Hybrid workplaces are all the rage right now, but what are they really? What is it that makes employees and employers alike so interested in this new type of workplace model?
Having a hybrid workplace isn’t complicated, and for many employers, it’s the best choice. We’re here to talk all about hybrid workplaces so you can make an informed choice. Read on to learn more.
What Is a Hybrid Workplace?
So what is a hybrid workplace anyway? Is it just a trendy new buzzword in the modern working world?
Hybrid workplaces are trendy, but a hybrid workplace isn’t just a buzzword. If you ask the top experts in creating a hybrid workplace, they agree that the hybrid model can be incredibly beneficial for employees and employers alike. Hybrid workplaces aren’t new per se, but they are far more common now after the long periods of remote work required by the COVID-19 pandemic.
A hybrid workplace combines the benefits of remote work and the benefits of in-person work. Hybrid workplaces have both remote and in-person employees, and while many of these employees are both remote and in-person, some are able to choose one or the other.
Perhaps employees come into the office three days per week and work at home two days per week. In another instance, an employee may be able to work from home if they’re on vacation or ill but come in under normal conditions.
A hybrid workplace is set up so employees can be just as productive from their home computers as they are from their workplace desks.
What Employees Do Well in a Hybrid Workplace?
The employees who will function best in a hybrid workplace are those who can perform the majority of their tasks from their computers or tablets. Writers, marketers, designers, and phone representatives are great examples of this (though this is an incomplete list).
If an employee can be remote, they can be hybrid.
To make the “hybrid” part of the model make sense, the employee should have a good reason to spend time in the office. For example, perhaps they do well with collaborative in-person brainstorming meetings, or they need to use office tools like scanners and printers one day per week.
Employees who constantly need to be client-facing or hands-on do not generally make good hybrid employees, though there are some roles in which it’s still possible.
What Are the Benefits of a Hybrid Workplace?
So why would an employer who currently has a “standard” workplace want to make the transition to a hybrid workplace? It’s a big change, and doing something like that may seem counterproductive. After all, if an employee isn’t in the office, you can’t keep an eye on them.
Well, employers all over the world are doing it, so there must be a good reason. Here are a few benefits of a hybrid workplace for both employers and employees.
Do your employees have any freedom in the workplace? The experts at Forbes understand that employees want flexibility. They want to be able to work when it makes sense for them and have a decent work/life balance.
A hybrid workplace enables some of that flexibility. It gives employees autonomy to decide when and how they work in the office and at home.
Some people think that flexibility encourages laziness, but this isn’t the case. Employees who can choose when and how they work can work around their own specific productivity times. In other words, an employee who knows that they’re most productive in the afternoon can choose to do the bulk of their work during that time instead of forcing themself into an early morning schedule.
Lower Costs for Employers and Employees
A hybrid workplace is more affordable for everyone depending on how the employer sets it up.
On the employer’s end, they can pay for fewer workstations if employees are only arriving on alternate days or if some employees don’t visit the office at all. This also means they can move to a smaller building and pay less money in rent and utilities.
When it comes to employees, they’ll be saving money on gas and potentially work-ready clothing depending on the dress code of their workplace. Even not paying for gas can make a huge difference in an employee’s monthly costs.
Are your employees happy? It’s been proven that happy employees are more productive employees. Not all employees enjoy working from home, but those that do will be far better off. The hybrid model allows employees who prefer both situations (in-office or remote work) to feel better at work.
Happy employees stay with companies longer.
What Equipment Do You Need?
When you plan on having employees work from home, note that you’ll need to provide them with everything they’ll need to complete their tasks. This may be a large upfront expense, but again, you will save money as time goes on.
The specific equipment you need will vary depending on your industry. Most employees will need a computer or tablet, a headset with a microphone, and some type of stipend for the internet and online tools.
Common Hybrid Workplace Challenges
So what are the downsides of having a hybrid workplace? They’re pretty few and far between.
Some employers struggle with the initial transition. They have a hard time getting their employees to stay productive while they adapt to remote work. They may also struggle to adapt themselves.
This is a short-term problem, and after a tricky adjustment period, it should be fine.
Some employees may feel as though they don’t have a good work/life balance after starting remote work. This can generally be solved with stronger workplace boundaries but employers can help by reminding employees that they should not be working outside of standard work hours even though they have access to their equipment.
Is a Hybrid Workplace Right for You?
More and more employers are making the choice to swap to a hybrid model for their workplaces. If you think a hybrid workplace might be right for you and your employees, why not try it out? Worst-case scenario, you can always change back or swap to a full-time remote workplace if it makes more sense for you.
Are you looking for ways to improve your workplace communication? Check out the Workast blog for more information!