What Is Hybrid Working?
The term “hybrid work” is likely something you have heard a lot about in recent months.
Although the concept of “hybrid” or flexible work wasn’t something we saw much of a couple of years ago, the pandemic helped to pave a new future for tomorrow’s employees.
As problematic as things like social distancing were for businesses, they also demonstrated the ability of team members to work from a variety of different locations.
This new environment gave rise to a future of “hybrid work”. Here is what you need to know about the hybrid work model.
Is Hybrid Work the Same as Remote Work?
Right now, we have four different forms of “work”:
- In-office: You work in a standard office or on-premises environment
- Remote: You work outside of the office, either from home or a connected location.
- Field: You work routinely in the field, such as traveling to client homes.
- Hybrid: A mixed workplace that enables remote, field, and in-office employment.
Remote work was one of the first trends to emerge as a result of the pandemic. For a while, companies began to consider a future where “remote work” would be the dominant model.
Unfortunately, we quickly discovered situations in which people simply couldn’t work remotely.
You cannot check on the performance of a machine remotely without access to high-quality IoT-connected devices. Employees cannot serve customers in a store remotely either (at least not yet). Therefore, not everyone can simply relocate their jobs to a home office.
Similarly, even among office workers who could work from home, many found that they did not thrive without some interaction with their colleagues from time to time.
Overall, the workforce discovered that a “hybrid” work model—a blend of both remote and in-office working—may be the best for the workplace of the future.
Indeed, according to an Accenture study, around 83% of people say that hybrid work would be optimal for them going forward.
Defining Hybrid Working?
Hybrid working is a flexible working model that allows employees to work from various locations. This model comes from a combination of fully remote and flexible work, in-office employment, and field work.
The hybrid model enables employees to combine different types of work for more autonomy, flexibility, and efficiency in the workplace.
The business landscape has shifted to accommodate a hybrid workplace, ushering in an era where employees can realize their potential regardless of their location.
With multiple generations working across various environments, hybrid work is arguably the most effective way to support all employee personas.
In the past few years, this concept has gained increasing recognition as a result of the pandemic showing that people can work and collaborate in various settings without diminishing results.
According to the Xerox Future of Work Survey, around 82% of the workforce believes they will be back in their workplace soon enough, but many also do not want to return to a workplace where they have no flexibility.
Is Hybrid Working a Good Idea?
Whether you like the idea of hybrid work or not, chances are you will have to live with it at some point in the not-too-distant future. Hybrid working has taken the world by storm, especially during a time when it is not always possible for everyone to work in the same confined space.
With a hybrid working strategy, you can ensure not only a more flexible, engaged workforce but a more resilient one too.
Hybrid employees can continue to operate and deliver results for your company, even when your office might not be up and running. At the same time, hybrid working ensures you can access a wider range of professionals from all over the world.
You don’t necessarily need to hire someone close to home if you have a hybrid office environment where people can work remotely. In a time when skill shortages are everywhere, it helps to know you can tap into the abilities of people anywhere.
Hybrid work can also ensure businesses from all landscapes can continue to attract talent in the years ahead.
As current studies suggest, hybrid work is the go-to selection for most employees in search of new working methods. If you’re hoping to appeal to a younger generation of employees, you need to offer at least some flexibility – that’s where hybrid work comes in.
Preparing for Hybrid Work
The shift to a hybrid work future has already begun for most companies. If you’ve already started to communicate with staff through the cloud, or you have teams connected through a video conferencing tool, you’re on the right path.
The key is making sure everyone can have a “seat at the table”, even when there’s no physical table to sit at.