Hybrid Working Solutions: Benefits, Challenges, and Policy5 min read

Sign saying the future of work is hybrid with a corporate building in the background

Hybrid Working Solutions: Benefits, Challenges, and Policy

Hybrid working solutions have received favourable responses, with 77% of UK workers deeming it the best approach. However, the model also boasts several benefits for employers, as three-quarters of the businesses in the UK extend this facility. Essentially, the amalgam of in-office and remote operations provides greater flexibility, improved productivity, and a decrease in the company’s overhead cost.

However, hybrid work operations can compromise effective communication and security. Therefore, businesses must have a proper policy to ensure the model introduces positive outcomes. This guide will provide detailed insights on the hybrid work model, its benefits, drawbacks, and the key to perfecting the hybrid work policy.

A hybrid work environment allows employees to work remotely and from the office on dedicated days of the week. For example, an employee visiting the onsite office space three days a week would be considered part of the hybrid work model.

The approach is beneficial for both employees and employers alike. It allows businesses to increase productivity, reduce absenteeism, and maintain employee satisfaction. The high success rate of the hybrid approach has contributed to its increasing popularity. According to research, 74% of U.S companies are either using or planning to implement a permanent hybrid work model.

Benefits of a Hybrid Working Model

There are many benefits to hybrid working solutions, which is why they are becoming increasingly popular among businesses of all sizes.

Boosts Productivity

Hybrid working solutions allow businesses to be more flexible in how they operate. Companies can offer employees the option to work from home or come into the office, depending on their needs and preferences. This can lead to increased productivity and morale, as employees are given the freedom to work in an environment that suits them best. In fact, a recent study by Stanford University found that employees who worked from home for a company were 13% more productive than those who didn’t.

Helps Reduce Overhead Costs

Additionally, hybrid working solutions can help businesses save money. Companies can reduce overhead costs by allowing employees to work from home. Moreover, businesses can also expand their operations without the need to invest in a larger office space.

Offers Work-Life Balance To Employees

Hybrid working solutions also promote a better work-life balance for employees. When employees have the option to work from home, they can better manage their time and energy levels, which can lead to improved work performance and satisfaction.

Attracts Talented Resources

The approach also helps businesses attract and retain top talent. Many employees value the flexibility and freedom that hybrid working solutions offer, A study conducted by Envoy shows that 47% of employees would likely look for another job if their employer does not offer a hybrid work model.

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Challenges of a Hybrid Working Model

While the approach has several benefits, it can also introduce some challenges. However, with effective policies, organisations can overcome these issues. Some of the common problems of the hybrid approach include:

Communication Barriers

With employees working in different locations, staying up to date with the progress on group tasks can be challenging. However, businesses can use real-time collaboration tools and software programs to ensure effective communication among teams.

Lack of Cohesion

When employees are not physically together, it can be harder to build team morale and cohesion. Although, businesses can plan events and activities to encourage team building and collaboration.

Isolated Work Environments

While most employees prefer the hybrid models, some individuals are more inclined toward working from the office. In fact, a survey by Slack indicated that 12% of the workers prefer to work in a collaborative office environment. In such cases, companies can offer their teams the option to participate in the hybrid approach or work full-time from the office.

Technical Difficulties

Working from home can come with its fair share of technical difficulties, such as slow internet connection, faulty equipment, or security issues. Businesses must prepare a strong plan of action to cater to these difficulties.

Organisations need to carefully plan to avoid these challenges when transitioning to a hybrid working model. They must communicate their expectations to employees and provide training to manage the new arrangement.

What Should Be Included in a Hybrid Working Policy?

A hybrid working policy is a way for organisations to support better ways of working together, integrating work and life, and sustaining personal choice. Hybrid work can significantly improve productivity and creativity by allowing employees to work both in-person and remotely. However, crafting a successful hybrid working policy requires careful planning and consideration. You can consider the following items when drafting the hybrid work policy.

  • Define hybrid work: Evaluate the number of mandatory onsite and remote hours.
  • Work expectations: Highlight what is expected of employees working remotely regarding hours, deadlines, and communication.
  • Eligibility: State who is eligible to work remotely and under what circumstances.
  • Geographic Parameters: Enlist the geographic limitations on where employees are allowed to work remotely.
  • Policies: Develop policies around communication and collaboration between remote and in-person team members.
  • Data and equipment security: Create a plan to manage remote workers’ access to company resources.
  • Employee provisions: Enlist the support and accommodations the company will provide for remote employees.
  • In-office health guidelines: Inform employees about the health and safety conditions of working in the office space.
  • Travel expenses reimbursement: Identify how the company will reimburse employees for travel expenses incurred when working onsite.
  • Changing circumstances: Create a plan for how the company will handle changes (e.g., employee moving to a new location, change in job role, etc.) that affect remote work arrangements

Final Thoughts

While it is clear that hybrid working arrangements offer several advantages and disadvantages, the potential benefits seem to outweigh the potential drawbacks. In particular, hybrid working can help organisations improve employee productivity and satisfaction while reducing costs. Additionally, hybrid working can promote work-life balance and allow employees more flexible schedules.

While there are some disadvantages to hybrid working, such as the potential for increased distractions and reduced face-to-face interaction, these can be mitigated with proper planning and management. Overall, hybrid working is still in its infancy, there are inherent gains to be made, and on the surface, it seems that productivity and economic gains can be made, but what does this look like over the long term?

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