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The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 has brought about various unprecedented changes without sparing any aspect of life. One such change was in workplace culture. With offices being shut down due to multiple lockdowns over the past few months, remote work culture became the norm. As organizations across the globe are slowly returning to normalcy, hybrid workplaces prove to be the best bet.
What is a Hybrid Model?
A hybrid model means the effective combination of remote work with physical office work. Balance the needs of employees for collaboration to promote productivity in a “phygital” space to meet organizational goals. This can look different in different organizations. Typically, it includes the presence of a core group onsite while others can work either onsite or remotely within reason.
How Does a Hybrid Workplace Work?
The premise of a hybrid workplace is for employees to have an optimal working experience without harming their productivity or safety while facilitating better collaboration. It can include a staggered number of employees present on-site at different times or dates. Some employees may also need to be present on specific days to complete their tasks. In some organizations, it might imply the onsite presence of only the core groups.
Employee Expectations From a Hybrid Workplace
The primary expectation of employees is access to a workplace culture that allows them to structure their work around their life. This expectation has turned into a need with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With growing concerns for public and personal health and safety, a traditional workplace structure no longer caters to the changing needs of employees. Whether it is the fear of the virus spreading or the time wasted on the commute, a hybrid workplace enables employees to increase their productivity without any additional burden.
Benefits of a Hybrid Workplace
› Maintain Work-Life Balance:
An important and obvious benefit offered by a hybrid work model is that it helps employees create and maintain a work-life balance. Any anxiety associated with spending time in crowded public places due to the ongoing pandemic is also eased.
› Economical Option:
A hybrid workplace is economical when compared to a traditional one. The need for massive offices is reduced and this helps organizations reduce a significant overhead — rent and maintenance.
› Explore Bigger Talent Pool:
A combination of the remote and in-person workforce gives organizations a chance to dip into a larger talent pool. The corporate sector is no longer restricted to sourcing onsite talent but can hire employees without any geographical restrictions.
› Prepares Employees for Potential Lockdowns:
It creates a resilient and well-prepared workforce capable of dealing with changing circumstances and potential lockdowns.
› Helps Contain Contagious Environments:
Another benefit of this model, especially in the given circumstances, is that it helps curb the spread of contagious pathogens.
Implementing a Hybrid Workplace
› Using Intranet:
The challenges of communicating and connecting with remote workers are not new. By leveraging the power of the intranet, organizations can create an effective and efficient communication system for optimal disbursement of communication between employers and employees.
› Cater to Distinct Employee Experiences:
To create and maintain a unified work culture, catering to the needs of two distinct employee experiences is mandatory.
› Enforce Safety Precautions:
To implement this workplace model, especially now, organizations must ensure the highest safety precautions and measures at the physical workplace. From limiting the employees working on-site and maintaining social distancing guidelines to cleaning and hygiene techniques, all safety concerns must be addressed.
Future of Hybrid Workplace Model
Necessity is the mother of invention. The ongoing pandemic forced employers and employees alike to reimagine the basic concept of a workplace. A hybrid workforce helps optimize the available opportunities without compromising on productivity.
A well-planned and executed hybrid model is the solution to structuring a workplace environment that balances crucial needs of employees and employers — work, communication, safety, and productivity. Even if the pandemic ends, the remote workplace model is here to stay.
This is the key to a healthier, happier, and ultimately more productive work culture.