Do you prefer to work from home or in an office setting? Or maybe working from different locations – or at different times of the day – helps you to get more done.
Although hybrid working isn’t new, the pandemic has forced many organizations and workers to reconsider how they work and how they want to work in the future. In this essay, we’ll go through the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid working, as well as how to set up a productive hybrid working environment.
How Does Hybrid Working, Well, Work?
Hybrid working allows you to work from home and in the office. You could, for example, work from home one day, and then go into the office once in a while to discuss things with your team or meet up with a mentor at a café one day.
You can work from anywhere, whether it’s your workplace, home, or the shop or factory floor, with hybrid working. You might opt to work from a variety of sites each day or focus on just one.
However, hybrid working is more than simply about where you work. It’s a type of flexible working that allows you to have more control over your schedule. Employees can pick working hours outside of the usual nine to five, and teams can collaborate across time zones.
Is Hybrid the Right Fit for You?
Hybrid working has a lot of advantages for businesses, including lower real estate expenses, the potential to recruit global and varied talent, and higher productivity. Employees in hybrid teams can achieve a better work-life balance while still having face-to-face interactions with their coworkers.
In addition to this, the technology that allows workers to work from any location is allowing companies to scale their workforce however they need to.
Now, the space of an physical office isn’t a limiting factor, as not all workers will be in the office at the same time. (And if workers choose to work 100% online, it offers even more scalability to the workforce.)
This increased flexibility and scalability allows business to expand and contract their workforce as required.
And with the rise of the gig economy and how the world’s workforce is connected digitally, it opens the doors to hire incredible employees (whether full-time or contract workers) from around the world.
From a business’ perspective, it opens the door to a vast and highly motivated workforce that can help meet the needs of their business virtually on-demand.
It’s Not All Positive…
However, there are certain drawbacks. One of the biggest challenges, is keeping to established work methods. Using outmoded technology or depending on open-plan workplaces to maintain business “culture” might, for example, alienate remote workers from their office-based colleagues. As a result, communication hurdles may arise, and the performance of remote workers’ may suffer as a result.
This is where the FLYDESK app really shines, as they allow teams to find the perfect balance between office and remote work. They even include different options for collaborating teams and how you can effectively optimize how shared office spaces are used.
But in terms of making the switch to a hybrid work model, it’s critical to pay attention to both physical and digital modes of working for hybrid working to succeed.
Let’s have a look at how you can accomplish this.
How to Create a Successful Hybrid Workplace
1. Prepare the Groundwork for Hybrid Work
At any moment, you can switch to a hybrid configuration from all-office to all-remote work. However, it will need meticulous planning. Make sure you convey your hybrid rules and processes effectively to ensure a seamless transition.
2. Align Tasks with the Most Appropriate Locations and Times
Experiment to see which job duties and tasks are best done in particular places, as well as which behaviors cause stress and inefficiency.
Tasks that need attention, for example, may be better suited to working from home since there are less distractions.
Alternatively, if you need to collaborate on a project hour by hour, having the entire team work in the same area may be more effective.
The authors of “Remote, Inc.: How to Thrive at Work…Wherever You Are,” Robert C. Pozen and Alexandra Samuel, propose keeping track of your productivity and well-being by location and time of day. For example, keep track of how many words you typed, how many emails you responded, and how you felt at the end of the game. These figures may be entered into a spreadsheet, such as our Day in the Life of (DILO) Analysis worksheet.
Your results will aid you in determining which aspects of your career you excel at – and when. Additionally, this data may assist managers in identifying opportunities and inefficiencies that need to be addressed, as well as assisting them in developing ideal working arrangements for their team members.
3. Concentrate on the outcomes and outputs
To help employees concentrate and be more creative, try to divide the scope of your projects into individual tasks and allocate each one a certain amount of time to accomplish. Then assign these tasks to team members who are in the areas where and when they are most productive.
Understanding just how duties are interconnected can really help team members be accountable to one another and to the organization’s main goals. To do this, make sure that everyone is communicating with other members of the team as to just how much progress they’re making.
Rather than being seen at the office or always on-call, the focus should be on outcomes and quality of work. However, in order for this to work, leaders must be able to stand back and avoid micromanagement.
4. Make Use Of Smart Areas
According to the MIT Sloan Management Review, there will be “trade-offs” between the benefits and drawbacks of hybrid working.
Individual benefits of remote work, for example, might stifle the innovation that comes from individuals bouncing ideas off each other in person.
A “hub-and-spoke” approach can aid in this situation. This occurs when a company has a central office (or hub) and distributed workplaces (spokes). Employees will have more opportunity to come into the office for collaborative work or to create rapport, and feelings of isolation will be reduced.
Workplace design should also inspire teamwork. Open-plan workspaces with hot desks and breakout rooms are ideal for encouraging collaboration and creativity. However, conference rooms and quiet places should be available for more concentrated work.
5. Make Use of Technology to Collaborate
Today’s online collaboration solutions assist employees in productively collaborating and maintaining positive connections. They may also do the same with hybrid employees.
Apps like Miro make it possible for users to interact in real time without needing to be in the same place. Meanwhile, some instant messaging applications employ artificial intelligence to link “virtual coffee pals” and replicate those serendipitous workplace meetings.
eXp Realty employs virtual reality (VR) headsets to allow coworkers – and their avatars – to interact in virtual environments. Some manufacturers utilise augmented reality (AR) to develop, test, and manufacture their goods.
6. Think about how you communicate.
As a hybrid worker, technology is essential for successful communication. According to one research, inadequate digital communication is a barrier to work for 70% of employees, resulting in an average of four hours lost each week.
When humor or sarcasm isn’t used in person, for example, it’s easy to misread. It might even be construed as disrespectful or offensive, resulting in a quarrel.
To minimize miscommunications, Erica Dhawan, author of “Digital Body Language,” suggests starting emails with a pleasant “Hello,” using proper grammar, and include emojis (appropriately). These can help you replace the non-verbal cues that account for 80% of face-to-face conversation and show your admiration and respect for others.
Testing which aspects of cooperation work digitally and which don’t, and modifying your communication style appropriately, may be part of hybrid working.
7. Accept Asynchronous Work a Part of Your New Norm
If your hybrid team is spread out across the globe, asynchronous tools can be used to allow employees to interact and contribute when they log on.
Consider the following scenario:
When you have a question or need assistance, send an instant message to your team and make yourself digitally accessible to others.
People may contribute at any moment by brainstorming using shared documents or Miro boards.
To keep everyone informed, record all business meetings and post them to your company’s YouTube page or intranet.
Asynchronous communication can let people bring their whole selves to work and unleash their creativity by easing the burden of delivering ideas in person. You may also encourage people to better manage their limits and “switch off” from work by accepting it.
8. Reconsider your meetings
Asynchronous work can also cut down on the number of meetings required. Employees are 24 percent more likely to feel emotionally tired by extra meetings, according to one research.
Some individuals may be in the office while others participate from off-site during hybrid team meetings.
To guarantee that everyone has the opportunity to participate:
- Host from a conference room where everyone can hear and be heard, whether they’re on-screen or phoning in.
- Have everyone connect from their computers so that everyone may contribute equally.
- Assign a facilitator to guarantee that everyone has an opportunity to speak – and that the meeting stays on track.
While all-face-to-face or all-online meetings may be easier to plan, a combination of the two may result in more new perspectives and inventive ideas.
Simultaneously, be open and honest about what is and isn’t working. If sluggish technology is preventing workers from meeting face-to-face, try inviting everyone into the office for “must-have” catch-ups when possible and appropriate.