As we all know, the year 2020 was a difficult one for everybody. Businesses were not
immune to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, which wreaked havoc on people's lives all around the world. The way businesses are run and the way workers work has changed dramatically in just over a year.
For this reason, when it comes to returning to work, firms are exploring a cautious "hybrid work" strategy. By using the correct technology and resources, a hybrid work culture is an
attempt to overhaul the traditional work culture in order to achieve both employee
satisfaction and an optimal work environment.
In this blog we will look at precisely what hybrid work is, as well as its benefits and
What does it mean to work in a “hybrid environment?”
A hybrid work model combines the structure and sociability of working in an office with the
independence and flexibility of working from home, as the name suggests. A hybrid work
environment has less of an established structure than traditional working models.
Businesses can tailor it more to their specific needs and employee expectations and
requirements. In theory, hybrid work aims to provide employees more flexibility to fit work
around other elements of their lives rather than forcing them to plan out their week based on
typical office hours.
What's the difference between hybrid and remote work?
With remote working, employees can operate “remotely” outside of the traditional office
atmosphere, which is exactly what happened in 2020. Employees who work remotely can
usually complete their tasks by connecting to the office network from a location other than
the office, generally their homes.
The hybrid work approach, on the other hand, specifies certain days for in-office work and
others for remote work that necessitates individual focus. It is founded on the premise that
an employee's physical presence in the office isn't always required to complete work.
Before converting to a hybrid workplace, there are a few things to think about however;
Due to rising employee expectations and some compelling benefits that this model delivers,
many firms have been forced to explore adopting a hybrid work paradigm. For example, in
the United Kingdom, employers predict regular home workers to reach 37 percent post-
pandemic, up from 18 percent in the pre-pandemic phase.
Although hybrid work might improve flexibility and employee pleasure or satisfaction, it can
also be somewhat expensive. Businesses must supply staff with all necessary equipment
and resources (in some cases including furniture) while maintaining office space and
equipment to guarantee a smooth transition. Hybrid work brings greater difficulties to core
company operations like IT management, in addition to increasing operational costs.
Is hybrid work the “new normal” in the workplace?
Certain organisations may allow their entire workforce to work remotely in the aftermath of a
pandemic, while others may compel all employees to return to the office. However, a
considerable number of people will choose something in the middle.
However, it's important to remember that hybrid employment isn't always the greatest option for every company. When it comes to creating a hybrid work environment, some firms will err on the side of caution due to the complexities and costs involved.
Which businesses “should” allow its staff to work from home?
Businesses in finance, management, professional services, and technology, as opposed to
real estate, healthcare, utilities, retail trade, manufacturing, construction, and hospitality,
could benefit more from a hybrid work paradigm. It’s fairly self explanatory that primarily
customer facing roles like hospitality would not work as hybrid or home-based working,
whilst others that do not rely on face to face interactions would generally be more of an
option for remote workers.
The advantages of a hybrid work model
Now that we’ve identified what a hybrid work model is, let's have a look at some of the
primary advantages it could provide to your company. Remember that developing a
Improvements to productivity
Is it true that working from home boosts productivity?
According to recent studies, employees who work remotely are more productive. Numerous
surveys have been conducted on the subject which show clearly that, during the pandemic
period, very high percentages of remote workers were equally or more productive than
before. On average, working from home seems to have enhanced productivity. In contrast
however, some remote workers said it was difficult to disconnect from work, and the general
consensus towards video chats is that it leaves workers mentally exhausted. As a result,
while remote work has increased productivity, it has also increased employee stress in some
Overheads are reduced
Do businesses save money by employing remote workers?
According to several studies, cost reductions are cited by a growing number of businesses
as a primary benefit of employees working remotely. Rent and utilities, cleaning services,
meals, and taxes can all be reduced for businesses employing a remote workforce.
What's the best way for distant teams to communicate?
Businesses have been able to bridge the communication gap between remote employees by utilising virtual communication solutions such as team messaging and video conferencing. Many companies have introduced new virtual meeting solutions, and distant workers are using video meetings significantly more than they were before the pandemic.
Are remote employees content?
A large proportion of workers believe COVID-19 has improved their work/life balance
because of the enhanced flexibility that remote employment has enabled. Professionals
have chosen the freedom to work while being closer to their families and avoiding time-
consuming treks to the office.
Staff retention and recruitment are now more effective.
Is it true that allowing employees to work from home helps with employee retention?
Employee retention has changed dramatically as a result of remote employment. Over half
of office workers would leave their current position for one that offered more flexibility.
Generally speaking, organisations that allow remote working will have a notably lower
employee turnover rate.
Drawbacks of the hybrid work model
Along with its obvious benefits, the hybrid work model has a number of obstacles for
businesses of all sizes, particularly in terms of staff management, maintaining a good work
culture, and keeping the network safe from hidden security risks. Here are a few of the most
Does the quality of work diminish when people work from home?
While remote employees may be working longer hours and being generally more prodthe ability to control and ensure quality work has dwindled. Many employers have indicated that remote work is causing them problems maintaining business culture and worker productivity.
Challenges for managers
What is the best way to lead a hybrid team?
A hybrid team is more difficult to manage from a managerial position when it comes to
setting standards, maintaining team morale, establishing equity, ensuring the correct level of
flexibility, checking for signs of fatigue, and more.
Obstacles to collaboration
What if I'm unable to contact a remote employee?
Most firms have had to deal with the problem of being unable to connect and communicate
with a remote colleague in a timely manner. It's no surprise that a lack of teamwork and
communication is one of the most difficult aspects of working remotely for many employees.
Reduced social interaction
How can you boost team spirit while you're working from afar?
A very common complaint amongst employees is that they miss working with their
coworkers, with loneliness being the second biggest barrier to remote work. In such a
situation, boosting team morale is sure to be more difficult than usual.
Increased security requirements
When employees work from home, how can you keep them safe?
Over the last year, the remarkable rise in remote employment has aided the growth of
cybercrime. Building strong cybersecurity with increased resilience has become even more
important as cybercrime is expected to continue to climb over the coming years. Ignoring this might prove disastrous for many, since cybersecurity risks will only get more difficult to
combat as this style of working continues.
So as we can see, there are numerous pros and cons for both the return to conventional
working and for companies to follow the hybrid-work plan being explored by many. In short
there is no one “right” answer to this, each company (and subsequently each employee) will
have to weigh up and decide what works best for themselves and their workers.
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this, let us know your plans and or preferences regarding
the return to normal working arrangements or exploring the possibility of hybrid-working
going forwards, including once restrictions ease further.