Monday 9th Aug 2021
In workplaces all over the world, new routines, employment models and habits are emerging, and both employees and business leaders are exploring different techniques to carry out ‘business as usual’ while adapting to various requirements.
A trend which has climbed in popularity in recent months is the mixture of remote and traditional office-based working, otherwise known as a ‘hybrid approach’. This blended structure allows staff to take control of their calendars and change up their working week to inspire creativity from whatever location, by creating the balance of home and HQ.
Ultimately, the hybrid office grants workers with the freedom to manage how they complete tasks, maintain productivity and can build trust. Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of this evolved way of working…
Putting employees first
Encouraging the hybrid approach within your organisation helps to make your colleagues feel valued because it goes a long way to showing you’re putting their health, wellbeing, and happiness first. This in turn will help attract the next generation of talent who are attracted by the prospect of flexibility and understanding from their employers.
Of course, we have to give a nod to the ability to reduce the risk of transmission with reduced numbers in the office at one time, and the opportunity to introduce truly effective social distancing measures.
Even as vaccinations continue to roll out, many employees will be anxious about larger crowds. With the new approach, you can eliminate the risk of an outbreak in the office and reduce post-pandemic anxiety in the process.
Boosting employee happiness
Being encouraged to work when and where people want has been proven to have a positive impact on staff satisfaction as they’re able to control their own schedules, reduce travel time, balance work with pet or childcare duties, and run their own home.
Risk of burnout
On the other hand, if unchecked, there is a potential for overwork and eventual burnout to creep into the hybrid office model. When working remotely, employees may end up operating for longer hours while taking fewer breaks for fear of appearing idle to their office-based colleagues.
While flexible working allows for a healthier work-life balance, this can sometimes trigger feelings of guilt, which leads to more work, stress, and an unhealthy company culture.
Long distance team building
It can sometimes prove more difficult to establish and maintain strong working relationships with colleagues when you’re not sharing the same office space, as you can’t have a quick catch up by the water cooler or offer a screen break to colleagues in need.
As a business leader, it’s important to adapt team building to suit the entire workforce — perhaps it’s worth switching to a mixture of virtual dates and in-person events that cater for everyone, and not just a select few.
Discover more helpful advice from financial hacks for SME leaders to rolling out and effective employee advocacy programme, on our Hitachi Capital blog.