Ever since Covid-19 struck the world, businesses have been try to adapt to flexible working arrangements, remote working is now the norm for many businesses.
Thanks to technologies like Microsoft Teams, remote working has been fairly easy for moany employees. Some businesses have even experienced growth due to a flexible working environment. However, there are numerous companies that rely on office setups and environments in order to perform at there best.
In order to succeed with hybrid working, it’s important to know the clear benefits as well as consider the downsides:
In order to implement a successful hybrid working plan, its is vital to understand the pros and cons.
1) A more efficient working environment
Millions of businesses across the world have been enjoying the benefits that more flexible working can bring. A 2020 Finder study showed that two thirds of businesses surveyed were seeing increased productivity from remote workers over office workers. Increased productivity, stemming from less distractions, is a key benefit of enabling employees so inclined to work remotely.
Being able to give employees and teams a choice of working method allows them to pick the location that they work best in and ultimately focus better.
2) Improvements to work life balance
A hybrid working model gives the whole company flexibility to be where they need, when they need to be there. In the modern working world, personal commitments are just as, if not more, important than most professional ones. Employees who can walk their dogs on their lunchbreaks whilst working from home or get an extra hour in bed on the days they don’t have to commute, will be happier and more motivated.
3) Reduced costs without affecting growth
Gone are the days of specific office desks for every employee. Hot-desking in a smaller office or coworking in shared spaces can reduce the cost and responsibility of a large physical workspace, while still enabling teams to collaborate in person and on-site customer meetings to take place. With a hybrid working style, businesses can rethink their existing office set-ups and reduce building, utilities and staff costs without disrupting working patterns or revenue.
Hybrid working can’t, and won’t, work for every business. For many sectors, such as hospitality and healthcare, location is integral to staff being able to do their jobs. For businesses that could combine home and office working, downsides might include:
1) Less urgency with critical changes and announcements
Things can change quickly for businesses within certain industries; the stock market fluctuates rapidly and new software’s and technologies are developed overnight. With a hybrid working model, it’s rare that the majority of employees will be in the same place at the same time, which makes urgent changes or announcements hard to communicate with impact and severity.
If you’re using Teams, you can get the workforce together quickly by hosting a live event and gathering those in the office together, with remote workers dialling in. Not yet using Teams? Talk to us about the collaboration benefits.
2) A divided and isolated workforce
It’s likely that workforces might be divided in preference when given the choice to work at home vs work in the office. While these preferences can work harmoniously together, a divide might begin to develop if there’s no clear strategy in place. Remote workers could get a sense of isolation and productivity might begin to diminish. Working from home, when part of a structured plan that leverages the right remote working tools, can offer a focused environment and leave workers feeling far from isolated.
3) Too much work, not enough culture
Just as hybrid working might lead to a divided workforce, the model could also dilute your company culture. Without the unity of all being in one place (even if that place is alone at home), employees can lose touch with the ethics and values that underpin a brand, and lose sight of what makes a healthy working culture.
Although the cons can be avoided with simple effort, it’s important to consider them in order to stay humble and keep the business strategy on track. Are you ready for a hybrid model? Does it sound like the right long-term direction for your business?
We can offer advice to help you maximise on the hybrid working opportunity or manage your IT and technology strategy if you’re too busy – whatever works best for you.