Establishing a hybrid work environment is challenging, especially when your journey towards a hybrid office is a new one. However, the hybrid work model has its benefits for an organization, which is why it is seen as a promising future workplace. Nevertheless, if your organization plans to transition, you must be aware of the hybrid work environment challenges.
With the right planning and proper strategy, you can make your flexible workspace a peaceful space to work for employees and employers. This article will cover the basics of a hybrid work environment and also highlight the advantages and disadvantages of a remote hybrid work model for your workplace.
What is A Hybrid Environment?
A hybrid work environment is a combination of both in-house workers and remote workers. It is a practice that blends both ways perfectly and offers flexibility and cost savings. Hybrid remote work has many benefits, and the most important one is improving productivity by cutting physical distances into virtual ones.
A hybrid workplace may take on many forms depending on the company, but it usually comprises a skeleton staff on-site, with others free to come and go as they want, within limits. It might be the same personnel required to be on-site, or it could be a mix of people who are present on various days or at different times. In addition to that, some employees are also called on specific days to discuss the progress and become a part of the physical meetings.
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Work Environment
Before the Pandemic hit, no organization would have thought about working remotely or shifting some of their employees to remote home-based work. Though this change started as a chaotic one, 6 out of 10 organizations now plan on working remotely and making a hybrid work environment a regular part of the practice.
Organizations had indeed seen a rise in productivity when employees were not subjected to commuting over large distances. Rather they were allowed to work from home. By modifying the model a bit, the hybrid work environment can be good practice for the workplaces. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of the hybrid work environment for an organization.
This could come as a shock as employees would choose to work less when given the freedom to work from home. But a great number of employers claimed that they observed better productivity while the employees were hybrid working from home. Thus, a hybrid work environment does provide flexibility to employees to work at their times and choose the best mode of working.
While some could feel productive in bed, some may choose to stay up at night to complete the tasks. And the time saved on commutes also gives better energy levels.
The office doesn't have to operate in conventional ways with a hybrid work environment. Each day the number of employees visiting is a portion of the full staff so offices can operate through small spaces. They can also reduce electricity costs as well as coffee and tea expenses.
Being able to work casually while taking frequent breaks has a great impact on employees' happiness. And a happy employee is indeed a productive employee, and a hybrid work environment has promoted happiness in employees.
Even when vaccines take effect, and the epidemic fades away, health experts warn that societal barriers will stay in place for some time. A hybrid workplace is a strategy to prioritize the health of employees.
Difficulty In Team Building
While working on a project with a team, having physical proximity is a benefit. There are no barriers nor any limitations. However, employees have observed a difficult time connecting over the phone and discussing the whereabouts of a project. This has also resulted in a loss of time and acted as a bottleneck in many projects.
Not many offices were prepared for all kinds of changes. Hybrid remote work demands a whole lot of changes in the workplace. You have to be smart with the layout and also manage the employee schedules, so no employee gets greeted to unavailable desks.
This involves creating a range of spaces for workers to perform their best work, such as common areas for breakout sessions, silent zones for concentration, and modular conference rooms that can be rapidly reconfigured for activity-based work.
Limitations for Remote Workers
Not all employees have a quiet place to work from home. Some are sharing a single room, while some may not be technologically equipped. This creates a gap among the employees and also compromises the work quality. Therefore, organizations have to be vigilant with any reimbursements or incentives to ensure remote workers are well equipped with all the technology they need.
In comparison to their in-office counterparts, remote workers may work longer hours and take fewer effective break times. They are concerned that their in-office colleagues will think they are slacking since they are out of sight, so they tend to overcompensate by staying late or making themselves accessible outside of normal working hours.
Managers must deliberately develop a business culture that places less emphasis on being logged into Slack and more emphasis on the job itself.
Hybrid Work Environment Best Practices
The great thing about a hybrid work environment is that many organizations have tried this working method and experimented in different ways. This has given rise to many practices and modified versions of plans that failed. Implementing a hybrid work environment for each organization is different, but you can start on this journey with a basic approach.
Transitioning to Hybrid Work Environment
It should be no surprise that shifting to a hybrid workforce will come with its challenges and ups and downs. Sometimes organizations take years before they finally adapt to a change, and this is common. Considering the ambiguity, employee resistance, confusion, and stress involved in the workplace, it is normal to expect a little bit of difficulty on this road. But with the right practices and an open communication channel, the hybrid work environment can be a good decision for your workplace.
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