In recent years, many companies that never considered remote work as a possibility have implemented work-from-home strategies just to keep the wheels turning. It’s far from ideal in many instances, but it has made us open to the possibility that at least some tasks don’t need to be completed on site. A hybrid working model, which allows employees to perform some tasks remotely, while being on site for others, could be a productive solution. In this post, we’ll examine the benefits of hybrid working while evaluating the challenges of hybrid working models.
The Benefits of Hybrid Working
Many of the benefits of hybrid working seem to be for employees, but it’s worth remembering that they can benefit organisations too. For example, with commuting time constraints being limited to days when employees are required to report in at the office, employees are spared much of the time and cost of the daily commute. However, the employer benefits from this too.
Workers report for duty fresh from the morning coffee instead of stressed from the commute, and employers can benefit from skills over a wider geographical area. With commuting costs reduced, workers are less subject to worry over their finances and better able to focus on their work, and the flexibility that goes with hybrid working models motivates employees to strive for greater heights. After all, it’s great being able to work from home without the feelings of isolation associated with purely remote work. You’re still part of the team, but you don’t have to be at the office every single day.
While employees are enjoying their freedom to work from home, your organisation can also cut down on the cost of office space. For example, in many hybrid working models, most of the work is done from home, with employees only arriving at HQ for important meetings and events. Could your business consider hiring or buying less costly real-estate to get its work done? A hybrid working model might mean that the answer is “yes.”
Counter-intuitively, it’s also easier to keep employees informed and participating in decision-making in hybrid working models. Meeting attendance is often limited by the space available in a physical meeting-room. But remote meetings don’t have these constraints. You can get more input, and more people will get their information first-hand.
As a final advantage, remote work allows you to recruit talent from all over the world, helping you to get the best candidate for any position. But remote work often leaves employees feeling isolated. Introduce a hybrid model, and they (and you) get the best of both worlds.
The Challenges: Disadvantages of Hybrid Working
Hybrid working has the potential to give both employees and employers a wide range of advantages, but the challenges it implies cannot be overlooked. Chief among these, is the challenge of achieving all the benefits of working in an office while employees are working from home. We can sum these up as easy communication, personal connection, working in teams to achieve creativity, and ensuring that folks, who may be working from the kitchen table in dressing gown and slippers, buy into your company’s culture.
Disadvantages? Certainly! But these are not challenges you can’t overcome. As long as you are aware of them, and are ready to combat them, the challenges of hybrid working can be countered. Part of the solution lies in the “hybrid” nature of your working model. Identify areas where in-person collaboration will lead to greater creativity, better communication and personal connection, and ensure that “office time” is spent on fostering these elements.
Because you aren’t implementing remote work in its purest form, it’s also possible to mitigate its disadvantages through in-person contact. You can help employees to overcome remote working challenges by implementing workflow and communications software and encouraging them to use it to the full. Beyond that, they have access to office-based meetings that allow for one-on-one interactions.
What the Future Holds for Hybrid Workplaces
Hybrid workplaces are the future of business. According to Gallup, 61 percent of US employees currently expect to combine on-site work with work-from-home, while 27 percent will work remotely, and companies are enabling this. This leaves a minority of businesses in favour of a return to traditional, office-based work 5 days a week.
Hybrid working benefits have hit home, both for employees and their employers – and from there, it’s only a hop and a skip towards an increase in outsourcing to specialist companies. After all, if a business can employ remote workers who drop in for a bit of face-time as needed, might it not be as economical (or even more so) to outsource entire functions or operational areas in much the same way?
This may well be why RSVP has experienced a rise in demand for its services. Since most companies have recent experience of remote and hybrid working models, they’re ready to employ business communications specialists who work as if they were part of the organisation without actually being present in their offices.
When contact is necessary, they’re available. The rest of the time, they operate independently and without an additional investment in office space and infrastructure. And because these outsourced teams are core functional areas for the business that directly employs them, communication, engagement, and personal contact come with the territory without the contracting company having to lift a finger.
If you’ve been researching hybrid working benefits and are hoping to benefit from them without having to deal with their potential disadvantages, outsourcing to companies that run hybrid working teams could make your task a whole lot easier. RSVP, a customer support and communications company, has been operating a hybrid working model for many years, and we’re ready to help you simplify matters. One contact person is all you need. We’re experts in the management of remote teams, and we provide the contact points they need to work effectively on your behalf. Need help with customer service? Talk to RSVP to get hybrid working advantages without the challenges that go with it.