The last year-and-a-half has been a pretty wretched period for the world in general, to say the least – and has seen 40% of the global workforce working from home, as theHRDIRECTOR reports. Still, as more and more people are vaccinated, the question remains: are we now close to normality again?
Possibly not – as, in recent Microsoft research, 73% of employees said they wanted flexible remote working to stay despite 67% also craving more in-person time with co-workers. So, could hybrid working be the answer to the conundrum of how to keep the post-pandemic workforce satisfied?
What is a hybrid work model?
The term ‘hybrid work’ is often casually used to describe work schedules where a portion is spent in the traditional, pre-pandemic fashion – in other words, in the usual office – and the rest happens at the employee’s home. However, there can be much more to hybrid work than this.
It can, for example, imbue employees with more freedom to work when, not just where, they like – making it easier for them to fit their work responsibilities around other aspects of their lives. Another hybrid approach is to assign specific tasks for either office- or home-based working.
“We try to use home working days less for video sessions and more for the tasks that require concentration. A task that may take several hours in the office may be completed in just an hour or two at home,” Baruch Silverman, founder of a website called The Smart Investor, tells the BBC.
Questions you should ask before going hybrid
While many merits of hybrid working are abundantly vouched for, it might not quite work for every business. Even if it is practical for your particular business, you would still be left with the question of exactly what form its own hybrid working model should take.
Hence, if you are considering implementing a hybrid work arrangement among your employees, you should ask yourself how many days they would need to be in the office, whether they have the necessary tech to work in this way and whether any of them could work remotely full-time.
On the subject of technology, you could make sure all workers intended to work remotely have a reliable broadband connection at home. You could also give your business a unified communications (UC) system so that any member of your team can, as they switch between the office and home, continue to use the same interface for keeping in touch with clients.
Counter the threat of digital exhaustion
In the Microsoft research, 54% of employees admitted to feeling overworked, while 39% said they were exhausted. Many workers can understandably start feeling overwhelmed when bombarded with the likes of emails and instant messages.
It could therefore be wise for you to look closer at which of these sent over the company-wide telecoms system are really necessary. It might be possible for you to reduce the frequency of these communications and so help your workers free up more time to spend on, well, their work.