COVID-19 changed the scenarios of many working arenas. So much so, that 87% of business leaders expect to offer more working flexibility post-pandemic, with many adopting hybrid work policies.
As we all know, in 2020, remote and consequently hybrid working became widespread. Technologies were brought in to plug the gap that emerged after the removal of the physical office space. The future of work looks at the changing world of the workplace, due to both the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the ever evolving technological landscape.
This article will look at what the hybrid working model is, the advantages and aspects to consider and how this type of style can be implemented. Check out our other blog for building trust in hybrid teams.
The hybrid working model allows workplace teams to blend working physically from the office with working from remote locations. A successful hybrid model is implemented effectively through positive culture and effective communication.
The hybrid model is largely reliant on technology as many workers are remotely located at any given time. Hybrid work has many variations: some workers may want to work totally on-site, others completely remotely.
Most commonly it is a blend of the two scenarios:
Teams can decide exactly how, when and where they want to work for a company with a hybrid working model. This allows them to balance their life and work in alignment with their needs outside the workplace. What’s more, teams are demanding this greater control, as 54% expect to be working from home between 2-5 days a week.
With a hybrid workplace, collaboration can have the advantages of the best of both worlds approach. Teams can organise in-person meetings in the office, whilst accommodating for those that can only join remotely. Individuals can collaborate with their colleagues when they please via digital workplace tools, unlocking more possibilities in terms of availability.
With greater flexibility, comes greater productivity. For example, some individuals may be more effective at writing tasks in the morning, so replacing an hour’s commute with an editorial task is a better use of time. Conversely, some might work more effectively in the evening. Essentially, teams can work more productively by identifying and adopting habits that work for them, and radically improve their productivity.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out if fewer workers are generally in the office, costs will be cheaper. Office booking can be implemented to ensure there is enough space on any given day, and organisations can massively reduce costly real estate expenses, as much as 30%. Depending on the size of your company, subscriptions for flexible working communities that include working spaces are growing in popularity.
Physical workplaces need to be designed with flexibility at their heart. Traditionally designed for permanent and rooted workers, workplaces need to adapt to changing businesses circumstances. Multi-use spaces should be adopted, furnishing needs to be interchangeable and a diverse set of activities need to be supported in the physical environment.
Teams who have lived through the pandemic want inspiration, and need to feel part of something bigger than just work. Those going back to work do so to catch-up with their colleagues and feel a shared sense of purpose. These are the key features of a strong working culture and have a direct impact on engagement and overall productivity. It’s important to encourage and harness an inspirational environment that connects its teams and fosters relationships.
Begin by surveying your teams/colleagues to assess things like how many days they plan to be in the office, if they had a flexible space nearer to their home would they go in, what they think of the current hybrid workplace tools and so on. After this, you’ll have some key ideas on how to adopt a hybrid approach, directly from your colleagues.
Trust has a huge role in ensuring teams remain productive and motivated. On-site workers can’t be given an unfair advantage over more remote workers, as has often been the case pre-pandemic. Trust needs to be invoked by a level playing field for everyone - no matter their style of working.
Establish company-wide communicate best practices for teams and ensure managers set clear guidelines for their teams. Managing can be tricky, so establishing boundaries is key.
How can teams plug the gap that emerges when learning by office-osmosis is significantly reduced and in some cases removed? How can companies ensure teams remain driven when there is so much noise from countless interruption-based applications? As proved in 2020 with web conferencing tools, technology can plug these gaps.
At Omnifia, we are building solutions that allow teams to discover workplace knowledge across every single application. No more digging through Slack channels or emails, find content updates instantly via our feed, or search across all your company applications 3 times faster than Google Drive.
When the right conditions are met and the environment is suitable for high performance in terms of culture, autonomy and so on, the positive impact for companies is significant. Organisations can hire from a larger talent pool as they are not restricted by commuting requirements and teams are more motivated due to their more sustainable work-life balance. Often crisis drives important change, and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced a positive change in the workplace, allowing teams to flourish and be productive in an array of interchangeable and flexible working environments.
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Omnifia is an AI-powered productivity tool that allows companies to bring together all of their disconnected applications, enabling them to quickly discover workplace knowledge. Workplace knowledge is ingested every second, enabling teams to learn quickly through a cross-company search and personalised knowledge-dashboard. Companies can supercharge knowledge discovery and drive productivity through accelerated knowledge transfer.
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