Looking back over the past 10 years, working remotely was gradually gaining momentum until it became the norm in 2020, following a sudden boost by the pandemic. While the majority of businesses and employees enjoy the perks of working remotely, the rest are now wondering what’s in store for the post-pandemic labor market? Could the Hybrid work model become the new norm?
The past 2 years have made a lot of people experience the extremes – the dangerous allure of the 40-hour workweek at the office and then suddenly switching to a completely remote setting. According to the statistics listed at Apollo Technical, around 63% of high-growth companies are now using hybrid work models. As for the employees, according to the Remote Work & Compensation Pulse Survey, 48% would prefer working completely remotely, whereas 44% favored a hybrid model of some sort. “I love working remotely but I miss the interaction at the office.” How often do you hear that? And the question inevitably pops up: Is that the way to get the best of both worlds?
The Hybrid Work Model – What is it exactly?
There isn’t an exact definition of a “hybrid work model” as there are several variations of the concept. There are two main ways to look at it. Sometimes it could mean having some of your employees on-site, whereas others continue working from home. A second version of it is a more flexible one which allows each employee to occasionally choose whether they’ll be working remotely or at the office.
Another way of distinguishing hybrid work structures is by time spent at the office:
Why should you consider it?
Here at Motion Software, we’ve established the remote work model since the foundation of the company, back in 2015. However, our offices are always open. This way, everybody at the company can decide how they want to approach work. This is the hybrid model at its most liberal. Recognizing that we are all different is the key to making this model a success. Allowing people to choose the exact ratio (working from home vs being at the office) that fits their lifestyle has made our team happier and more productive. Working completely remotely remains an option, of course.
We all have a different process
You can also look at it from the perspective of how it will affect the productivity of your team. For example, there are people that achieve their best results in the calmest environment possible. Others need to have their teammates around them to brainstorm, consult and feed off of each others’ ideas. Let them choose what works best for them.
Pros and Cons
If you are considering this model here are a few of its main pros and cons:
- Lower costs – by allowing some of your employees to work remotely you will inevitably reduce office expenses.
- Global talent – you will be able to choose and hire the world’s best and brightest, regardless of their location.
- More productive team – allowing your employees to choose the setting that they feel most comfortable in will lead to a better performing team.
- Avoid health risks – not having a room packed with people reduces the risk of infections.
- Communication – this will require extra effort and conscious planning, so that you can keep everybody on board with current tasks.
- Lack of community spirit – you don’t want your employees to feel isolated and left out.
- Time differences – having a global team might result in having a slower team
Fortunately, there are fewer downsides and they can easily be addressed with a few simple steps.
How to make the Hybrid model work?
- Communicate more
Establish clear guidelines for communication and make sure your on-prem employees are well connected to those working remotely. If needed, hire a team that is entirely responsible for initiating and managing such communication.
- Build a Community
Creating a sense of belonging is vital for the company’s spirit. Plan team activities and introduce a variety of online events such as coffee roulettes, quizzes and other games. Gatherings in person (such as corporate parties, team buildings, etc) are more important than ever.
- Be Consistent
Treat your employees equally, regardless of their working preference. You might feel more connected to the people you meet at the office on a daily basis but try to not let that influence your judgement and attitude.
- Recognize people are different
Always remember that people feel productive and at ease in different scenarios. Adopting an individual approach towards each employee can help you build a healthy, happy and high-performing team.
You can surely make the Hybrid Work model work with a bit of planning and preparation. As long as you keep your team healthy, happy and connected your company will thrive in any of the variations of the Hybrid model.
Join the conversation about “The Future of Work” and sign up for this year’s Motion Software Mini Conf & Birthday Party!