The definition of work and the workplace is changing rapidly and it’s unlikely the modern office will completely return to pre-pandemic norms. For instance, the idea of a team workspace is not just an office or physical space anymore—it has evolved to include cloud-space as well.
The move to many employees working from home during the pandemic has driven quicker adoption of new technology in the workplace and shown most employees can work efficiently while remote and retain overall work-life balance, benefiting both employers and employees. Now, as we are gradually coming out of this crisis, businesses are transitioning from conventional to flexible work environments and it’s imperative that they adopt a balanced and effective long-term work model, such as the hybrid work model.
Employers around the globe are reassessing policies and actively transforming their organizations to be better suited for the hybrid work environment. In the midst of pandemic-related uncertainty, transitioning to a hybrid work model would be an ideal next move, as there are endless possibilities to customize and design a model that works for your organization. Businesses everywhere have been given an opportunity to reimagine the work model of the future, implement innovative strategies, and optimize resources for their new work style.
The hybrid workplace is considered by many to blend of the best of both remote and on-site work styles. This work environment helps to build an employee-centric work culture, which can give employers an edge over the competitors by attracting key talent. In fact, 33% of respondents told McKinsey & Company they are “likely to switch jobs if they have to return to fully on-site.” A flexible workplace was once considered a luxury, but now it’s an essential and plays a big role in work culture.
“Your culture is not your office; it’s what you do as an organization, how you work together. What you do does not change because you’re working virtually.”
— Deniz Caglar, partner at PwC, co-author of Fit for Growth: A Guide to Strategic Cost Cutting, Restructuring, and Renewal.
Key things to be considered while implementing a hybrid workplace model –
Encourage employee involvement in decision-making
Employee voice should be considered by leaders whenever they make policy decisions, so use your employees ideas and wishes to guide your hybrid work strategy moving forward. If an employee is given the liberty to choose their own working hours or place of work, they can often achieve much healthier work-life balance and maximize output by either working away from the physical office or working during the hours they’re most productive. Offering your employees flexibility and trust to help make these decisions builds responsibility and accountability within the team.
Ensure remote accessibility with cloud-based tools
Firstly, businesses should embrace the new wave of change and develop a coherent strategy for employees to work from anywhere, track their progress, and get updates in real time. To select the right suite of cloud-based collaboration tools and software to run their business, leaders will need to consider multiple aspects of hybrid work, including their employees’ needs and the organization’s budget.
Allow for flexibility and balance
Not every employee may be able to or willing to resume reporting to an on-site workplace. Thus, it is important that employees who aren’t directly required in the physical office space on a regular basis continue to work remotely, and are provided with the same opportunities and challenges as those who are present on-site.
- Build an empowering company culture
An effective hybrid work environment should find harmony between two distinct employee challenges, and provide ways for employees to learn and grow together in an empowering company culture. Employers have to provide an equal amount of opportunities, time, and energy to remote employees as well as on-site employees.
The shift to necessary remote work caused by COVID-19 has in many ways become a myth-buster. Most employers would now agree that in the name of productivity, in-person collaboration is not a requisite in this digital age and most importantly, employee work performance does not have to be measured in the “amount of time spent in the office” but instead by the “quality” of the work. The success of the work from home model is a clear testimony for this.
Future workplaces are likely to be designed to address individual employee situations, at least for the immediate future. And that is exactly where hybrid models excel: in allowing for multiple variations. Making a successful mix depends on the company culture and its employees.
As we already know, technology too has risen to the challenge and to stay a step ahead in the business, digital collaboration is a must. By utilizing online work platforms and recruitment software solutions, you can help keep all employees connected to your shared values and goals.
When it comes to tools, Zoho Recruit is your companion for hiring. If you’re overwhelmed by repetitive and redundant tasks, perhaps it’s time to customize the Recruit ATS so you can focus on employee well-being, overall efficiency, and productivity.
While the COVID-19 pandemic is still a present threat and the needs of the emerging workplace are still uncharted territory for everyone, hybrid work models can be built and customized to fit the needs of more employees and help businesses continue to grow.