Hybrid work models, particularly remote working, have been driven by global pandemics unintentionally. This could completely change how we work. It will be up to business leaders to decide whether working from home will remain a part of their business model in the future. Employees have benefited from a better work-life balance, reduced commute times, fewer travel expenses, and the ability to focus on their tasks without interruptions caused by a busy office. It has been a pleasant surprise for employers.

In a hybrid work model, employees mix in-office and remote work into their schedules. It is sometimes possible for employees to decide whether to work from home or in the office. This is not a universal approach. According to the needs of both the company and the individual employee, each company develops a hybrid model.

There are different ways companies manage at the moment. Some allow remote working until at least 2021. Other companies have sent staff back to work at different times and in different groups. While others leave the decision up to the individual worker. Hence, hybrid working spaces are emerging as the new way to work from home.

Working remotely for a few hours a week while returning to the office for at least one day a week refers to hybrid work. It might be surprising to know that the vast majority of workers favored a hybrid or work-from-home model even before the pandemic.

A hybrid working model can be classified into different categories:

  1. Remote first

Many leaders are opting to go remote-first, so with a few exceptions, their operations will closely resemble those of a fully remote company. Most companies will designate their offices as workspaces for employees. Some companies don’t provide the same flexibility to every employee, so some employees may be required to continue coming to the office if their job demands it. However, for each company, remote-first may look slightly different, but the goal is to have employees spread out across time zones and default to online communication.

  1. Occasional office

Unlike the first example, here companies aren’t going completely remote-first. The company keeps an office and requires its employees to spend some time in it. There are even cases where employees wish to stay longer than the required period. However, it is more likely that employees will work locally rather than remotely since they have to come into the office occasionally.

With no clear guidelines, this model can easily get pulled in either direction, even though it is ideally positioned in between remote-first and office-first. Thus, best practices for communication should be established early. Leaders should also consider how often and how frequently their teammates work from the office.

  1. Office first with remote-working facility

There is also the possibility of keeping both the office and remote work but designating the office as the primary location for working. Before COVID-19, companies used to have a small portion of their workforce working remotely while the rest remained in one prime office space. A lot of times, this is the case if the entire leadership team is there. Because of the leadership team’s in-person conversations and collaboration, the rest of the company will become office-centric by default.

This model allows the company to offer remote work policies, and some employees might be scattered, but by working closely with the leadership team, employees in-office get a unique set of connections and opportunities than those working at home.

Advantages of hybrid workspaces:

Work/life balance is improved and social isolation is reduced

Nearly half of remote workers report lower life satisfaction, checking their devices more out of work hours, working longer hours, and feeling more alone. Access to the office is important for employee health, not just for retention. Health issues can result from social isolation.

Improved collaboration

Some experts believe the problem is connected to the use of software that is not suitable for hybrid teams, although most remote workers struggle with communication. Organizations can bridge the gap between seamless collaboration and a hybrid work environment by using the right tools. Even if their software isn’t quite ready for use, teams can still take part in in-person communication.

Less commuting

Though taking public transport may provide workers with some benefits, hybrid work models can make use of the extra time spent driving to and from work. Besides increasing costs and stress by driving, commuting by car can cause pollution, respiratory problems, and stress.

Overhead costs are reduced

Since office space is expensive, overhead costs are reduced. The number of vacant office desks is estimated to be 10-30% post-pandemic, while the number of unoccupied desks was usually 30-40% before COVID-19. Cutting the amount of office space needed by offering hybrid or work-from-home options can save significant amounts of money.

Team-building opportunities are increased

It has been proven for a long time that in-person interactions result in greater commitment, support, and cooperation. In a hybrid workplace, offices are predicted to act as cultural anchors that enable learning, connection, team-building, and collaboration.

However, there are some challenges of hybrid workspaces too:

Not suitable for all the industries & roles

Hybrid or work-from-home arrangements are not suitable for every role in every company. Long-term arrangements work best for business development, program and project management, IT and security, product management & business ownership. Industries least likely to suit long-term hybrid or work from home include health care services, arts and design, education, customer support & media and communications.

In industries that are not suited to hybrid work environments, consider whether remote work might be possible. Is it possible to allow some employees to work from home one day a week, with office work on the other days? Managing hybrid teams may require a little flexibility from companies.

Plan for the short- and long-term

HR teams at companies need to determine the long- and short-term needs of office space by evaluating new desk booking systems. It may be necessary to gather data about job roles and what tasks are (or are not) suitable for remote work as part of your initial return to work steps.

Both at the company and team level, organizations need to decide whether to use a hybrid model or a work from home model. Teams may have to agree with their managers about their remote days, or managers may require teams to have one ‘crossover’ day together as a team to foster collaboration. To plan for a return to work movement, it is important to have clear agreements in place before the start of the movement.

Needs to be more secure

Over half of employees are concerned about remote staff connecting to public Wi-Fi networks. Most employees predict that hybrid or work-from-home options will be part of the future of work. Working in hybrid environments will require employees to work in a variety of settings and transport equipment to multiple locations. The same rules must be followed regarding connectivity, equipment use, and working in public places to avoid this pitfall.

Though the hybrid work model has some challenges, to boost efficiency and reduce employee discomfort – the primary goal of any company – companies need to adopt the hybrid workplace model. Workplaces must promote a sense of personal wellbeing and allow employees to choose their preferred working styles. To ensure the long-term viability of their business, businesses must consider changing job patterns.

Hybrid workplace models have more benefits. Besides ensuring your employees’ health and safety, it also optimizes the performance and quality of your company. Hybrid is the most effective method of keeping your workflow moving in challenging times.

If you’re looking for places where you can work from home & connect with people at the same time through physical networking, Colive can provide the best options to live & work at your comfort in Bengaluru, Pune, Hyderabad & Chennai. Equipped with all the facilities including security, high-speed Wi-Fi, common room with games, gym & much more, Colive is the most affordable co-living space you can opt for while looking for a home away from your home.

To know more, visit www.colive.com