Hybrid Workplaces – In 2021, leading brands like Google and Amazon switched to a remote workplace and formulated strategies to provide a smooth and efficient work system. Now that the pandemic has become a part of life and the case counts are generally low, the world is restoring to old ways of life, companies are again in the spotlight for making a crucial decision. This time, they must restore to the old ways or walk along with the new remote work culture.
While many are juggling between the two options, farsighted leaders address the third way, i.e., maintaining a balance between both by forming a hybrid workplace. Hybrid work culture attracts large organizations to SMEs and startups for its vast and poised scope.
Instead of calling the employees back to the office or letting them stay at home, some companies are meeting along the middle and decide to go the hybrid way. This structure allows the employees and managers to balance between working from home and the office, which in turn benefits both the company and the employee.
While we talk about the future of hybrid workspaces, we need to consider the most crucial factor contributing to creating a workspace – the employees. Unless the employees are managed adequately, it is nearly impossible for companies to develop any structure, be it office-based, online or hybrid.
So are the Employees Ready to go Back?
Daniel Pinto, the co-president of the leading global financial services firm JPMorgan Chase, gave an interview to CNBC about the shift in work culture. He stated that he sees a zero out of a hundred percent chance that employees would ultimately return to the on-site office setup. While his statement addresses that there are chances that many employees would prefer an online work setup, he also hinted that they would not mind showing up on specific scheduled dates rather than working regularly on-site.
Numerous practical, sentimental, and psychological reasons prevent employees from going back to their offices. Some of these reasons are listed below:
Working from home was not an easy transition for some employees. Covid took a toll on the mental health of numerous employees from leading countries like the US, UK, and Canada. But with the right motivation and perspective, companies managed to help the employees adapt to the change.
For the last year and a half, many employees found comfort in working from home. They created a space that allowed them to function while sustaining the balance between their personal and professional life. Pre pandemic, the corporate world was slowly heading towards the remote work setup, and the pandemic accelerated the shift. The 9-5 work culture is not here to stay. With the practical experience of employees working in the remote setup, they are now ready to select convenience and comfort over working from big offices.
With the remote work culture gaining prominence through the pandemic, employees and skilled individuals were exposed to a pool of possibilities. As there was no restriction of location or travel, they could explore opportunities across the globe.
Talented individuals got an opportunity to enhance their portfolio while the newcomers could glide through the global market and bag better packages.
Many employees have gotten a raise in salary through the pandemic. Employers saw an increase in the work efficiency of their employees. The remote work setup enabled them to enhance their work efficiency by focusing more on their tasks. Companies became more accommodative of employees’ personal engagements while creating clear work policies that focused on the output.
Now that employees have had a taste of flexible working, they are not quite ready to go back to the old customs where they spend a considerable amount of time traveling to work and adhering to the office restrictions.
What do the Companies Feel?
Similar to the series of benefits that the employees experience with a remote work setup, companies too witnessed advantages on technical and financial aspects. Numerous top players from the market decided to continue their operations in a traditional work setting, while some chose to establish a remote work setup.
Unlike the office culture before the pandemic, companies save considerable capital that need not be spent with hybrid workplaces. Depending upon the requirements, companies invite limited workers to show up at work on a scheduled basis. This saves them from spending on property rental, office supplies, and factors like electricity, water, and other utility consumption.
Offices are opting for priority-based and need-based hybrid setups. The amount they would spend on maintaining an office space can now be spent on ensuring employee satisfaction and enhancing employee engagement with attractive compensations and incentives.
The industries recognize the efficiency of technology in the corporate sector and are walking towards an era of a flexible work environment. There is no doubt that many job profiles still require offline working, and the companies that include such profiles or industries that need on-site manual labor will restore their old school work procedures.
However, the digital age has opened up its avenues for many more employment opportunities for the workers and business ideas for the companies. At the same time, they indulge in a remote or hybrid work setup.
Formulating an apt hybrid setup is not a cakewalk. Still, companies that will achieve the equilibrium will cash benefits in work outputs, employee retention, and an overall enhanced profile in the industry.
Pranjal Bora works as a Software Development Lead at Digital Authority Partners, a full-service digital marketing agency.