Hybrid working has existed for a long time, but its prevalence has been skyrocketed by the pandemic and the ensuing remote working experiment.
According to survey results by Hibob, employees that use a hybrid working style tend to feel that their HR teams have adapted better to the pandemic’s effects on their companies. They also reported feeling more supported than those employees who are working either at home and onsite exclusively.
In this blog, we will cover:
Hybrid working covers multiple different models, but at its centre, it’s a flexible working arrangement in which an individual, team or organisation spend a proportion of their work time at the workplace and part remotely. Essentially, workers get to experience the ‘best of both worlds’.
Many people got a taste of hybrid working during brief periods of 2020, when office workers were allowed back into the workplace. However, social distancing requirements meant that not all employees could necessarily be in the workplace at the same time. Therefore, many only went in for part of their working week, to ensure that the workplace was not overcrowded and remained in line with restrictions.
Because of this, many employees got to experience a hybrid pattern for the first time – and the evidence suggests they’re keen to stick to this way of working.
After a long period of working at home, research has found that workers are ready to get back into the office, but they’re keen not to lose the flexibility they’ve been able to experience during the pandemic – meaning the future of the office could look quite different to how it was pre-covid.
According to the latest research by Gensler, two thirds of UK professionals want a hybrid working model that includes both office and home work, spending between 1 and 4 days in the office each week. Only 12% want to work from home full time.
So how does hybrid working benefit your company?
Boost corporate image– offering hybrid working to your employees helps you attract and retain a more diverse pool of talent. Not only this, doing so publicly – i.e. including it as a company perk in advertised job descriptions can help to boost your corporate image and display that as a company you value your employees and how their lives require flexibility.
Employees are happier – The reasons why employees want the flexibility of hybrid working are also beneficial to the business, too. If a hybrid pattern makes employees feel happier, more productive and engaged with the work they’re doing, they’re more likely to deliver.
Gallup states that companies with a high level of engagement report 22% higher profitability, 21% higher productivity and up to 65% less turnover.
Less space is needed – Fewer people in the office at once means less space is needed – cutting down on real estate, utility bills and other associated costs.
It allows businesses to rethink how they use their space and how to get the best from it. For example, utilising flexible working spaces for the days that you want your team to collaborate in person.
There are 4 main hybrid working models, with their relevance depending on the industry, nature of work and specific business needs:
1. The at-will model
The at-will model enables employees to select their working arrangement of choice on any given day – and at their own will. This means there could be absolutely no pattern to which days they work remotely, and which days they work in the office – it is simply that they will work wherever they want depending on how they are feeling.
This model is useful for those who may want to come into the office to attend a meeting in person, or perhaps need a quiet place to work for the day. Similarly, those who may live far away from the office could use this model to come to the workplace once a month, and save on commuting costs by working the remainder of their time remotely.
2. The split week model
The split week model means that an employee evenly splits their time each week between working remotely and working at the office, so this could be 2 days of working in the office/on site and 3 days working remotely or vice versa.
This model was seen among the most popular models introduced by employers in recent times. Those facilitating this model also tend to split the week between different departments – for example, the marketing team works from the office on Mondays and Wednesdays, while customer services comes into the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
This hybrid model enables managers to stay in touch with their teams and allows for face-to-face group meetings on a regular basis.
3. Shift work
Shift work involves employees taking turns between working from home and then working either morning or evening shifts on site. This model does have its drawbacks as many people don’t like shift work and find it hard to start work very early in the morning or late at night.
The fourth model sees employees alternating between working from home and working onsite on a weekly basis. This means an entire week in the office, then an entire week at home and so on.
This alternative is used to allow large teams to use office space together at the same time and meet up for reviews, deadlines, and updates.
Workplaces aren’t always equipped to facilitate hybrid workers. Desks are necessary for the days when employees are in the office, yet space can then be left empty when they’re not there – leading to unnecessary real estate costs.
Taking advantage of a serviced office or co-working office space ensures you’re only paying for the space you need and use. Several Fortune 500 companies are utilising serviced offices, including IBM, Facebook and HSBC take advantage of this type of flexible working space.
So, whether you’re a start-up or global business, looking for a first home or a regional satellite office – Pure Offices provide flexible, affordable solutions that are designed with well-being in mind so that you can embrace the power of hybrid working and the future of the office.
Find out more about us and contact us for more information on how you could be making your staff happier and your business costs down.