Covid-19 has revolutionized the way we work in offices. It introduced the all-new hybrid remote work, and eventually, all businesses, which previously never thought of shifting to this work mode, ended up adopting it. People used to work remotely before the pandemic hit, but this work model became the trend globally after this health crisis.
The pandemic blurred the traditional working hours boundaries. Some people found this change as a contraction in the time they spent while some workers found their work expanded. This is due to the fact that hybrid work culture has its opportunities and risks. There are various benefits of hybrid remote work, but in the same place, you will notice that it has laid a negative impact on many workers’ lives.
As an HR manager, you need to know both sides of the coin so that you can avail maximum opportunities and avoid maximum risks associated with hybrid remote work models. Therefore, we have shared detailed information about the opportunities and risks of hybrid workplaces and hybrid work environments in this article. So, read ahead to dig deeper! First, you may find the opportunities, i.e., the good side, and later the risks, i.e., the challenging, tough side.
Opportunities of the Hybrid Remote Work
Elevated Job Satisfaction
As the hybrid remote work gave the employees the flexibility to choose their workplace and work hours, it boosted their job satisfaction. People now are less likely to leave their jobs, which has reduced companies' turnover rate.
Previously, workers had the stress of travel expenses, which they could not limit and were more like a sunk cost that always reduced their pay, and they could not do anything about it. The hybrid work environments made it possible for them to reduce this expense and utilize that money elsewhere.
Widened Pool of Workers
A hybrid remote workplace means that now you can expect a larger pool of workers in the labor market because this work model gives you access to the global workforce. This can positively impact your team's productivity, as now you can choose efficient international workers for your team. Furthermore, if you manage the business etiquettes and cultural diversity well, you can expect a lot from this expanded hybrid workforce.
Lower Operational Costs
Operational costs have always been a major concern of business owners and managers. You would have also thought of various ways of reducing this in some way. The good news is that this is the best time to do so. In a hybrid remote work model, your team is divided into online and on-site sections.
This means you will have lesser staff coming to the office to maintain SOPs. Therefore, you will require less space overall. Well, this can be a great opportunity for those of you who have been thinking of reducing their business operating costs. Although you’ll have to invest a bit in maintaining hygiene, you can cover that by reducing your office's size.
Reduce Carbon Footprint
You know that climate change is real, and we are the reason why it has accelerated over the years. The pandemic resulted in lockdowns which reduced daily travel. Less travel means lesser fuel consumption, which eventually creates a positive impact on the environment. So, it will not be wrong to say that a reduction in traveling has reduced the carbon emissions globally and created a better environment up to some extent.
Refresh Business Model
Now is the time to reimagine your workspace and plan it more cost-effectively. You can use the Autonomous Hybrid Work as the new hybrid work model solution and have the upper hand over these challenging times.
These are all opportunities that you can expect in these challenging times. So, now, let’s have a look at the risks associated with this new work trend.
Risks of the Hybrid Remote Work
Mental Health Risks
As you know, hybrid remote work has limited the physical interactions between you and your team. This means you don’t meet them daily, and you cannot keep up the old communication with them. Your remote team may often feel down and alienated from the physical workforce as they don’t get to see them or meet them daily.
This has increased the mental health risks and has made them more prone to depression. As a manager, you must plan ice breaker activities adequately and think of the ways in which you can build better communication with your remote team.
Lack of Adequate Skills
All remote workers are not very technologically sound. So, they might find it tough and challenging to understand a mode of work that is pretty technical and is entirely cloud-based. Therefore, you must understand the importance of training these employees in the best way to eliminate any loopholes.
Your business is now expanded to remote workstations. This means your workers will be using their PCs which may not be as well-encrypted as the PCs that are there in offices. These poorly encrypted PCs and Wi-Fi connections have made a business more prone to cybersecurity challenges.
Your company's sensitive information could seem to be at stake as hackers tend to make the most out of these loopholes in the system. Therefore, adequate investment in cybersecurity has become very crucial in these challenging times.
You cannot monitor your teams and are possibly not aware if they are using their time wisely. Although the removal of the 9-5 work hour boundary has given employees a greater hold over their will, it has made them lazier. Their work seems to expand with time, which means they might become less productive in this model. People might even falsify their timesheets quite easily in this setting and develop a presenteeism culture in hybrid remote work.
Although hybrid remote work models have created a lot of new avenues, you cannot overlook their risks. Thus, as a manager, it is your responsibility to plan to get the most out of this situation by implementing the right business policies, which will eventually let you avoid risks and enjoy opportunities for hybrid remote work best practices.
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