For more than two years, the pleasure of working from home has been savoured thoroughly and for most, it has truly been heaven-sent. The pandemic has made a significant impact on how we take care of ourselves and created massive changes in the way we work. The beauty of WFH is that we get to do our work at the comfort of our home, and we get to have quality time with our family as well. If only this could continue on even after the pandemic, right? As it turns out, that is a possibility! WFH can become the new work setting for many industries and we, as an employee, are very much rejoicing.
Since there’s no telling when the pandemic will come to an end, business leaders have started looking for ways to thrive even with the virus. That being said, the WFH set-up still covers a huge grey area concerning compensation, benefits, rewards, and recognition which is why many people with different backgrounds and positions are conflicted about whether they should go back to the office. This problem has given rise to the hybrid work model.
Now, what exactly is a hybrid work model again?
The hybrid work model isn't something new. Many of us have been working remotely for some time now, years even. It is a working model that gives employees the freedom to decide when, where, and how they will work. This is why it has rapidly gained popularity and has drawn the attention of millions of employees worldwide. It is a business model designed to create a flexible and sustainable workplace for both in-office and remote workers.
It may look different among organisations, but the idea behind this work model is to have everyone working again without forcing everyone to go back to the office because honestly, that can go wrong in so many ways.
What are the different types of hybrid work models?
Many companies hope to make the transition to hybrid work simple by creating three types of work models that are built with their people in the centre.
Division of workforce
This type of work model gives some employees the opportunity to work onsite, while others work remotely. In this hybrid work model, some teams would work entirely onsite, and the other would be fully remote. This may be the most straightforward hybrid option and easiest to implement, but can also be a cause for concern on fairness and equality.
Onsite first model
Picture yourself in an office where you only need to work some days of the week while you can decide where to work the remaining days. Better isn’t it? The onsite first model is the favourite among the three because it gives employees the work-life balance they are craving for. It also gives teammates the opportunity to meet and discuss projects face to face and reconnect with one another. Moreover, this gives the employer a window for when they can engage with employees without being on the other side of the screen.
Combination of the two work models
While this work model is similar to the onsite first model, this third work model is more flexible. What would you say if all employees can work both onsite and offsite any day of the week and they can have full control on what days they’ll be in the office? It can be quite challenging than the ‘Division of Workforce’. Collaborating with colleagues can be a bit tricky since everyone will have different schedules. However, the best thing about this work model is that people have equal opportunities and benefits, which everyone wants in an office.
Why Do Employees Want It?
Sadly, many employees are willing to leave their job if their company doesn't offer a hybrid work setup or at least a mix of working from the office and at home during the typical workweek. In addition, employees valued their work from home experience — particularly for their home environment's ability to support focus work, improvements to well-being and work-life balance, and WFH’s ability to empower them with the flexibility to manage their day autonomously.
Those working in a hybrid model are already benefiting from the "best of both worlds." They are also most likely to report positive impacts on creativity, relationships, productivity, communication, and problem-solving. At the same time, they can have ample time to be with their families, and focus on their well-being. The hybrid work model has created a huge impact on their physical and mental health, resulting in them being happier and far more content with their employers.
Does this mean all business leaders should jump in the wagon too?
For nearly 36 months, remote work has been the talk of among organisations due to the digitisation of work roles, faster internet, and cheaper laptops. Additionally, remote work also helps a company expand their pool of talent by looking beyond its city or country. Larger companies are even considering opening smaller offices in different locations rather than having one central hub wherein employees would have to face the challenges of commuting to work.
Here are the top reasons a hybrid work model works for everyone in the office:
- It promotes better work relationships
- It prevents virtual meeting burnout
- It improves work-life balance
- It gives employers access to a broader talent pool
- It makes tracking employee performance easier
Of course, since this business model will be driving away from the traditional office setup, major technological upgrades are necessary to help companies adopt it. We are talking about smart technologies such as collaboration, meeting room and desk reservation, and even workplace analytics.
Lastly, hybrid work models do sound very promising and they can help prioritise employees’ wellbeing. If there's one thing that business leaders can agree on, the hybrid work model is not one size fits all. It'll take a lot of testing and shifting things around to ensure that the new office work setting works for the whole organisation.
But the best thing? Most employers are now putting their people first. Strategizing how to create a safe and healthy work environment for everyone, and optimising the workplace so that all employees would want to work in the office again. We think that that’s actually the first step if employers do want to keep their best people with the company.