Category All, Best Practices 5 Reasons Why Hybrid Work Is the Future Learn what are the benefits of hybrid work and why it will be the dominant way of working in the upcoming years. June 2, 2021 By Sara Ana Cemazar Hybrid working is the newest trend in HR world. You might have heard of it, but you are not sure what it is – but chances are, everybody will know what it is in a couple of months. As pandemic shook the world in 2020, employers and employees were faced with huge changes in the way they work. Apart from shift to working from home or under much stricter safety protocols, employees were increasingly anxious about their future. Furthermore, it was hard to focus on work with kids not going to school, and other family members sharing the same space. Now that the pandemic is hopefully coming to an end, there are many lessons to be learned. After initial shock, people started seeing the benefits of working from home. However, after long, uninterrupted periods of working from home, some employers started to see employees’ productivity drop. After the vaccines were introduced and dispersed, employers were faced with a question: do we return to the physical workplace, and how? World is becoming increasingly digital, and most people managed to work from home pretty well. Is it better to work from home or from the office? And so, the term of hybrid work came to be. Read this article to learn what is hybrid work, how you can facilitate it in your company, and its biggest pros and cons. Before you start, learn more about the importance of communication when going hybrid. 📚 Get our eBook on 5 reasons why employee communication is essential for company success. What Is Hybrid Working Plainly speaking – hybrid work is a new way of working which includes maximum level of flexibility when it comes to choosing a time and place of work. In other words, companies that are offering hybrid work options are letting their employees decide if they want to work in the morning or later in the day, or if they want to work from the office or from a remote location. 5 Reasons Why the Future of Work Is Hybrid Employers across the world agree – the future of work is hybrid. In this section, we will pinpoint the exact mechanisms that make hybrid work as popular as it currently is. Increasingly popular remote way of working came as a remedy for people that wanted to spend less time in traffic, and it also helped recruiters to eliminate the problem of physical proximity to fill in actual job vacancies. However, remote work also showed some shortcomings, like difficulty to maintain company culture. Here are some of the reasons why many believe that the future of work is hybrid. Decreased employee turnover Employee turnover is costly, as we all know, and in more than one way. Besides being financially draining, employees are costing their companies the investment it made in their careers. Moreover, employees take away crucial knowledge when they leave their organizations. Employees are looking for more flexible work. Astonishing 99% of employees want to work remote at least some of the time – which is exactly what hybrid work is all about. By allowing employees to work remote some of the time, companies are meeting their requests for more flexibility and increased work-life balance. Employee happiness is on the rise With more flexibility to organize their time, employee happiness increases. As Josh Bersin shows, employee happiness is on the rise since January 2021. Hybrid work allows employees the best of both worlds – the in-office culture and remote work flexibility. Therefore, it allows them to feel happier with their work life. Increased productivity This study found no difference in the quality of work between remote and in-office employees. Anyways, we all know that one of major killers of employee productivity is colleagues interrupting you! However, some people may find it really hard to work from home – for reasons like inadequate workspace or sharing the home with other people. Moreover, 65% of employees feel more productive away from the office. This means that 35% don’t feel that way! In other words, hybrid work gives both groups the chance to be productive in their work. More trust between management and employees In order for hybrid work model to function, there needs to be a certain level of trust between employees and managers. First, that trust may not be great: but after a while, it increases. Why? Because when working hybrid, employees get more ownership over their tasks. There is no need for micromanagement if employees are performing as they should. 📚 Did you know that one in two employees have left their jobs to get away from their managers? Learn everything about best management style for your employees. Employer branding and easier recruiting Let’s face it: recruiters are having more trouble than ever to find highly qualified workers. More precisely, 83% od HR Professionals are having recruiting difficulties. On the other hand, employees are increasingly looking for hybrid or remote work options. Flexible work options and work-from-home options are one of the most popular employee benefits, and benefits are crucial when choosing a job according to 63% of employees. Therefore, with hybrid work options, employers are becoming more attractive to candidates – in other words, they are boosting their employer brand. Moreover, the scope of people that are suitable for a role increases since they do not have to live in a certain area. In that way, it is much easier to recruit the right person for a role. 4 Ways to Facilitate Hybrid Work Yes, hybrid work has a myriad of benefits! However, you need to put your “hybrid” glasses on in order to give your employees the best experience while enabling hybrid work. Here are some of the suggestions to facilitate hybrid work and take it to the next level. Redesign your Total Rewards strategy As you probably know, total rewards strategy consists of five main areas: compensation, wellbeing, benefits, development, and recognition. Therefore, you need to take a closer look at these five areas and see how they change when going hybrid. For example, one of the employee benefits you were offering may be free coffee and fruits. When going hybrid, you need to reconsider this benefit, and maybe include coupons to fruit or coffee stores. Furthermore, current employee recognition practices need to be reconsidered. As employees will be in the office less than usual, you cannot rely on informal and casual recognition to happen as often. Instead, you need to make your employee recognition software the main driver of appreciation practices. Make sure it has social recognition features built into it! Be mindful that you need to recognize your employees’ work 5x more than criticize it if you want optimal levels of productivity. When it comes to employee wellbeing, rethink your current practices. Your employees may appreciate different kind of benefits other than gym membership. Think about psychological support and mental health benefits! 📚 Get more employee wellbeing ideas and benefits. Introduce performance management In order to facilitate hybrid work, you have to stop counting how much time your employees spend at their desks. Instead, you need to become goal or task oriented. 📚 Learn why you need to rethink your annual performance reviews, and employee evaluation best practices. Provide training to both managers and employees Switching to hybrid work may not come as easy to everyone. For example, some employees may feel back to the office anxiety, but want to return. Furthermore, employees may not fully understand how hybrid work is going to look, or how you adapted some work policies and benefits. Therefore, educate them! Last but not least, train your managers to manage teams remotely and in-office. Redesign your recruitment and onboarding Hybrid work requires you to switch your recruitment and onboarding processes online. Moreover, you need to reconsider the way you are currently hiring and go outside of your designated location. Hybrid work options allow you to hire people no matter where they live! How to Avoid Common Shortcomings of Hybrid Work Even though hybrid work has many benefits, it still has a couple of drawbacks. After all, it is a new concept – and we will see how it will work in the future. For now, we know where issues may arise. Most of them will stem from lack of communication – which is one of the staples of employee experience, be it in-office or remote. Here is how you can avoid common shortcomings of employee work. Communicate regularly It cannot be overstated how important employee communication is! By going hybrid, employees will have to communicate both in person and online. This will require some challenges – for example, if one team member is working remotely, while others are in the office, the in-office employees will still have to go online to have a meeting. What matters is to be on top of your employees’ feelings and opinions. Anonymous employee surveys are a great way to detect potential issues. Encourage your managers to also use them on regular basis. Nurture your company culture You want your workforce to become a community. Hybrid work is great, but one of its greatest shortcomings is lack of physical togetherness that makes it challenging to keep a positive company culture. Provide the right tools It is easy to manage hybrid work if you give the right tools to your employees. Take a look at the employee experience platform that we offer and help your employees work remote or from the office effortlessly.