As the pandemic took the world by storm, many companies were forced to quickly transition to remote work and integrate into the digital workspace. As we begin to embrace our new post-pandemic ‘normal’, many businesses are finding their employees struggling to leave the newfound comfort of the work-from-home life behind.
With so many adjustments and changes, one thing is certain—remote work is here to stay.
Studies show that 55% of employees would prefer to work from home at least three days a week. At the same time, many workers agree that employees should still come into the office in order to maintain a strong company culture.
Where does this leave companies, businesses, and the workforce as we know it?
Let’s take a look at the hybrid work model and how it can reframe your work culture by combining the benefits of office and remote work into the best of both worlds.
The Difference Between Hybrid And Remote Work
The hybrid work model is a blended workforce that combines employees who work from the company office with employees who work from home. In contrast, remote work simply means working anywhere that isn’t considered a traditional office environment.
If your company is considering returning to the office in some way while still continuing to work distributedly, you are already leaning towards the foundation of a hybrid work model! A critical part of this model is simply making sure that every employee feels supported in their personal work preferences and lifestyle.
Arguably the best part about the hybrid work model is that it can mold into whatever works best for you and your team. As Gen Z would say, flexibility is the new hype!
Benefits Of The Hybrid Work Model
How would it feel to offer your team the ideal work-life balance, the freedom to work from home, and the ability to connect with co-workers in person without necessarily reverting back to permanent office life?
The hybrid work model does all of this and more! Additionally, there are three key benefits to combining the advantages of remote and office work.
An Increase In Employee Satisfaction
Now that millennials represent the largest generation in the workforce, many employees are seeking increased flexibility and a more prominent work-life balance. With the new wave of remote workers finding comfort in the digital work environment, it’s no secret that the traditional 9-5 job is challenged with new perspectives.
The expectation to commute to work, sit at a desk for 8 hours, and do it all over again the next day has quickly shifted from the norm with the introduction of remote work. Work-life balance is a vital part of any and every work environment. Hybrid work introduces new freedoms and benefits that take your employees’ work experience to the next level.
Adding hours back into their day by avoiding a lengthy commute is a great incentive for many workers. On the contrary, the relationships and connections that are nurtured in an office setting are also tempting for extroverts who thrive off of human interaction.
With a hybrid model, your team can balance their work responsibilities with their personal life by structuring their schedules as they see fit. Employees can stay on top of their day-to-day life without the worry of trying to schedule a doctor’s appointment after work hours or having to ask for time off just to pick the kids up from school. The ability to handle personal and professional tasks in a way that meets their needs will translate into improved focus and attentiveness when they’re working. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Your team can focus on work-life balance and evolve together in both a personal and professional way. Employees can enjoy the freedom of getting a lot more done in less time (not to mention turning the camera off if that comfy loungewear is calling to them on a particularly long day of virtual meetings). Employee satisfaction is the key to a thriving team, which is why the hybrid model is perfect for supporting a positive work environment.
An Increase In Collaboration And Productivity
Let’s agree on one thing—emails are soooooo 2019. Oddly enough, remote work has allowed many teams to close communication barriers through other virtual communication tools, such as Slack and Zoom. The ability to async without turning every question into a meeting or a lengthy email is a huge time saver. If you find that your employees are constantly distracted or overwhelmed with incoming information, this communication style may be a great option!
Remote work has leveled the productivity playing field in many ways. In fact, 75% of people have found that they are more productive while working from home vs the traditional office environment. The hybrid model allows employees to choose when and where they work in order to support each individual where they are most productive. While you may think that employees could take advantage of the lack of rules and regulations, research actually shows that flexibility has increasingly positive effects on productivity and engagement.
Collaboration and productivity in an office look like this:
Providing a professional space to meet with clients or coworkers
In-person training that goes beyond an educational Zoom call
Team bonding and building connections through human interaction
Collaboration and productivity in a remote setting look like this:
Designating a ‘deep work’ day with no meetings or distractions
Implementing async communication to reduce incoming work traffic
Learning new strategies for effective individual and team communication
Although employees can still connect remotely, the lack of face-to-face interaction can sometimes hinder work relationships. A hybrid work model takes those connections a step further and allows for some in-person contact. This allows your team to foster deeper bonds, trust, engagement, and loyalty with their coworkers—all of which join together to improve your team’s overall collaboration.
Enhanced Employee Mental Health And Wellbeing
Providing your team with the autonomy to choose when and where they work is a huge benefit of the hybrid work model. Every employee will have a different work style, preference, and need. Some workers thrive in their home office with their furry friend by their side, while others are energized and motivated when surrounded by team members.
Working remotely can lead to feelings of isolation, overload, and burnout. Meanwhile, working in an office can feel restrictive and riddled with distractions. To combat both cases, the hybrid work model offers the benefit of social interaction without the constant need to be present. Your team can find a best practice that works for them and implement regulations that fit everyone’s needs.
Remember—your employees are not going to fit into the same cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all dynamic! 92% of people state that having a flexible job would help them take better care of their mental health, reduce stress, and overall become happier.
The hybrid work model will showcase to your employees that you are serious about providing a space for them to thrive in whatever way is best fit for them. When employees see that they are valued and cared for, they are more likely to stay with the company, have a more positive view of their job, and enjoy working with you and your team.
Employees who feel seen, heard, and valued are generally happier and healthier. After all, helping employees to thrive in all areas of their life is what being an effective leader is all about. Healthy people create a healthy company!
Hybrid Work Is The Best Of Both Worlds
Hannah Montana might have said it first, but we’re taking it full circle! The hybrid work model is—in fact—worth the hype. Why choose between remote work and in-office work when your team can have both?
A hybrid work model can help your team nurture a happy, efficient, and collaborative environment. Your employees can implement a healthy work-life balance, increase collaboration and productivity, and ultimately thrive in their ideal workspace.