How to bring success to the work place with hybrid working

Elizabeth Arnott
Working from home (WFH) has been the mandatory routine for many workers since the pandemic took hold. On a global scale we are witnessing a dramatic shift in how companies run their business.

A survey, taken in May, shows that 55% of US employees want a mixture of WFH and Office working. In the UK, it is expected for the amount of people working from home on a regular basis to increase to 37% compared to 18% pre pandemic.

And across the ASIA Pacific, over the next decade is predicted to see a shift to 60/40 split of remote work and in the office.
What to expect with Hybrid Working

Technology has enabled the switch for many companies to a WFH model, with a rise in the users of ZOOM, Google Meet, Microsoft, Moodle, Slack and many more. This technology has opened up the flexibility of  the workplace however has also highlighted some areas to pay attention to.

Worker burnout 
With an open ended day WFH has led to burnout as many employees have approached the new day with ‘work harder for longer’. Working late into the night, answering emails and fielding calls at all hours.

Not everyone has the same access to the level of technology or training as their colleagues. And not everyone has a home office, working from the kitchen table may be fine in some households but for those in flat shares, this may be an issue. A survey by Stanford shows that just over 50% of people WFH either had to work from their bedroom or in a shared space. How can these issues be supported by management?

Concerns over Career Progression  and Inclusivity
Not everyone wants to WFH, there is a concern over unintended bias towards the ‘in-crowd’ who are seen at the office compared to those working remotely. 

The Social Dilemma
For management, working remotely may shift focus away from the team and more to supporting the raw technology. It is important to create a creative environment where employees can work together, share ideas and build the camaraderie of a typical ‘face to face’ team.
Creating the Culture

Developing a hybrid culture is a significant part in creating an optimal hybrid workplace. It is apparent that simply can’t just tell employees to work from home and then hope for the best.

So how do you get it right?
Treat all workers equally
Leaders, managers and HR have the responsibility to
develop an environment that equally treats those working in the office and those working remotely.

Creating a flexible environment 
Where everyone has choice where to work wherever they want either the office, at home, or a local co-working space.

Empower employees
Recognising that working from home is different for everybody and empowering employees to work as they need to.

Forget the nine to five
If people work better 7-3, then embrace the change and allow employees to work at their optimal time.

Leaders set the tone
A good Hybrid work model is led from the top down. Employees should be valued for the work they do, not where they work.

HR and Management need to be up-skilled on hybrid working

In order to ensure that everyone is treated equally and fairly.

Invest in technology
Invest in tech that allows monitoring of employees work hours without turning into Big Brother. There are apps that can help employers keep a track of when an employee is working. Knowing whether people are replying to emails late into the night or very early in the morning can help to recognise someone who is working towards burn-out, but also the idea of being tracked can lead to work-related anxiety, so getting the balance right is very important.

Develop a positive approach to a truly hybrid workforce 
By giving autonomy to employees regarding their workspace, not just WFH or the office but also when they do this. If they WFH over the school holidays, or are in the office more over winter and WFH more over summer. Empower employees to work in a way that is best for them.
Benefits of Working From Home

So what are the main advantages to working from home? Not only for the business and employee but also the planet.

Improving work-life balance 
Hybrid working that comes with flexible hours allows employees to balance out their lives from everything to doing the school run on time, running some errands, or even managing to include some fitness classes into the day. 

Limitless Location
With remote working on the rise, geographic disparities are on the decrease. Working from home allows rural communities to develop as people are no longer limited to working close to the office. Remote work is a great way to avoid high rent- high mortgage areas for many potential workers.

In the money
WFH can allow the average worker to save over $4000 a year. Spending less on commuting, car maintenance and even clothes which all adds up.

Improved Productivity
WFH allows employees to create workspace that suits them perfectly. From playing music the rest of the office would hate to hear, taking a break exactly when you need it or taking the dog for a quick walk around the block at a time when a mental reset is needed allows employees to be the most productive.

Environmentally Friendly
We’ve still got a way to go before we get to a world where people and the planet are at an equilibrium but WFH has some significant environmental benefits. A study in the US showed that a shift to WFH has seen the release of 3 million tons of greenhouse gases avoided, the equivalent to 617,000 cars off the road.

Developing a hybrid Working environment is touted as the future of employment for many industries. With thorough investment in employees as the heart of the business, and embracing a fully holistic approach to hybrid working, a team and business will flourish.
author bio

Elizabeth Arnott

Former secondary school teacher turned freelance writer, Elizabeth is a mum of three young boys who believes the world is the best classroom. With a degree in Geography and Archaeology, she can often be found exploring her local community searching for hidden gems.

In addition to her published magazine articles, Elizabeth shares her stories of local inspiration on her blog
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