The pandemic has forced the majority of companies to reinvent themselves. With the introduction of safety protocols covering travel restrictions and office capacity, it was inevitable to step into the hybrid workplace set-up.
In essence, a hybrid workplace model combines the traditional with the virtual. This business design can be compared to how schools have adopted remote learning, where classes can be held at home or in classrooms.
With the rapid global movement comes a handful of challenges, especially when it comes to adding in the new digital fixtures such as cloud technology and additional employee metrics. One thing is for sure though: despite being more than a year away from the onset of the pandemic, the hybrid workplace looks like it is here to stay.
When we talk about the benefits of a hybrid workplace, we talk about actual benefits and potential opportunities moving forward. There are multiple scenarios, the most notable of which is the return to office possibility. This route focuses on:
- Safety and Well-being - Protocols concerning mental health and physical health will be prioritized better than ever before.
- Improvement of Experience - Branching off from an employee-centric mindset, management will begin to implement methods to improve the quality of life of the company’s employees.
- Reset of Expectations - Working from home served as a reboot of expectations and standards. Employees that return to the traditional set-up will be more open-minded with the work environment.
Should a return to office be on the cards, then what are the actual benefits of a hybrid workplace:
- Safety from communicable diseases
- Productivity with internet and technology
- Smooth collaboration through various modes of communication
- Greater potential for work-life balance
- Efficiency with time management
As noted above, it is looking like the hybrid workplace business model is here to stay. Companies like salesforce and Spotify are rolling hybrid models.
Here is why Spotify say they are rolling a distributed work model:
Through this distributed-first mentality, we are giving employees the opportunity to elect a Work Mode—whether they’d prefer to work mostly at home or in the office—as well as their geographic location.
- Work isn’t something our people come to the office for, it’s something they do.
- Effectiveness can’t be measured by the number of hours people spend in an office. Instead, giving people the freedom to choose where they work will boost effectiveness.
- Giving our people more flexibility will support a better work-life balance and also help tap into new talent pools while keeping our existing band members.
- A distributed-first structure will challenge us to improve our communication and collaboration practices, processes, and tools.
It’s important to focus on retaining social cohesion and connectivity among employees and management. It is so easy to stray away from maintaining social interactions while working from home, but in order for hybrid to work, extra steps have to be made:
- Increase employee autonomy by formalizing where workflows can flex.
- Tailor spans and layers to workflows, not the reverse.
- Embed cultural values in processes.
- Build skills through virtual networks instead of in-person events.
If employees can maintain a high level of productivity, innovation and execution, then the future of work just might be hybrid. With the potential for flexible working hours, elimination of the need for travel, and retention of old employees and convenience of acquisition of new employees, the hybrid workplace just might be here to stay. But, it is up to employees to deliver. Earn the right, earn trust.
I discussed the unique challenges offered by a hybrid workplace as well as what a different perspective on what a workplace is for with Chris Diming, PhD over on our YouTube channel. In this interview, we talked about three key points:
- Why hybrid workplaces could lead to intra-office disputes.
- How a workplace does not necessarily serve as a facility, but a show.
- The negative effects of virtual workshops on motivation and engagement.
If you want to know more about the pros and cons of a hybrid workplace, as well as understanding how different environments can affect your work and productivity, check out the full interview at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ijEzXvY0Js
Join our discussion on our Discord server via the following link: https://discord.gg/gbJ9Ta78JG
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