Adopting a hybrid working model - What everyone needs to know.
Updated: Oct 3
The pandemic has raised awareness among the people about how to create a work-life balance. The hybrid work model has reduced the rush of commuting to offices. Such that employees remain energetic at work. Implementing such a flexible work environment has cultivated positivity in the mindset of workers. As they’re able to interact mindfully with family members and maintain personal growth.
The debate is endless about adopting remote work or hybrid models. Whereas, larger companies are vetting the course of hybrid model functioning.
According to case studies from big companies;
For example, at Google,
10% of employees who mentioned they were in need to come to the office every day reduced to 8%.
Employees feel eager to return to the office to socialize and collaborate after work from home.
They value office culture but also want to implement flexibility in the workplace.
Similarly, at Facebook
They declared that half of its employees (about 45000) could continue working remotely for up to 5 - 10 years.
Facebook also would want to sustain a hybrid model for onsite training, critical meetings, and other cultural events.
According to Eurostat
Almost nine out of 10 employees have never worked from home. Only 3% of the EU workforce have worked from home before the devastating conditions of the pandemic.
Companies are offering employee recognition programs to not lose sight of principles and policies. Such events bring employees closer and feel valued for their work.
Digital collaboration has expanded to fulfill the criteria of telecommuting. LinkedIn has become a major success in driving recognition among the team. People are being appreciated for their accomplishments from across the country. Organizations have become active across various platforms, from email to online meeting software and business chatting rooms, including Zoom, Slack, and Trello.
Pandemic has created a specific opportunity for value-creation. More coordination has surfaced to understand the working relationship.
Telework or hybrid working has caused the need for self-management of skills. For instance, people have become more organized as the COVID situation is normalizing. More focused on wellbeing apart from work.
However, there are calculative drawbacks to adjusting the traditional desk workplace.
Below are the 3 major obstacles which are required to be addressed to formalize hybrid work culture.
Infrastructure to support a hindrance-free work environment at home.
A wave-form report of 2020 suggests that over 15% of workers in the US face internet connection difficulties every day. The percentage of high-speed internet difficulties worldwide would be drastically more. As major companies support reimbursement of Internet usage, it still lacks in various sectors. People find it difficult to manage internet expenses and produce quality work.
Telework also requires skill-sets to manage digital platforms. Including web conferencing, even cloud-based storage options. The management often ignores and does not train the lack of these skills.
Market failure in an industry
As per Google’s definition, Market failure is therefore inefficient allocation of resources. Which in addition causes an inability to mechanize trust between employers and employees and also among colleagues. Several employees seem left out to be acknowledged, as there is no proper monitoring tool to calculate their productivity. There can be a confusion of feeling left behind as compared to workers who work from the office.
As per a survey conducted by the Center for transformative work design (2020): 38% of Managers suspect remote workers perform less well than office workers. Managerial roles typically overtake remote jobs. It causes more distrust among employees, and they feel a lack of support. Managers do not trust youngsters in the workplace compared to experienced professionals.
Productivity also depends on job characteristics; routine jobs are less productive than challenging and creative jobs.
However, some companies are understanding the benefits of providing a hybrid work culture. PWC(2021) report suggests that, in December 2020, 83% of employers have seen successful results in remote work options.
Lesser wages because of flexible working hours
Companies are compromising with regular pay rates and, in terms of flexibility, are hiring candidates with low wages. 60% of employees are even accepting less pay to trade with flexibility as per The Hindu newspaper.
Lessons learned from COVID-19 Pandemic.
Employers have to understand that investment in employees is crucial to upskill and build a successful team.
It has proven that the hybrid working model supports wellbeing and productivity for both employers and employees.
Big tech companies are leading their ways to adopt a hybrid working model.
It is required to overcome frictions between the internal organizational level to drive this change.
Hybrid working model challenges and how we can overcome them.
Time monitoring: we should allocate resources to cover the shifts throughout. Managing the working hours to minimize overtime. Balancing being at the office and remote. Such that employees are energetic in both scenarios.
Tracking productivity and working hours: Creating dashboards and online meetings to track employees’ productivity. Daily, weekly, quarterly appreciation and feedback to uplift and encourage employees.
Education and knowledge transfer in remote sessions: Transparency on the challenges overtaken by each employee. Creating a culture to educate youngsters and overcoming barriers between freshers and experienced employees.
Providing the right tools and training for digital collaboration: According to McKinsey Global Institute (2020), 80 - 85% of employers are planning digitalization of the work process (e.g. videoconferencing). Educating customers and employees periodically to use such tools.
Adopting healthy collaboration engagements: Understanding the impact of online meetings for a longer duration. Increased video engagement causes fatigue and lack of concentration. Allowing minor breaks between work and meetings can create a positive impact and more productivity.
There is a deeper attribute that remains hidden and needs consideration, i.e. the working relationship within the team.
The team works based on leadership and ethical interactions. With physical interactions, we can understand body language and build trust. Also, it leads to successful communication. To overcome the barriers of communication, it’s essential to keep the balance between physical and virtual interactions. Reminding the employees and employers about the goals through digital platforms, including newsletters. It’s vital to administer trust over forcing control to manage a hybrid work environment successfully.
The best way to keep employees engaged and deliver productivity is by providing radical training. Such a change in the conventional style of working requires time and patience. Also, equal participation of all genders over events and upskilling.
Hence, coordination and proper shift regulation as per discussion with employees may bring sustenance to the hybrid working model.
A hybrid environment can also make it difficult for the HR manager to hire the candidate. The overall organization can be in jeopardy if the person provides false information.
Swati Julius Samuel