What is a hybrid workplace?
What is a hybrid workplace?
A hybrid workplace (or hybrid office) is a flexible workplace model designed to support remote and in-office workers.
A hybrid workplace is a business model that combines remote work and office work. Although it may look different for organisations, the typical hybrid workplace includes an onsite presence of a core team, while other employees are allowed to leave as they wish, provided that there is a reasonable reason.
Employees can create a hybrid workplace that fits around their lives rather than having to work during a set time. It’s a great way to combine productive work and less commute for many employers and employees.
What are the advantages of a hybrid workplace?
- The hybrid workplace puts employees first and promotes work-life balance. This can also help employees feel less anxious about returning to work or using public transportation.
- Hybrid workplaces are also more cost-effective. Organisations can save thousands on real estate costs and office maintenance costs by relying less heavily on large-scale offices.
- Remote and in-person employees will be more attractive to employers because they won’t have to limit their talent pool to only certain geographic areas.
- Hybrid workplaces can be a great way to build resilience in times of crisis and prepare organisations for future lockdowns. Your workplace can adapt easily to a remote location if needed, as many employees work from home.
- The spread of contagious diseases can be reduced by a hybrid workplace. Employees can work remotely if they feel unwell. Hybrid workplaces may be a good option for employees who cannot, or are unwilling to get vaccinated.
What effect does hybrid work have upon company culture?
Employee wellbeing can be affected by the hybrid workplace, and especially the technology used. Everybody knows what it feels like to be on a constant phone call or to type in circles with a chatbot. These tech inefficiencies can lead to frustration in the workplace.
What is the hybrid workplace?
- The hybrid office allows for both remote and in-house employees to work together and allows flexibility to move between them. This concept encompasses both digital and physical workspaces.
- The hybrid workplace aims to accommodate every work style and employee, even when they are not the same. Can Jamie be productive in-house and work from home tomorrow? Amanda may need to return in-house for a few days if she works normally from home. Facility managers will ask these questions, and many more, as they prepare for the new norm in flexible work.
- Hybrid workplaces come in many shapes and have many governance systems. The most popular hybrid workplace is hoteling. It offers both checks and balances that companies can use to manage their employees, but also allows for flexibility for employees. Hot desks, desk neighborhoods, flex spaces and many other hybrid options are also available. The hybrid workspace, regardless of how it is constructed, should be supportive of all employees’ work styles.
The hybrid workplace is the new norm
Although the shift towards hybrid and remote work began long before the pandemic hit, COVID-19 made it easier. Companies had to overcome many challenges including providing the right tools and managing productivity and morale within a dispersed environment. It was evident that employees preferred the new, flexible way of working after a few months. Businesses can learn from the lessons they have learned from remote work. Some employees are now returning to traditional office settings, at least for a portion of the time. It is important to create a hybrid model of work that suits their needs.
Modern HR technology makes it easier to transition to hybrid work. It allows you to collect, manage and analyse data from any team, no matter where they are located. Technology can be used to support employee onboarding, upskilling, and reskilling. When used well, it also allows employees to access everything they need throughout their employee journey, from collaboration tools to cloud technologies.
An inclusive, hybrid workplace is the ideal “new norm”. It allows all employees to feel included and productive no matter where they are located.
Hybrid workplace best practices
Although the shift to remote work was sudden and driven by necessity in 2021, companies now have an opportunity to be more deliberate about how they approach their work. Hybrid workspaces are about maximising productivity without compromising the personal time, sacrifice or control of our employees.
These are the best practices for creating a hybrid workplace model that is effective:
- Early employee buy-in
- Communication that is open, transparent, timely, and frequent
- Communicate clearly the value of your chosen model
- Managers can answer questions from their team members by allowing them to
- Invest in the best tools, technology, equipment
- Mobile-enabled communication tools and productivity tools are available to all users, regardless of their device.
- Equipment to allow safe and healthy work at home, including large monitors, standing desks, and supportive desk chairs.
- A positive, engaged culture and a focus on employee experience is key to ensuring a great workplace.
- Listening tools and showing action are two ways to get employee feedback
Flexible working is possible in a hybrid environment. However, it can also be beneficial to have a physical headquarters. While the pandemic was a continuation of an established trend, it highlighted some of its shortcomings. Even those who are just starting out, employees want the best of both. Taking advantage of technology will enable you to also be rewarded with the hybrid workplace.