The start of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a paradigm shift and the adoption of a completely remote style of working. Offices and employees were forced to transition to a new kind of workplace that they were unfamiliar with. However due to technology, they were able to quickly make this transformation. When the pandemic started to subside, some offices opened up again and new ideas started to emerge around the idea of a ‘hybrid workplace’ or in other words, a workplace that combined the best of remote and in-person styles of working to increase productivity in workspaces and facilitate better collaborations.
What is a ‘Hybrid Workplace’?
A hybrid workplace combines the best of remote working and in person collaborations. It allows employees the flexibility to work from home but also come to the office occasionally when they need to have in person meetings or collaborations. This gives them the convenience of reducing their commute time and have better work life balance.
Hybrid workplaces are a completely new concept but with innovation and experimentation, hybrid workplaces can help employees deal with the transition from working entirely remotely during the pandemic in a much more sustainable way. A hybrid workplace also has innumerable benefits for an organization like better employee satisfaction levels, higher revenue generation, a much more diverse organization and much more.
Hybrid workplaces are all set to become the future of organizations and is here to stay. If executed well, the hybrid workplace model will allow organizations to consciously create and nurture more diverse and inclusive workplaces and bring together the best talent pool to ultimately create better consumer experiences and products, which is the ultimate goal of any organization. By leveraging newer technologies that have the power to transform collaboration and productivity, organizations will be able to also transform their workplace culture and representation.
Advantages of Hybrid Workplaces:
As workplaces grow in size, a hybrid workplace model can prove to be truly beneficial. Here are some of the important advantages of a hybrid workplace:
- Decreased operational costs
A hybrid workplace can help an organization decrease their operational costs and have smaller physical office spaces as their employees will be working mostly remotely. Teams will only occasionally be working on site, thus cutting down costs overall on electricity, water and other resources. Once organizations have clear and concise plans in place of how many employees will be in the office at a given time, they can plan around these new occupancy levels and cut down the cost of rent, office supplies and other company expenses.
These offices can also innovate and have a mix of versatile spaces that maximize office productivity like standing desks, lounge areas and coffee/tea rooms or brainstorm rooms for collaborative meetings.
Employees also save money on travel and commute time.
2. Hybrid Workspaces have a positive impact on employee satisfaction
By not having to commute regularly to their office, being able to work at their own convenience and taking full control of their work, employees feel a lot happier and satisfied at their workplaces. They are able to spend more time with loved ones, have better work life balance and also find time to pursue hobbies which all contribute to a mood boost that makes for happier employees. However purely working remotely can also get isolating, thus a hybrid workplace model that also facilitates a space for employees to collaborate and mingle can mitigate the disadvantages of pure remote working.
3. Increase in productivity levels
The pandemic has proved that the old belief of employees working lesser hours if given the freedom to work from home, is purely a myth. In fact employees are a lot more productive if given the flexibility to complete their tasks from home since they feel less micromanaged and automatically take on a lot more responsibility. They also cut down on commuting time which is getting worse as traffic increases day by day. Employees are able to focus better without the constant interruptions of a traditional office environment. They can also choose to work as per their body clocks and work when they’re feeling most productive which can be in the middle of the night or first thing in the morning.
4. Safety during a pandemic
Hybrid workplaces can help employees maintain social distancing measures for some more time, until the risk of the virus is completely mitigated. A hybrid model reduces the number of people in the office at any given time, making it easier for people with higher risk to continue maintaining social distancing or commute to work during off peak times to keep themselves and their family safe.
5. Enables distributed teams
Since the hybrid model has the flexibility of working both remotely and in person, employees have the freedom to cross collaborate with other teams and enhance efficiency.
What steps can organizations take to become Hybrid Workplaces?
Since the idea of hybrid workplaces is a novel one – it will need a lot of innovation before it can be implemented and executed completely in organizations. Here are some changes you can make in your organization to move towards a hybrid workplace.
- Make a cultural shift in the organizational structure
The leaders of the organization will need to be open-minded about making the transition to a hybrid workplace for it to be successful. This will require a thorough understanding of what it means to be a hybrid workplace and how it can be implemented.
- Align the company’s objectives to that of a hybrid workplace
The organizational goal will need to match that of a hybrid workplace and become more employee centric. Thus it will become important to reshape the company’s goals and objectives. Managers will have to be proactive about exploring the potential opportunities that a hybrid workplace can generate.
- Communicate your plans transparently to your employees
Involving the employees in the early stages of your plan will help them be more proactive and take an active interest in the organizations development. It will also avoid any confusion and chaos later on when the plan is implemented.
- Invest in the right tools
As a majority of the work done in a hybrid workplace model will be remote, organizations will need to invest in the right tools and technology that will allow employees to collaborate and work remotely.
Many organizations are realizing that implementing the hybrid workplace model is a great way to improve productivity and also have happier, more satisfied employees. As we move forward together in the ‘new normal’, managers will need to take the initiative and drive change for a more sustainable, flexible approach in the workplace.