Hybrid Work Model: is it the future?
If 2020 gave us anything, it was the implementation of remote working facilities across the globe. Companies, big and small rushed to their HR departments to figure out how best to keep their staff safe and healthy while carrying out all the work necessary to keep their profit lines out of the red during this world wide pandemic.
COVID-19 gave the clerical and desktop-bound employees the opportunity to take their work home, step away from the office and deliver their work from the comfort of their sofas, should they wish. This unwarranted test into the hybrid work model showed the world’s company’s what the future might look like.
A hybrid work model indicates the flexibility and choice to work partly from home and partly from the office, depending on the nature of the employers work and the conditions set by the employer.
But is the hybrid work model actually where the future is heading?
In actual fact, only time will tell. But for many this will be the sweet relief they’ve been dreaming of, and for others an inconvenient disturbance in their home life.
The battle for remote work being the future of modern work mode is a pretty close split. There are some who fully appreciate and understand the benefits of working in your own space, without having to commute every morning and evening.
There are others who cannot concentrate at home and find it extremely difficult to balance their work and life in the same space where family, pets, errands, a fully equipped and stocked kitchen and that golden Netflix remote all live.
As with many other changes in our lifestyle and work habits, people are the pushers towards change. But which people are we talking about exactly? The employers or the employees?
The pros of remote working
All those self-employed freelancers who scurry from one meeting to another, while trying to fit in some actual computer hours in their day, rejoiced the moment they heard their make-do offices, such as cafes, bistros and maybe even pubs, were forced to shut down – not because of the insanely troubling impact it created for the sector of course, but for the relief that they’d actually be able to settle down and get to work without a meeting’s interruption.
Working remotely allows you to set your own hours, control your own time and even analyse your performance from the minute you turn on your computer, till you decide it’s time to shut down. Here are some pros that remote workers swear by.
1. The power of productivity
This really depends on the nature of your job, or possibly the requirements of the task you are currently deadline with. Finding ways to concentrate and focus on a specific task in an office can be extremely tedious for some roles in the company, having those workers produce their duties at home could increase their creativity and possibly even improve the company’s standings altogether.
Such roles within a company include; content writers, copywriters, SEO executives, editors, web developers, social media managers and other high-focus roles that require silence and absolutely no distractions to complete a task with efficiency and flair.
2. The flow of time and money
Time is probably the most valuable aspect in the whole remote working battle. The biggest cause for workers making the switch from office-based work to remote is definitely the added commute that is forced on them everyday, generally twice daily – at what time? Rush hour either way of course!
If you think about it, it’s rather backdated to ask someone who literally spends 8hrs per day in front of a computer, to travel for a minimum of 45 minutes there and back, to sit in your office, rather than their own home office that probably reduces interruptions and keeps motivation high.
If you’re an employer thinking of calling your staff back into the office, think again, you might be summoning your team to hours of wasted energy – economically, this will never pay you.
The underlying issue is also the added cost, that no one seems to consider when choosing between remote work or office work. Traveling to and from work everyday, for an average 30-45 minute journey, there and back would guzzle up half a tank of fuel in a newer car, those with old bangers can estimate a full refill every week – not economical at all.
Needless to say, this travel cost is rarely, almost-never, compensated for the employer, and comes off of their pay as a result.
3. The advantage of flexibility
Being flexible is one of the greatest gifts you can give a human. When we feel trapped into a situation, we often perform poorly, we panic, we lose interest rather quickly and we’d rather just get the job done to get it out of our hair. This is such a negative attitude towards work and should be avoided at all costs.
Being able to manage your own time in a work from home situation, or a remote working environment, allows you to find your golden hours of the day, where your concentration is sparking and your energy is high.
Choosing to wake up early and get your work done before the office even opens its doors is a great tactic that many follow, while working late into the hours of the night to avoid any of your housemates’ distractions could also be an option. It all depends on your workflow.
But what about the cons? If remote working were only formed with a list of pros, everyone would do it!
The cons of remote working
Well, of course there are a few. But to be completely honest in this situation, the issues are more generally noticed on the management side of things rather than the employer. Breaking away from the norm and loosening the reins as a manager or boss can be extremely difficult to achieve and submit to.
Not being able to keep a ‘close eye’ on their staff, managers and executives often worry that their team might be slacking off and wasting valuable company time. On the contrary, the employee pushes the aspect of all the saved time, increased focus and their overall comfort and happiness in the job. It’s really a catch-22, and there’s no saying who will win the battle.
1. The worry of isolation
One major concern for employers is that remote workers will miss out on collaborative opportunities with their peers. Not being able to work with a team, liaise with your colleagues and address managers face-to-face whenever a problem comes up, seems to be a major setback for the world of remote work.
It is greatly understandable for some workers, for example a group design project, interior or graphic, could benefit from teamwork, a shared view or contrasting opinions, but there’s absolutely no need to call a solo-worker back into the office when all restrictions die down.
2. The worry of stagnation
If you’re not in the loop, you’re losing out right? Well it really depends what vital piece of information you’ve missed! Let’s take a shared calendar for example:
If your colleague forgets to add an event to a shared calendar, forgets to invite you to an event and simply relies on the conversation shared in the office, those working from home are not to blame in the slightest. The concept of cloud based platforms allows this time management to soar. This slows down a team greatly, causes tension and could result in chaos.
But if the information shared is a face-to-face with a client, where valuable handover information is being shared, all representatives required to produce the work for the job, need to be involved. The worry is that not being in the office could lessen a workers motivation, will and interest in the company’s success.
3. The worry of security
The modern-age dilemma – cyber security. How do you know if your data is in trouble? Is your remote internet access secure, are you, as a user, safe from the harms your hotel lobby internet might be enforcing on you. Did your company set you up with the right antivirus or firewall to keep you and their data safe?
Understanding the risks here will allow you to see your company’s financial department concern, as well as that of IT and HR. Bringing up these troubling questions could save you and the company from a lot of grief.
Finding the balance between sole-office work, remote work, working from home and hybrid work models is the grand selection that we are faced with in the aftermath of 2020 and its global pandemic.
Many have expressed interest in 100% working from home or remote work opportunities, others have opted for a hybrid approach where their time is split (40:60 / 30:70) between the actual office and their home office.
Finding your balance may take time, but the only want to evaluate your options is to try it out and see what keeps you motivated, saves your focus and allows you to succeed in your role.