The model of a hybrid workplace mixes remote and in-office work. Whilst there is nothing new about this model, it is something that has found increasing popularity in a post-pandemic working world. In fact, survey data from the UK Parliament from 2021 and 2022 have found that 80% of employees who have worked from home because of the pandemic prefer a hybrid working model.
From these figures, it seems that the hybrid workplace model is here to stay. But what are the solutions that this way of working offers, and how can this model be implemented effectively in the long term?
What Do Hybrid Workplaces Offer?
A hybrid workplace allows employees to mix in-office and remote work – but what solution does this offer to employees and employers alike?
For employees, hybrid work provides more flexibility and autonomy that allows them to work in the way that is most effective for them. This model can also help employees to improve their personal well-being and create a more balanced lifestyle for themselves – something which can, in turn, boost their productivity at work.
Employers can proceed to benefit from the engagement the hybrid model prompts from their employees. As employees are allowed to build a more productive, healthy and autonomous work attitude, employers can in turn profit from this more positive and engaging work environment.
But for both employers and employees alike, besides the increased autonomy and more balanced lifestyle, the hybrid workplace model can offer, this way of working can offer other benefits.
For example, it can save everyone a considerable amount of money. Transport into the office can add up to extortionate amounts and this can be solved by incorporating remote work. Additionally, employers could even move into a smaller, cheaper office space due to no longer needing the bigger, more expensive one it needed when all its employees were working in-office full time.
How to Implement a Hybrid Workplace Model
For many businesses, both for startups and larger companies, on a global scale the hybrid model represents the workplace of the future and, for most, it seems like there’s no going back.
Of course, for many businesses, especially ones that have a more hands-on and practical nature, the hybrid workplace model cannot work. However, in the businesses that this model does benefit, the big question remains – how is this model to be effectively implemented?
1. Establish Centralised System
First things first, in order to implement a hybrid workplace model, you must ensure that you give your workers adequate resources so that they may carry out their work effectively from home.
Employees will need the proper tools so that they may collaborate and communicate with each other and carry out their work effectively, regardless of their location.
This will include setting up some forms of remote communication channels, such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Other programmes such as Microsoft Office 365 provide a comprehensive tool, including shared spreadsheets and task management.
2. Adapt a Remote-First Approach
Once you have established a centralised system from which your company can work remotely, you must ensure this is successful. It would be beneficial for your company to adopt a remote-first approach. This is where remote working is seen as the default way of working.
Once you have implemented this approach, you can eliminate any disadvantages that may come with remote working, and if workers ever do need to stay home, by implementing a remote-first default approach, you can be sure that they will still be able to continue with their work.
3. Optimise Remote System
In order to make sure your remote system is working, you must ensure its success in its ability to be a foundation for an effective remote team.
You will need to ensure you have the most effective software possible, and that employees have all had the correct training and the right hardware in order to operate it.
A good way of ensuring the success of your remote working system is by requesting employee feedback on how the company is conducting remote work and responding to it.
4. Redesign In-Office Space
Once you have created and optimised your remote system, you can turn your attention to your office space.
When you have a hybrid workplace model, you should consider evaluating your office space design. For example, if this system means that most meetings are taken online, you will not need a large meeting room. You may also need to provide less desk space, as fewer workers will be in the office at any given time.