, make use of virtual collaboration tools, which makes tracking performance straightforward.
This also gives management the chance to identify underperforming employees so they can begin to resolve any issues.
Less commuting time
Another significant benefit of the hybrid working model is having to commute much less. In 2019, the average time for a one-way commute to the office in the US was 27.6 minutes. This doesn’t seem that long but added up over a working week this is five hours or 20 hours per month.
This means both employers and employees lost nearly a whole day to commuting. Although every hybrid arrangement varies, a good deal will allow for commuting time to be reduced, giving everyone more free time for other tasks and commitments.
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Additional hybrid working benefits:
- Ability to grow headcount without added space costs
- Reduced real estate costs
- Improves visibility of senior leaders
- Environmental benefits
- Higher employment rates
- Improved retention rates
- Increased employee well-being
- Increased mobility
- Improved company culture
- Reduced exposure to illness
Hybrid work model examples
- Semi-remote In this particular hybrid work model, part of the workforce operates on-site at all times while the other part works remotely.
- Office first The office-first hybrid model requires employees to work from the office most of the time while allowing a fraction of time to work remotely.
- Remote first - In contrast to the office-first model, a remote-first scenario allows for teams to be distributed and operate across remote locations while allowing a small number of employees to work on-site.
- Flexible - This model allows every employee to spend part of their week in the office and part of their week working remotely.
Over the past two years, the definition of the workplace has changed rapidly. Hybrid working, a system that mixes remote and in-office work is quickly becoming the norm in many organizations. The hybrid model utilizes the insight gained about work-life balance and workplace productivity during the pandemic to create a new arrangement that maximizes the benefits and minimizes the downsides of both in-office and remote work.
There are many hybrid working benefits, not least the positive impact it has on employees’ productivity, well-being, and work/life balance. However, the flexibility offered by hybrid work is beneficial not only to the employee but to the organization as a whole. It offers a wider talent pool to choose from, saves on costs, and improves employee retention, to name a few.