“We like to give people the freedom to work where they want, safe in the knowledge that they have the drive and expertise to perform excellently, whether they’re at their desk or in their kitchen.” - Sir Richard Branson
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on our lives as we have suddenly been forced to adapt to the ‘new normal’. Ever since the pandemic emerged, people are now adjusting through certain changes like work-from-home setting, blended learning setting, lockdown, home quarantine, and etc. It changes the way we interact with people, the way we study, the way we travel from one place to another and the way we work.
Since the pandemic started, the number of employees working from home had increased. It becomes more safe, convenient and flexible for them. However, not all employees want their home to be their permanent workplace. Remote working also has an effect on mental health and wellbeing of employees. Many remote workers experience negative mental health effects like loneliness, anxiety and depression. Some of them also want to work in the office as it boosts their productivity, develop relationships with co-workers and have a great collaboration. In this case, a hybrid working model allows workers to create balance between home and office work.
Hybrid working is a flexible working model which allows employees to work from a variety of different locations, both offsite and onsite. It is a combination of working from home and working in the office. Through this, employees have the opportunity to manage their time between the home and office. The rising number of companies transforming in hybrid working is part of the new normal as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are some of the Pros of Hybrid Working:
Reduced Cost for both Employers and Employees
Employees have lots of expenses everyday like commute, refreshments, and other miscellaneous activities. Hybrid working enables employees to save money. On the other hand, companies have to incur expenses on resources used by workers such as air conditioning, lighting, and consumables. This also includes rental expenses, maintenance, utilities, etc. Hybrid working enables companies to cut down their expenses.
Employees and companies have maximum advantages of the hybrid workplace as companies would have fewer expenses, and employees can save more.
Encourages a Stronger Work-Life Balance For Employees
A hybrid workplace model offers the best of both on-site and off-site accessibility for employees which is conducive to a much healthier work-life balance for employees. Some workers prefer to do their usual activities before working to fight an afternoon slump, while some might need to leave early to pick up their kids or loved ones. A hybrid work system ensures all employees that they can systematize their time in a way that it promotes their overall well-being.
A flexible working model is also a more equitable workplace for employees who care for family members or those with disabilities. With a hybrid working environment, employees with disabilities have the flexibility to come in whenever they wish. Eliminating the commuting, attending meetings or medical appointments that could be a disruption for people with disabilities.
Improved Employee Retention and Satisfaction
Due to the improved flexibility, agility and optionality of the workplace, employee experiences are improved which can influence to boost work culture. A hybrid workplace model improves employee satisfaction leading to higher employee retention rate and greater work-life balance. Happier employees tend to work much more productively and working remotely saves time and money, allowing them to bond more with their families or focus on their well-being. It also saves employers workplace and facility costs through more efficient use of space.
Greater Collaborative Work
Flexible work models promote coworking spaces with more freedom and creativity. Team members can share ideas more freely and they no longer need to be in the same meeting room to brainstorm or collaborate. A hybrid work model allows your employees to set aside the time and the location where they can do so best and enable them to think and ideate with more time and space.
Here are some of the Cons of Hybrid Working:
Remote workers work longer hours than their in-office colleagues which can lead to burnout. A recent survey from McKinsey found out that almost half of office workers say that they are feeling burnt out. A hybrid model can cause disparity among employees’ expectations compared to a fully remote or fully in-person workplace. To restrain this from happening, companies might need to nurture a culture of trust that focuses on results and success rather than vision.
Office politics is much exposed in a hybrid working model, working remotely can actually stunt employees opportunities for promotions. Employees who are in the office frequently are more likely to receive promotions and other career benefits over their remote colleagues. This is where the idea of proximity bias takes place where it’s believed that employees with close physical proximity to their team and company leaders will be perceived as better workers and ultimately find more success in the workplace than their remote counterparts.Employees may also feel alienated if not supported in their choice of work style, a disconnect between in-office employees and remote employees is likely to happen.
Potential challenges and problems such as difficulties to adapt or develop new habits, gaps in communication and collaboration difficulty can all be anticipated in a hybrid work system. Challenges are inevitable especially in a hybrid system which requires more processes of control to allow for freedoms in work. It is more difficult to communicate in real-time, especially between distributed teams and access to technology and applications may differ from office to home. It’s now in the employers’ hands to take concrete actions to avoid these misguided situations.
The hybrid model is here to stay and it’s important to have a clearer picture of some of the pros and cons of the said working system. Although the benefits of a hybrid workplace might outweigh the potential negatives, it can still be weighed to help inform whichever decision companies decide to choose.
“Success in a hybrid work environment requires employers to move beyond viewing remote or hybrid environments as a temporary or short-term strategy and to treat it as an opportunity.” - George Penn
One of the ways we found effective to employee engagement and encouraging collaboration in a hybrid setting is Virtual Team Building using Gamification. Join us to boost employee engagement, enhance communication, problem-solving and collaboration using an effective VIRTUAL TEAM BUILDING - Escape and Unlock!
Carruthers, R. (2021). Hybrid Workplaces: The Pros and Cons Organizations Need To Know. Retrieved from https://www.togetherplatform.com/blog/hybrid-workplaces-pros-and-cons
Fontein, D. (2021). The Pros and Cons of the Hybrid Workplace Model. Retrieved from https://thoughtexchange.com/blog/the-pros-and-cons-of-the-hybrid-workplace-model/?fbclid=IwAR09pgkrBIa9prJBcokoqxUwF8DrTt2xhWvMR8z9O4vrzupMGt72bwl4L8s
Jacobs, C.S. (2022). Pros and cons of the hybrid workplace model. Retrieved from https://blog.jostle.me/blog/pros-and-cons-of-the-hybrid-workplace-model
Maresco, D. (2022). The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Workplaces. Retrieved from https://spaceiq.com/blog/pros-cons-of-hybrid-workplaces/