Work processes are changing. New workplace trends are emerging. All of this has resulted in corporations investing thousands of dollars to welcome the new reality: The Hybrid Workplace. However, will it be beneficial for both corporations and employees? What are the implications of adopting this model? Follow Trish, Senior Marketing Executive, as we understand more about the good and bad of the Hybrid Workplace.
“When the pandemic outbreak subsides, we will face a new future — the future flexible environment that combines advantages of remote and in-house work and meets the needs of all employees, giving them a sense of freedom and fulfilment at work at the same time.’’ – Pete Sosnowski, VP of People of Zety.
Let’s face it, the pandemic has transformed the way we work, and what follows next is neither the extinction of offices nor a restoration to the status quo. Instead, we are greeted by the new reality: The Hybrid Workplace, where collaboration happens amongst employees who are working remotely and those working in the office.
Big corporations such as Google, Microsoft and Ford Motors have amped up their Hybrid Workplace plans by allowing their employees to have the flexibility to either work remotely or in the office. This emerging trend has triggered many corporations to redesign their office spaces based on the number of people in the office and the capacity of the space under social distancing rules. Let’s take Google, for example, they redesigned their private workspaces and multi-purpose offices to create a greater connection between their employees in the office and those joining virtually. Google believed by implementing a hybrid approach to work in this era will help to improve the quality of their employee’s work and lives.
With all these big corporations making the first move in embracing the hybrid approach to working, many other small corporations are slowly jumping into this trend and are investing a huge sum of money to restructure their office and create new policies and plans to incorporate the hybrid working approach. As good as this new approach sounds, there are definitely a few drawbacks that corporations might face with this approach. With that being said, what are the good and bad of the Hybrid Workplace?
1. Increased productivity and efficiency
Before the pandemic, corporations were sceptical about giving their employees the flexibility in choosing the hours they worked. They believed that this could affect the productivity and efficiency of their employees. However, this is untrue as research by Microsoft have shown that almost 82% of their employees were more productive and efficient with hybrid working. This is because, in a hybrid workplace, workers can have the option to fully concentrate without any distractions at home and come back to the office when they need to attend important meetings. This will help employees to perform better as they are happier and better rested, leading to increased productivity and efficiency.
2. Lowered Cost incurred
Having half of the workforce working remotely and the other half in the office has helped corporations to reduce the rental costs and on office supplies. For example, there is not a need for corporations to fully stock up on the office pantry with refreshments. To add to it, it benefits most employees as they get to spend less time commuting. They too can cut cost on daily expenses such as lunch and transportation.
3. Increased Attention to Employees Needs
Working away from the office allows one to have flexibility on how they managed their time with work. Work-life integration can at times be hard for employees as one has to balance their time, efficiently. However, by implementing a hybrid approach towards work, corporations are having increased prioritization of their employees. For example, corporations are making sure that employees have the right tools and technologies to have a clearer workflow and increased productivity. Not only that, but there are virtual events that are hosted to keep the employees connected and regular check-ins with the employees to ensure that they are fine. This shows that the hybrid approach to work helps to increased attention to employees’ needs.
1. Weakened client experience
Client management has a certain amount of speciality in many industries. Even though we are in the era where everything can be done virtually, having customer-facing employees stationed in the office is important as urgent cases might tend to be neglected. For example, customers are already accustomed to visiting a physical location for professional services such as banks and this can disrupt the whole client experience.
2. Heightened employee isolation
It might be enjoyable to be nestled in your humble abode while doing your work without any distractions, however, this does affect one’s mental health. Some of the employees might be deprived of the social interactions they have in the office, and this can cause relationships to weaken. Employees can no longer share jokes and stories with their colleagues, causing the camaraderie built in the office to slowly fade away. It can sometimes be difficult to bounce ideas off coworkers or have face-to-face discussions without being physically present in the workplace. This results in communication becoming intentional with the need to arrange virtual calls. Thus, this might lead to poor decision-making between employees as there are no longer organic interactions.
Hybrid Workplace is here to stay
As many corporations are slowly adapting and incorporating the Hybrid Workplace model, it is no doubt that Hybrid Workplace is the future. Despite its’ pros and cons, implementing a hybrid approach towards workplaces help to strike the balance between both flexibility and productivity. What’s important now is for corporations to develop a deeper understanding of the Hybrid Workplace model and take initiatives to level up their work processes because Hybrid Workplace is here to stay, for long.
Want to know more about Hybrid Workplace and how your company can benefit from it? Don’t forget to join us in an upcoming Hybrid Workplace webinar hosted by InAVate and jointly organized by ESCO and Microsoft that will fall on the 29th of June 2021 from 4 pm to 5 pm SGT. Hear from leading industry leaders on their views of the Hybrid Workplace and explore transformation strategies to help you transition to flexible and hybrid work.