The coronavirus pandemic has prompted widespread adoption of remote working in many organizations. So far, the results have been positive: employees have achieved a better work-life balance and can operate at the same (if not higher) levels of productivity and efficiency.
Nonetheless, this unexpected shift is fraught with difficulties. Employers are concerned that remote working complicates team management and reduces their control over employees’ activities. It’s time to try out a hybrid work model in which work is split equally between remote and office locations. Let’s look at the advantages of a hybrid work model in more detail.
A hybrid model can provide flexibility and allow employees to work to their strengths, increasing productivity. Teams can achieve a good balance of creativity and collaboration by encouraging a culture that views remote work as a positive alternative to completing deep-focus tasks in the office. Employees who require peace and quiet to concentrate or who thrive in an office environment can be given the option of working where and when they are most productive.
Improved employee satisfaction and culture
Autonomy is the key to employee satisfaction; if you give your team members complete autonomy and decision-making on how, where, and when they work, their satisfaction will skyrocket. Autonomy is also important for on-site employees. Employees who return to the office after more than a year of working on their own schedules will need to feel trusted to complete tasks without the presence of a manager.
Mutual appreciation and positive assumptions are guiding principles at Crevaty. When we don’t see each other every day, it’s easy to form opinions about other employees; we keep these opinions positive, believing that everyone is doing their best and making sound decisions. If we don’t understand an intention, we may ask, “Can you help me understand what you’re doing and why?” It sometimes takes a little bravery to do this, but the cultural benefits are enormous.
More possibilities for continuous learning
Many organizations are performance-driven, but this frequently results in insufficient time for learning because employees are too busy performing. An output-focused approach does not allow for long-term employee development, and high productivity can mask an exhausted workforce.
Leaders must be humble enough to recognize that learning occurs outside of training courses. Create opportunities for learning and reflection on a daily basis. When the workday consists of back-to-back meetings, it is difficult to generate enough mental capacity to reflect or process information. Encourage your employees to invest in their own growth, learning, and reflection.
The beauty of the hybrid work model is that employees can work whenever they want, which means they can schedule their work outside of regular meeting hours to focus on getting work done peacefully and without being disturbed or distracted.
Better collaboration and work relationships
In hybrid work, virtual meetings can play an overpowering role. According to Microsoft, weekly Teams chat time has increased by 45 percent per person since February 2020, and weekly meeting time on Teams has increased by more than 148 percent – more than doubling what it was in 2020. We need to find new, more efficient ways of working that do not involve long meetings during the workday.
Adopt a facilitator’s mindset to accomplish this: consider how human relationships work and design work processes that fit team members’ habits and needs. Facilitating discussion about how teams can work together improves understanding, strengthens relationships, and improves communication.
Improved mental health
According to Microsoft data, one in every five global survey respondents believes their employer is unconcerned about their work-life balance.
While work and life are rarely perfectly balanced, work-life balance is an important aspect of any healthy working environment. And hybrid work allows each employee to balance work and life in a way that works for them. This reduces stress and aids in the prevention of burnout.
Consider this: Work leaks into your life, but life rarely leaks into your work. So, if the weather is nice right now, go outside and enjoy it – you can catch up on your work later.
Fully remote work reduces human interaction, which can have a negative impact on your employees’ mental health. As a result, it’s critical to create opportunities that improve communication and promote mental health. This will also strengthen the bonds that allow teams to thrive.
Leaders will need to design and facilitate conditions that encourage communication and team building in order to sustain productivity gains while empowering employees to make work-life fit decisions under a hybrid model.
When carefully and strategically planned, the hybrid work model has the potential to propel your organization to new heights of productivity.