A hybrid work model is not an option. It is the need of the hour. Spending most of 2020 and 2021 couped at home and working remotely amid the pandemic, stepping out for work can be intimidating for a few. Studies found that 55% of employees would prefer working from home at least 3 days a week. Hence, businesses must encourage a blend of remote, office-based, or semi-remote setups for employee safety. Employees are more productive when they choose their work environment.
While implementing a hybrid work model, companies can allow people who only require access to servers or certain office tools to continue working remotely. Or, they can call those employees two or three times a week. This way, employees who absolutely need to be in the office for work are safer due to less contact with their peers. Although adopting a hybrid model sounds like a great solution, there are several pros and cons to it. Let us look at the benefits and banes of such a work model.
5 Pros of a Hybrid Work Model
There are several advantages of having a mixed work model. Here are the top 5 picks.
1 Improved employee productivity and satisfaction
Employee productivity largely depends on flexibility and focus. In a hybrid work model, they enjoy greater flexibility, which results in increased focus and reduced absenteeism. Working from home or remotely allows people to manage and prioritize home chores and office work better. They can dedicate more time to the task at hand. If employees have mild health issues, they can take a break for 2-3 hours and resume work instead of taking the day off.
2 Low operation costs
Not only employees but companies are also benefitting from the hybrid work model. Fewer employees in the office imply reduced operations cost for the firm as they can save on rental cost, office supplies, and more. For instance, offices do not have to stock up on stationery, water, snacks, and other things in the post-pandemic world. They can invest in improving employee experience, important office tools, etc.
3 Enhanced work-life balance
We all crave work-life balance, which we seldom found in the pre-COVID period. Either work, commute, or work-related travel consumed large parts of our lives. But the pandemic has introduced us to a new way of working and thriving. We are almost able to hit that fine work-life balance now without compromising on work productivity or quality.
4 Better employee safety
Employee absenteeism due to sickness is the last thing employers want amid the pandemic. Employee safety is the utmost priority for companies. Following a hybrid work model, firms can ensure reduced contact between employees, hence enhanced safety. Employees working remotely are safer and less exposed to the virus.
5 Hiring wider talent pool
The hybrid work model has opened many opportunities for employers and employees. If businesses do not mandate working from the office, employees can easily procure jobs based on their talent in any company offering remote working. Similarly, even businesses can source talent either locally or from other cities and build a wider talent pool. This encourages diversity in the firm, and employees get to meet and mingle with people with varied backgrounds, experiences, and flair.
3 Cons of a Hybrid Work Model
Although there are quite a few benefits, the hybrid work model also has some disadvantages. Here are 3 main ones.
1 Increased employee isolation
If there’s something that has received a massive blow due to the pandemic, it’s employee camaraderie. Working remotely, focusing on individual tasks, and chasing their own goals, employees are losing the bond that they share with their peers. Employees also miss the team-building activities, office trips, daily chats with their colleagues, etc., that the office provided. This can make them demotivated at times.
2 Greater cyber risks
In a remote setup, there is an increased risk of cyberattacks and data loss. This can happen due to an insecure Internet connection that employees might use or because of unintended errors by them. Whatever may be the case, companies may have to bear the brunt in such scenarios. One way to reduce cyberattacks is frequently educating employees about its significance and the best practices to follow.
3 Reduced client experience
Online consultations or video conferencing with clients may not always be helpful. Internet connectivity issues, technical glitches, or the mere absence of a face-to-face discussion may not provide a great client experience. Especially if your firm is in the legal or healthcare sector etc., the advantage of the physical meetings is often uncompensated for in virtual ones.
Weighing both pros and cons, we can conclude that a hybrid work model will do more good than bad. But businesses must find their own way of implementing this model and decide what processes can be handled remotely and which ones require employees in the office. Finding the balance in remote and office working is the real trick!