The Advantages of Hybrid Workspaces and How to Establish Them
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic first hit, many companies transformed their operations to allow professionals and office workers to do their jobs from their homes, In May 2020, one-third of all U.S. workers were working remotely compared with 6% before the pandemic.
Once workers were deemed able to return to their workplaces, however, not all employers were willing to allow workers to stay fully remote. The demand that employees return to their offices was met with protests and was one catalyst for the Great Resignation that began in 2021 which has led to tens of millions of people leaving their jobs.
One solution for employers has been establishing hybrid work situations where employees spend part of their workweek at home and part in the office. Most employees can understand the need for in-person meetings with clients and team members, as well as the easier supervision that occurs in an office environment.
However, employers can understand that working from home offers advantages to many employees. There are advantages for employers as well. Here are some of the main benefits of hybrid workspaces and how to establish one for your business as you hire staff and redraw boundaries with existing workers.
A hybrid work situation comes with significant cost savings for both employees and companies. With increases in gas prices and overall inflation, employees can save money on gas and avoid wear-and-tear on their vehicles by working from home at least part of the time. In some cases, they can save on childcare so long as having children present doesn’t hamper productivity.
For companies, cost savings come in the form of smaller real estate footprints if workspaces are shared, or if fewer people are on site on any given day. Companies that offer perks like free lunches, onsite gyms, or medical facilities will also save money because of fewer people using these resources.
For workers with longer commute times, they’ll get hours back in their day through a hybrid work model compared to working in an office full time. Not only will they have more time for themselves on days they don’t commute, but they’ll be able to take care of home-based tasks during lunch breaks if they so choose.
Workers who feel they have better work-life balances are typically more engaged as employees, are more likely to stay with their companies, and they’ll have better overall health, thus requiring less time off. In these ways, work-life balance through a hybrid work model has definite benefits for companies, not just workers.
Some workers are not well-suited to working from home. One of the biggest aspects of a successful hybrid arrangement is workers must be highly productive at home. Most workers are more productive at home than in the office because there are fewer opportunities for distraction, though some individuals use working remotely as an excuse to slack off.
In the hiring process, one thing to look for is productivity on previous remote or hybrid jobs. When you’re sure an employee has the ability to be productive working off-site, a hybrid schedule has a better chance of working.
Bigger Talent Pool
There are top employees all over the world looking to get a job. A hybrid schedule could permit access to a bigger talent pool if employees only need to be in an office for a short portion of each week. Employees may not even need to make permanent moves if they can absorb frequent travel costs.
One or two days in the office could be managed without significant disruptions to a top employee’s life even if they live in cities hundreds or thousands of miles away. Employers can thus choose from larger talent pools covering more applicants.
A hybrid schedule can offer a great deal of flexibility to workers, allowing them to work different hours if that’s better for their lives. Everyone is busy with so many different things like families, work, and hobbies. Having a flexible schedule can be a significant benefit to employees and allow them to pursue competing interests.
When establishing a hybrid schedule, it’s important to build in as much flexibility as possible to attract the best employees. Here are some other things to consider when instituting your hybrid schedule:
Don’t micromanage. The whole idea behind hybrid scheduling is to allow employees to have some freedom to manage their own work. Micromanaging them will only backfire.
Set clear boundaries. A hybrid schedule can be confusing, so make it clear what needs to happen both in the office and off-site for successful work experiences.
Make adjustments. The hybrid model is still a work in progress. If something isn’t successful, it’s fine to change it as you go along so things are better for everyone.
Maintain standards. A hybrid schedule is not an excuse to lower your standards. Employees need to know remote work is a privilege; if they’re not getting the job done, it will be revoked.
Gear up. Remote work can mean meetings will have to be hybrid as well (some in the office, some not). Have a workable setup for holding meetings on Zoom and in person at the same time, and use secure, closed systems for remote work online to maintain confidentiality at all times.
Need help hiring remote or hybrid employees? GDH can provide recruiting services to speed up or streamline your hiring process. Contact us today to find out more about what we offer.
Posted on October 10, 2022, 12: 33PM