Why More Companies Are Preferring the Hybrid Model of Working
Hybrid working and working from home was hardly commonplace prior to the pandemic. Yes, it happened, but usually under special circumstances or in a small number of family-type businesses. Now even large multi-national organisations are offering it to employees in the hope of retaining and attracting key talent.
The hybrid model – where employees work some of the week in the office and the remainder of their working week at home or elsewhere in a remote location – is the more common of the two. It offers flexibility, not just for employees but the company management too. For thousands of companies around the world, it has, in fact, become ‘the new norm.’
A 2021 study by global tech brand Accenture found that the majority of workers they interviewed (83 per cent) said they’d rather work in a hybrid model than go back to the office five days a week. At the same time, 63 per cent of successful companies that were interviewed said they had already offered the model to staff.
But it’s not just as simple as switching days and locations around.
@McKinsey: “Many employers we talk to spend far too little time acknowledging that building the muscles for a truly effective hybrid operating model could take years, not least because they are still learning what works in such environments.”
Certainly, a hybrid working model is a lot more complicated than one where staff are working 100 per cent from home. It throws up all sorts of questions for employers, such as:
- Is there some type of work that’s better done remotely?
- Will in-office staff be more valued than those working remotely – however unintentionally?
- How can teams gather together on projects?
- Do managers feel less effective with remote workers?
- Just how many days a week should staff be allowed to work remotely – and is it the same for everyone on the team?
Advantages of hybrid working
Employees who are given the opportunity to work within a hybrid model tend to be happier, with more job satisfaction. It can also provide them with a better work-life balance and allow mothers or carers more time with loved ones. For employers, it can, of course, result in the opportunity to downsize since not all employees will be in the office at the same time. It also cuts down on utility costs.
Disadvantages of hybrid working
Communication can be a big factor in why hybrid working doesn’t work for some companies. When an employee is remote working, communication isn’t always instant or as good as it can be in the office. People can be difficult to get hold of in large organisations when it’s an individual outside the department looking to talk to them, i.e., IT, HR, etc.
Time tracking and hybrid working
One of the biggest challenges of hybrid working is time tracking. Companies can invest in software so that staff can log in and then out via an employee portal at the end of the day. This should also indicate the working status of all staff, should employees need to get a hold of each other.