The global pandemic was a reason for us to introduce many changes in the way we work. Managers of companies who thought that working from home cannot be an option were forced to send their employees at home. The flexibility and productivity were put to test. Many companies had the desire to make a balance between working from home and at the office. Because of that many companies implemented the hybrid work model.
What is a hybrid work model?
Hybrid work model is a combination of working at the office and working remotely - at home or some other place outside the company’s offices. The employee can choose for himself/herself where they are most productive - at the office, in their home or in some other coworking space. Or they can choose a combination of both - depending on their preferences. In post-covid conditions this hybrid work model looks like a good option for the company and the employees. But, is this working model the best solution for the future?
Companies are focused on what is best for their business and they seek to implement the ideal method of hybrid work model. They accept the concept of freedom, but many are not sure whether or not they should allow their employees to choose when, how and where they will work, says Yogita Tulsiani, co-founder of iXceed Solutions.
Here are some advantages and challenges that we need to have in mind about this work model.
Flexible Working Time
The two major advantages of those who work like this are flexibility and feeling happy at the workplace. Since at the peak of the pandemic people's physical and mental health were under attack, a lot of companies wanted to meet the needs of their employees and to invest in their workplace.
According to a study made by WeWork и Workplace Intelligence, 75% employees would give up at least one benefit, including health insurance, if they could only have the freedom to choose where they can work from
The benefit of the employees who implement the hybrid work model is that they can organize their working hours when they're home. This adds a special value for those who are parents of young children because they can organize their working day based on their family needs and activities.
Increased Working Pleasure
It is no secret that happy employees will be productive employees. A great number of recent studies show that employees who work at home or use the hybrid model have a greater rate of productivity. Flexibility to choose where and how they work will contribute toward better balance between work and private life. This control over working hours enables the worker to organize his/her working time based on the needs of their family. That means they will spend 3 hours on writing the new blog, but they'll do it after picking up their children from training.
The Value of Sharing Working Space Together The main idea behind the hybrid work model is the ability for the employee to combine working from home with working at a different location. The employees who took part in the study of WeWork и Workplace Intelligence said that there are number of advantages in working in the same space as others, such as the ability to focus more and cooperate with others. They emphasized a number of ways in which the office space makes it easier to interact with colleagues and customers - a key aspect of daily work which many people missed during the pandemic. Working in the same office or meeting space with your colleagues even once a week is useful for exchanging ideas, innovation, social interaction and building a better team. All these components are essential for progress and development of any company and its culture. Flexible Lease Terms
If they opt for hybrid layouts, small and medium-sized companies can make serious savings by increasing the use/rental of flexible shared spaces. Instead of renting an office space and paying monthly rent and maintenance, the company can arrange a temporary rental of office space – for team and business meetings, or work on a joint project. According to an Economic Times article from January 2021, a company can save as much as 30% on operating costs if it operates from a coworking space. Or more specifically, a company of 20 employees in Skopje will spend, for example, 1000 EUR per month for rent, plus about 200 EUR for maintenance and other expenses. If the company rents a coworking space once a week in the LinkAcross Development Center, it will spend around 600 EUR per month. So, instead of spending 1200 EUR, the company will spend 600 EUR. The "surplus" can be invested in a digital marketing or team building fund. A growing number of companies are finding that they can avoid these costs, office furnishing costs, purchasing appliances and installing the technology necessary to run an office. Using a coworking/flexible office space will allow the business to eliminate costs related to management, maintenance and cleaning. Conclusion Many companies want their employees to return to the office, while employees would rather continue to do at least part of their work duties from home. Regardless of which work model you prefer, working from home or working from the office, both companies and employees need to bridge that gap between the two models together. Because of that, the hybrid work model is receiving more and more attention. Whether a company can afford to give the employee the power to choose where they will work depends on the industry, but also on the type of work tasks involved. Fortunately, a good number of companies can afford the luxury of offering the hybrid work model as an option. The key to any company offering a hybrid work model is to establish a system of internal "control" and communication between management and employees. This task is not easy, especially considering that managers need to have a certain amount of trust in employees. Research has shown that if an employee is given the flexibility they need, they will "give back" to the company with increased productivity, engagement and loyalty. The employee wants to justify the trust the boss gave him. After the pandemic, people's desire for a hybrid work model will increase even more. Employers who do not offer hybrid options will miss out on the opportunity to improve key business outcomes. This will imply a greater demand for shared office spaces where a company can gather its employees once or more times a week for team meetings and other activities. LinkAcross Center for Development is one such place in Skopje that offers convenience precisely for companies that need additional professional space/room for meetings and events.