When the lockdown first started business owners were terrified. How would they keep their businesses running? Then slowly but surely they were able to adapt to a fully remote workspace. Although this was a huge benefit, in the beginning, the business owners and employees soon started to see the downside of remote work.
Thus was born the hybrid workspace. We are seeing more and more businesses adopt this work model and there are a few reasons why. In this article, we will share those reasons as well as ways to make the hybrid model work well for your business.
The Best Of Both Worlds
It is easy to see why people enjoy working from home. Remote work offers employees:
- More freedom with their schedules,
- Better opportunity to focus on their work, and
- the ability to work from anywhere.
But there are downsides for both the employer and the employee when it comes to the fully remote work model. Some of the problems with fully remote work include:
- Poor company culture,
- Poor collaboration,
- Employees feeling isolated,
- Technical issues going undiscovered
The knee-jerk reaction of some business owners was to insist that employees come back full time. But others realized that the hybrid work model combines the best of both worlds.
Freedom Of Location
Because every hybrid work model is a little different there may still be some freedom to work where you want. This may mean spending long weekends away so you live in one place four days a week, or it could be that you work from a different location when the children are out of school than you do during the school year.
Keep in mind that rules must be the same for your entire team. So, establish a policy and stick to it for everyone.
The hybrid model can give more flexibility to the employees and the employer. Many employers are establishing a Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday model so they can spend the weekend with their family either at home or in a vacation home. But the still others only require their team to come in one or two days a week.
As long as the requirements are clearly established this is a win-win for the entire team.
Less Office Space
Still, other employers have taken advantage of the hybrid model to downsize their offices and create shared spaces. Some members of staff come in on Monday and Tuesday and others come in on Wednesday and Thursday. This saves the employer money on rent and gives the employees the chance to work at home three days a week.
Face-to-face interactions make a big difference to employee/employer relationships. The hybrid model brings this back and helps people establish better relationships with their employees.
But it also helps your team get to be more like a team. During COVID, many companies brought on new employees who went two years without meeting any of their teammates face-to-face. This caused a real culture problem for the company.
One of the problems business owners faced when their workforce was completely remote was a lack of awareness. They didn’t know whether the employee was happy or if they were actively shopping for another position.
The hybrid work model allows you to create the right balance for your staff and yourself.
A Model For Everyone
There are hybrid workspace models for everyone. There is really no longer a one size fits all option. You and your team can decide what works for you. Will you work from the office one, two, three, or four days a week? Will people be free to work from the beach or do you need them close by? Will they share desks or have dedicated space when they aren’t in the office? These are all questions you have to answer before establishing a hybrid model but the good news is that they are all up to you.
Many business owners have found that hybrid employees are more productive. They use their time at home to focus on their deep work and they use the time in the office to collaborate. They also find they take fewer days off. If a child is sick they can bring them home from school and still get some work done.
It’s not surprising that more employers are choosing this model for their teams.
The Surprise Downside
Hybrid employees require a more dedicated IT helpdesk. They need to be able to reach out when they are actually working and they need their home to function just as well as their workspace. That means making sure you have systems in place to take care of these employees.