Over the past year, you have probably heard the phrase ‘remote working’ mentioned hundreds of times. You may have even had the opportunity to work from home, but now that companies are slowly returning to normalcy the concept of hybrid work is becoming increasingly desirable. So what exactly is it? The hybrid model is a work style that allows employees to work from a variety of places, including at home, on the go, and in the office.
There are many ways a company can implement the hybrid work model, here are some of the most common examples:
- Flexible model: this is an arrangement that enables employees to choose where they work on a day to day basis. This gives them full control over their schedule, and means that each working week looks different.
- Office-centric hybrid: this is a hybrid work arrangement which involves staff members working from the office most of the time, with one to two days a week being remote. This is more commonly used by businesses that require employees to work closely together in teams, which can be a bit more challenging to achieve when everyone is in different locations.
- Remote-centric hybrid: this model places the focus on remote working, with employees going into the office one to two days a week.
- Week by week: this is when the staff follow a bi-weekly schedule, alternating between working from home and at the workplace.
Many companies have adopted one of these approaches temporarily as a response to the Covid-19 pandemic. However, with life slowly going back to normal, many are hoping that hybrid working is here to stay. A study commissioned by the London-based startup YuLife, found that 79% of people who could work remotely would like to do so at least two days per week.
The Institute of Directors (IoD) surveyed 583 business leaders in March, not including any that were already utilizing working from home, finding that 63% intend to shift towards one to four days of remote working per week post-pandemic. They also found that around 4 in 10 believe that remote working made their staff more productive. However, this does highlight the skepticism that some business owners and managers feel towards this new way of operating. Hybrid work has a multitude of advantages, and we shouldn’t be so anxious about trying something new. The benefits could bring your business to the next level!
One advantage is the flexibility that comes with working from home and choosing your own schedule. This is especially important for parents and students, who usually have other commitments. I’m sure you can relate to receiving a last minute assignment, or having your childcare fall through, and the stress that comes with trying to find someone else to cover your shift. With hybrid working, an employee could simply choose to work from home that day so they can take care of everything they have to do.
Another advantage is a better work-life balance among employees. When working remotely, staff are able to better utilize their breaks by doing things for themselves. Instead of sitting in the cafeteria for an hour, scrolling through Instagram and watching the clock, you can run errands, spend time with your family and pets, work out and much more. This helps them stay on top of their personal responsibilities and enables them to have better control over their schedule. This means that they are less overwhelmed and stressed, and are more likely to be happier and productive.
Another benefit of hybrid working is a reduction in expenses. Oddsmonkey recently conducted research on 2,000 employed people in the UK, and they discovered that the average full time employee spends around 164 hours traveling to and from work annually. They are also spending approximately £1,738 per year, or £7.46 each working day just on travel. With a work from home option, staff will be able to save money as they won’t have to make their way to the office as often.
Having fewer expenses will mean that employees will have more money to put towards things that are more important to them, like days out with the family or saving up for a home. Without the need to commute, they can also have that little extra lay-in before the working hours begin. This can help the staff feel more refreshed and rested, which will mean that they are more productive throughout the day. From a business perspective, this method of working may lead to a fall in overheads as well. If no one is in the office, then there will be no need to turn on the lights or heating, significantly reducing the gas and electric bills. This money can then be reinvested into the company, allowing them to grow and expand.
The hybrid work model can also allow the business to hire staff that lives further away. This is especially helpful for experienced employees who may live in more remote regions where specialist work is scarce. It also benefits the company as they have a much larger pool of candidates to choose from, meaning that they can ensure that they have the best of the best.
So, all in all, the hybrid work model seems as though it is here to stay, and brings with it more choice for staff, less employee absences, higher productivity, and a rise in staff retention.