Updated: Dec 10, 2022
What is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid working is a flexible working paradigm that allows employees to work from anywhere. Hybrid working integrates working from home with working in an office or other public place. The notion is a progression of flexible and remote working generated by employees' wanting to spend more time at home. The COVID-19 pandemic forced many people to work only one or two days a week, if at all. As a result, employers and employees gained new levels of autonomy, flexibility, performance, and even collaboration. But hybrid working isn't a novel idea. Hybrid work has been happening for a decade but has recently escalated.
Covid-19 has undeniably accelerated these alterations. The call for social separation has led many businesses to embrace remote working. Many felt that a few days at work helped them relax, interact with coworkers, and collaborate. Employers that were earlier wary of remote work are now reaping the rewards. The pandemic has emphasized workers' mental and social needs.
But not all employees wish to work from home. Office work has several advantages, including teamwork, building a business culture, and sometimes increased productivity. In this instance, a hybrid working model combining home and office attendance may be the solution.
Is it sustainable?
Employers, employees, and the environment might make all profit from hybrid working, reducing consumption and conserving resources. Even if full-return-to-office plans are still in flux, it's apparent that many workers will work remotely for part or all of the year.
Before the epidemic, only 6% of employees worked remotely; however, new research shows that 61% want to work remotely at least three days per week, and 21% want to work entirely remotely.
According to Joe Karbowski, CTO of FM: Systems, a digital workplace management company, the prospect of cost and waste savings is substantial.
Employers can now provide employees with technologies that benefit productivity and the environment. The majority of peer-reviewed studies demonstrate that employees choose companies that value environmental sustainability.
In fact, according to a recent GHD study, 30% of Americans said their workplace's sustainability efforts influenced their decision to work for them and would consider green credentials when picking a new employer.
A more competitive labor market means that businesses can change their consumption habits, cut down on their environmental footprint, equip their employees with better technology that is both more productive and environmentally friendly, and appeal to workers' preferences by making this change.
Advantages of Hybrid Working
Open floor plans and onsite meeting rooms are redesigned to accommodate virtual employees and new remote work habits.
According to Forbes, thanks to platforms like Microsoft Teams, employees can stay connected and productive even when they aren't in the office.
In-room technology for collaboration platforms will allow participants on either side of the screen to collaborate in real-time. Businesses may find it beneficial to connect low-tech (in person or over the phone) for some jobs and high-tech for others.
Human Resources and Productivity
Business leaders need guidelines to help staff avoid digital fatigue and maintain a good work-life balance.
Workers who started working from home reported greater productivity in the early months of the COVID pandemic. Employers must rethink their approach to networking in this hybrid work environment.
Teams must be more proactive in talent development, pushing managers to prioritize social capital and foster a supportive atmosphere.
Hybrid and fully remote work arrangements demand updated cyber security plans to protect digital assets and handle cyber risks.
Remote workers are increasingly using zero-trust frameworks for improved security and flexibility. This technique increases cyber security while allowing for more flexible network perimeters.
Onsite activities used to be secured, and personnel accessed company data from within that perimeter. Remote work has pushed operations beyond that perimeter, requiring a more flexible security policy.
Zero-trust architectures are also used to secure supply and value chains. For more giant corporations that are difficult to hack directly, hackers usually target weak third-party vendors. A zero-trust architecture verifies all transactions rather than trusting that they are secure, changing enterprises from a passive to active cyber security approach.
New security features include password-less authentication, multi-app single sign-on, and self-service registration. Hackers love weak passwords. Less risky authentication methods or more verification stages lessen breaches. Single sign-on and self-service flows let firms enforce security protocols as employees use remote work apps and endpoints.
For employees, companies, and customers, the future of work is all about building more helpful, intuitive processes. For firms to effectively incorporate any new technologies and create a more sustainable way of working for the future, company leaders must connect more with their staff.
Hybrid work has many of the same challenges as traditional jobs. Remote or onsite, poor preparation and communication can lead to inefficient or wasteful meetings and uncertainty regarding tasks. Worker flexibility complicates cooperation. They may feel abandoned. Technology needs to evolve. Concerns about trust, accountability, productivity, equity, and access to hybrid employment abound and need to be considered.
The biggest challenges with working from home are technology and security. Home networks are more vulnerable to cyber-attacks than business networks. According to Gallup, remote workers are also more likely to share computers with non-coworkers. Hybrid enterprises must invest early to address these complex and costly concerns. Managers can't observe hybrid work. That implies focusing on outcomes rather than employee behavior is required.
According to The Conversation, another potential hazard: hybrid teams can generate misconceptions or miscommunications between the office and home members. This could lead to friction and conflict between the two factions, an us-versus-them scenario.
Crafting a fantastic hybrid work experience is worth the effort if you put it in. Those that did it before the outbreak are reaping the rewards now.
Highly engaged employees, intentional and meaningful relationships, and greater freedom to balance work-life are hallmarks of exceptional hybrid teams.
Looking ahead, hybrids are quickly becoming a new workplace requirement. Less than two years of learning to work differently will write the next chapter of this enormous worldwide work experiment.