The workplace is changing, and fast.
After the meteoric rise of remote work, fueled by the pandemic in 2020, a new model is merging: the hybrid workplace.
It seems that the new approach is here to stay. Why are so many companies choosing this model and what are its benefits?
Remote work is pretty straightforward to understand, but what is hybrid work?
I’ve found this definition on the website of Billieapp.io:
A hybrid work model is one where employees have the flexibility to work a portion of their week from home and the remainder of their time in their office. However, it isn’t a rigid model to which a one-size-fits-all approach needs to be followed; employers can have some employees working fully remotely, have some employees in an office, and accommodate a mixture of both remote and in-office work for others.Source
So basically the hybrid workplace still has employees in the office but allows them to also work from home (or any preferred location that isn’t the office) for a few days a week.
Every company chooses its own policy on how many hours employees spend in the office and how many spend remotely.
The hybrid model is appealing to small companies and big corporations alike: a few global companies that have switched to a hybrid work model include: Nationwide, Citigroup, Ford Motor Co., IBM, and General Motors Co. (source)
Our team, Timeneye, has actually embraced this model, too! Since November 2021, we work on a hybrid model, with a couple of days in the office and the rest remote. Some team members take full advantage of the remote option, others prefer not to.
Why is hybrid work becoming the dominant model for the future of the workspace?
Flexibility is the biggest perk of a hybrid workplace.
It gives employees a certain degree of choice, all within the rules and culture of the company. This flexibility allows for less commuting time (and less commuting-related stress), more family time, and more time to manage personal affairs or hobbies.
All of this eventually leads to better work-life balance and employee morale.
Meanwhile, the work still progresses.
Many companies may be hesitant to embrace a fully remote setting – which can have both benefits and drawbacks.
The hybrid work model allows for a sort of compromise, with remote work still possible, but keeping a more “ traditional” approach by having employees in the office for a few days a week. This doesn’t mean that the hybrid work model is without its challenges, but still, it’s seen as a more approachable solution that doesn’t completely require an overhaul of workflows and policies.
While many workers love the independence that remote work brings, many laments the feeling of isolation and lack of human contact.
The hybrid work model allows for human contact, and in-person interaction, helping workers feel less isolated.
With employees working partly from home, employers can lower office expenses significantly. A hybrid workforce allows companies to adapt and downsize their offices, resulting in lower utility bills, parking costs, and freedom from rigid office rents and leases.
Also, as we already mentioned, hybrid work improves employee morale and wellness: this translates to lower turnover costs, and fewer employees taking sick leave.
While companies should provide some compensation for home office setups to their workers ( i.e., a contribution on the employee’s internet bill, or home computer), studies are showing that even taking these contributions into account, hybrid work is still more financially convenient (more on that below).
Imagine finding the best candidate for a position in your company, the kind of person who could make a massive difference in your business. But they live miles and miles away and are unable to move for many reasons.
With the hybrid workplace setting, that candidate can still arrange to be present for a few days a week, but continue to work remotely for you for the remainder of the time. You can hire the person, the company is happy, and your company is happy.
The hybrid setting opens employers to the possibility to hire talents that would be otherwise out of reach.
Hybrid work offers several benefits to both workers and employees in terms of flexibility, wellbeing, work-life balance and productivity. Given that more and more companies are opting for the hybrid work model, it’s time to acknowledge its benefits – and whether companies should use it as a default.
For starters, companies can find new ways to improve their productivity – in the office, or otherwise!
If you want to know more about hybrid work, continue reading this guide on how hybrid teams can keep productive.