The massive remote working experiment triggered by COVID-19 has left an indelible mark on workplaces worldwide. A Rada Business survey shows that 45% of workers are “extremely or very interested” in permanently working from home or remotely, while 80% said they prefer having the option to work remotely on some days.
These findings are hardly surprising; many employees have long requested their companies to work remotely because of the benefits to work-life balance. And, as the adage goes, happy employees are productive employees. One study found that remote workers spent an average of 27 minutes unproductive time — 10 minutes less than in-office workers.
While the threat of the pandemic still looms over the UK, many employers have already signaled a return to the office, leading many workers to push back and demand hybrid working arrangements — where employees split their time between remote and in-office work.
If this is the first time you’ve heard about hybrid working, or you have considered this arrangement but need more insight to make an informed decision, we’ve put together this list of facts about hybrid working that you should know.
Flexible working is a broad term that refers to employees working in a way that suits their needs, whether it’s being able to choose their working hours or having the ability to work from home.
According to Microsoft, 71% of UK workers want flexibility in their jobs to continue in a post-pandemic world. Enabling hybrid working in your workplace is one way to fulfill this demand while allowing managers to maintain a traditional workplace.
Research by Cloudbooking shows that 55% of workers want permanent hybrid work. It’s a finding that shows that the office isn’t going anytime soon. In fact, a survey by IWG shows that 84% of 18–24-year-olds agreed that collaboration is easier in an office environment, while 82% believe that face-to-face interactions with colleagues are vital to developing skills for career advancement.
3. There are Different Hybrid Working Models
Implementing hybrid working isn’t as simple as giving workers the green light to spend half the week at home and the other half in the office. There are different hybrid working models to choose from.
- Remote-first model: Remote work is the default working environment, with workers having the option to visit the office any time they please.
- Office-first model: This flips the remote-first model and has the office as the primary working environment, with workers able to work remotely on some days of the week or upon request.
- Split-week model: The split-week or office-occasional model involves giving workers guidelines for how many hours to work remotely and work in the office. Setting rules and clear expectations are critical to preventing chaos and scheduling conflicts (e.g., having too many employees than the office can accommodate).
- At-will model: This model allows employees to choose their desired working arrangement on any given day. It gives workers full autonomy to decide whether they need to work in a co-located environment or remotely. However, the danger with this setup is that it can lead to scheduling issues and workers jockeying for desk space/cubicles.
Hybrid Working is Here to Stay
Shifting to hybrid working can be a major undertaking for the average business. Be sure to take the time to understand what your employees need and whether you have the technology to support a hybrid workforce.