Hybrid workplaces are becoming more and more common as working within the office is permitted while employees have grown accustomed to working from home. Workplace hybridization has become a solution many employers have chosen. It combines the wants and needs of the company to have face to face time with employees, as well as the wants and needs of employees to reduce commuting time and find a better work-life balance.
What is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid work is the combination of working remotely as well as from a central location. Hybrid workplaces can take many forms. Some offices have required days in and out of the office, whereas others take on the form of booking in-person office spaces. Hybrid workplaces can mean that employees are part time at home and part time in the office, or they can mean that some employees work from home whereas others do not. Many businesses have found that hybrid workforces have allowed them to downsize their office space and introduce ‘hot desking’, where no employee has a set desk and seats are first come, first serve.
Why Do Employees Want Hybrid Work?
During the global pandemic and mandatory work from home orders, many employees found that they greatly enjoyed working remotely. Here are some of the primary reasons employees have voiced preferring remote work:
- Less money and time spent on commuting
- A better work-life balance
- Easier to focus, less distractions
- Working when most productive
- Meetings are more efficient
- Reduced exposure to illness
These are just a few of the benefits of remote working found by employees. Employers have also found that they have saved money by downsizing their real estate, reducing water and electricity usage, as well as increased timeliness of employees as there are less factors that contribute to lateness (such as traffic and poor weather conditions).
There have been many studies on returning employees to offices. A study by Statistics Canada on the productivity and preferences of employees working from home found that 90% of employees reported being just as productive at home as in the office, with 32% reporting accomplishing more work per hour at home compared to in the office. The study also found that 80% of remote workers would prefer working remotely for at least half their hours once mandatory working from home was lifted. Of this study, 39% would also prefer to work remotely for most if not all of their hours. The high percentage of workers who would prefer to spend at least half their time working remotely indicates that employers need to make a change in their work structure.
Benefits of Hybrid Work
Hybrid workplaces are a balancing act that, when done correctly, can combine the best parts of remote work with in-person work.
Here are some of the primary benefits of hybrid workplaces:
- Employees feel heard and valued
- Encourages a stronger work-life balance
- Important meetings can still be face-to-face
- Creates a more inclusive workplace
- Creates a more economical workplace
- Builds more resilience within the workplace
1. Employees Feel Heard and Valued
Allowing full time employees to work from home two or three days a week will show that you have listened to their needs and are willing to accommodate. Since more than 80% of polled employees want to work from home at least half the time, allowing a hybrid workplace shows that a company values their employees’ preferences for work.
2. Encourages a Stronger Work-Life Balance
By agreeing to hybrid workplaces, it shows that a company believes in a strong work-life balance. Working remotely reduces commuting time which allows employees to have more time at home. It also provides the chance for employees to accomplish household tasks and errands during their breaks. Changing a load of laundry on your coffee break may not seem like a lot, but for many employees it can be a huge benefit and time saver.
3. Important Meetings Can Still Be Face-To-Face
The benefit of hybrid work is you still have some in-person time with your employees. That means that important meetings like performance reviews, account production meetings, or other meetings that benefit from in-person interaction can all be scheduled in the office. Smaller meetings that aren’t as reliant on strategizing or connection can be scheduled remotely. In-person days also allow you to connect with fellow employees and maintain a corporate culture.
4. Creates a More Inclusive Workplace
Hybrid workplaces are inclusive for a wide variety of employees. Employees who have disabilities and require accommodations often find remote work far easier and accessible than coming into an office. Hybrid work is also inclusive towards parents who may struggle with finding full time childcare, but can still work while at home. Remote and hybrid work is also beneficial for employees who are immunocompromised or have family members who are immunocompromised.
5. Creates a More Economical Workplace
There are several economic benefits to a hybrid workplace. Hybrid offices can reduce costs for employers as they don’t need to rely on large office spaces and there are other reduced costs, such as coffee, pens and paper, electricity, etc.. Employees often find they save money on gas, parking fees, insurance, childcare, and more.
6. Builds More Resilience Within the Workplace
Hybrid workplaces build resilience by accepting and encouraging more adaptability within a workplace. With hybrid workforces, there’s no need to worry about shutting down when there is dangerous weather conditions, and employees can work from home if they are ill. When employees are used to working in a hybrid environment, they are more equipped to adapt to any new changes.
Hybrid Workplaces are the Future
Hybrid workplaces offer employees and employers an environment that works for both parties. By providing the chance to work remotely part time, companies meet the needs of their employees while still ensuring some face-to-face interaction. If you’re looking to adapt to a hybrid workplace, or find a company offering remote work, contact Recruitment Partners! Our team will work with you and help you end your search!