Digital workplace tools

As the pandemic fears are slowly receding worldwide, most employers are looking to implement a hybrid work model. The demand for a hybrid model is fueled by the changing employee expectations of the workplace. A recent Google survey on hybrid work revealed that 75% of respondents believe hybrid work will become a standard work model across organizations in the next three years.

While some companies give their workforce the flexibility to come to the office or work remotely full time, others expect their employees to work from the office a certain number of days per week. Though hybrid work means different things to different organizations, it is clear that a flexible work model is here to stay, and employers are also responding to this transformation by flexing their work policies to suit the needs of their employees.

Why flexibility matters

Employees are not willing to relinquish the comforts they have experienced during the last two years of remote work, and now companies have begun to accept this fact by offering more hybrid jobs. On average, teams experience 12% lower turnover when they offer a hybrid workspace. Here are some of the other benefits of hybrid work model examples for employees.

a. More freedom and happiness

One of the best hybrid work model best practices is to allow employees to choose the schedule and location that best works for them. Hybrid work makes the employees more engaged and satisfied. Happier employees are more inspired employees ready to contribute more to the organization.

b. Better work-life balance

One of the best flexible work arrangement benefits is enhanced work-life balance for employees. Research on hybrid work model shows that physical and psychological problems arising from burnouts cost organizations in the US between $125 and $190 billion a year in healthcare spending. The costs become even higher if you consider employee turnover, loss of talent, lower productivity, etc. Hybrid work gives employees more time to spend with their families & friends and indulge in hobbies & passions.

The flexible hybrid model takes the “human-First” approach as it helps employees take care of their mental and physical well-being. Due to fewer commutes, less-frequent interruptions from colleagues, and no workplace politics, employees who get to work remotely, even for a few days a week, report improved mental health and wellness. Even though many companies were already following remote work, the pandemic and the subsequent lockdown put a spotlight on it.

c. Attract the best talent and increase collaboration

A flexible hybrid model allows companies to attract cross-cultural talent from anywhere. According to a recent survey, 83% of companies implementing the hybrid work model reported that collaboration on new projects was equally as good and even better than their in-office days.

d. Cost savings for the company

With flexibility, companies can make optimum use of their physical spaces through hot-desking, hoteling, and other ways of sharing office space. According to a survey, it has been estimated that, on average, companies save $11,000 per hybrid worker every year due to lower employee turnover, reduced seat costs, and less absenteeism.

e. More productivity

Even before the pandemic, many studies suggested that remote working results in higher productivity. One study shows that 77% of employees are more productive even if they worked remotely a few days a month. Employees also experienced 56% greater creativity and innovative thinking when working remotely.

A recent Boston Consulting Group report shows that more than half of managers believe their teams are more productive when they work remotely. Even before the pandemic, Iceland executed large-scale trials of a 4-days work week (35-36 hours/week), resulting in drastic improvement in work-life balance, employee well-being, and team efforts. The study directly impacted the country’s corporate mindset, and as a result, 86% of the country adopted shorter working days.

What it takes to provide flexible work schedule

Implementing a hybrid work model is not easy, and it is like a double-edged sword. If employers don’t offer enough flexibility, they risk losing employees and if they offer too much flexibility, they risk losing performance and productivity. So, before organizations embark on the hybrid bandwagon, they need to ensure they have the right environment to make it work.

a. Mutual trust

For the hybrid work model to succeed, employers should trust their employees, and managers should believe in the abilities of their teammates to complete tasks on time and meet the deadlines without micromanagement. Employers must feel sure about getting the output on time with minimal intervention and without a traditional Monday-Friday workweek and 9 to 5 timings.

b. Use of an asynchronous communication tool

Teams must learn to leverage asynchronous communication tools and other supporting technology to enable flexible work. A study points out that, on average, each Slack user sends more than 200 messages per week and there are power users who send 1,000 messages per day. A common complaint against these tools is that employees can get stuck in long and never-ending group chats that demand their attention 24/7.

It puts pressure on everyone to be online & available all the time. Also, since team members mostly use channels and not specific topics in chat conversations, context gets lost, and information gets buried. With a deluge of messages and notifications, users get overburdened and lose important information that can severely affect you’re their work. So, it is important that the team use a tool that supports asynchronous communication like Clariti.

c. Well-defined communication policies

Whether working from home or in any other remote location, team members should be easily accessible to their colleagues within an organization. To avoid being online all the time and suffering from burnout, team members should be aware of when their colleagues will be available for collaboration.

When everybody in the team knows who is doing what, the team can avoid letting things fall through the cracks and make the hybrid work more successful. Companies must set communication rules and protocols for colleagues and managers, and they must also make sure that these policies and procedures are reviewed periodically to ensure that they are still practical and relevant for hybrid work.

d. Dependable Technology infrastructure

Companies must have robust technology and tech stack to support a flexible workplace and make hybrid work successful. Organizations require SaaS solutions built for and housed in the cloud rather than on-premises ecosystems so that their remote teams can access the tools they would typically use in the office via web browsers.

Conclusion

Nobody can deny that collaboration is a lot more effective in the traditional in-office environment where face-to-face interactions happen. It provides more opportunities for employees to mingle with their colleagues, develop in-person contacts, and form deeper bonds, trust, engagement, and loyalty.

Brainstorming frequently and discussing useful ideas during breaks and other informal conversations leads to better innovations and business decisions. Though many collaboration tools fill in this gap by providing a near face-to-face experience, many employees started suffering from meeting burnout hurting the teams’ communication and collaboration ability.

The hybrid work model brings the best of both worlds. Employees can experience the benefits of a collaborative, in-person environment and have a better work-life balance. Offering a genuinely flexible hybrid work environment is a significant differentiator for companies to retain and draw the best talent in today’s competitive labor market. Trust, culture, infrastructure and proper tools make hybrid work successful. Implementing a flexible hybrid model requires careful analysis and patience.

But once you implement, it will pay off through better talent attraction, employee productivity, improved employee wellness, higher growth, and better cost savings.

Flexible hybrid working is a term that is used to describe a work arrangement that allows employees to have some degree of control over when, where and how they work. For example, an employee may have the option to work from home one or two days per week, or to start and finish work at different times each day. Flexible hybrid working can offer a number of benefits to both employers and employees. For employers, it can lead to increased productivity and morale, as well as reduced absenteeism and turnover. For employees, it can provide a better work-life balance and greater control over their working hours. Flexible hybrid working arrangements are not suited to all businesses or all employees, but when they are implemented correctly, they can offer a number of advantages.

When it comes to finding the right work model, there are a number of factors to consider. For many businesses, a hybrid work model – which combines elements of both remote and on-site work – can be the best solution. This type of arrangement can offer the flexibility that employees need, while also ensuring that there is always someone available to provide face-to-face support. In addition, a hybrid work model can help to promote a sense of community within a company, as employees have the opportunity to interact with each other on a regular basis. Of course, every business is different, and there is no one-size-fits-all solution. However, for many organizations, a hybrid work model can be an ideal way to promote productivity and creativity while also meeting the needs of today’s workforce.

The hybrid work model has become increasingly popular in recent years, as it offers the flexibility to work from home on some days and in the office on others. However, this type of arrangement can be difficult to manage if you’re not well-organized and have a good understanding of time management. One of the key things to remember is that you need to set clear boundaries between your work life and personal life. When you’re at home, it’s important to create a designated workspace where you can focus on your work without distractions. On days when you’re in the office, it’s important to make the most of face-to-face meetings and avoid getting distracted by socializing with colleagues. It can also be helpful to set aside specific days or times for catch-up work, such as responding to emails or scheduling calls. By following these tips, you can successfully manage a hybrid work model.

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