Why employers are embracing hybrid working
Posted on 28th April 2023
Hybrid working is an option worth considering for all businesses. The pandemic showed us that employees working from home or other remote locations can still be productive. It also introduced some challenges, including how to manage teams that aren’t on site, how to keep them and your data secure, and how to look after their health and wellbeing.
Despite some challenges, hybrid working is becoming one of the hallmarks of forward thinking companies. However, it’s not necessarily positive for everyone. To stand out from the crowd and attract the best employees you need to embrace the change. Most importantly, you must be ready to adopt new working patterns and provide the right support for your teams.
A hybrid workplace allows your employees to work both remotely and on site. It provides flexibility and you can probably save money on office space and other resources.
One reason hybrid working is popular is that your employees can manage their own flexible schedules. Working days can be planned around travel, childcare, and factors that affect mental and personal fitness. Choosing when and where to work can improve both employee productivity and job satisfaction.
Technology and hybrid working
Technology has responded quickly to the demands of remote working. Systems like Zoom and Teams are now part of the normal working day, wherever you work. Security, communication and collaboration tools are needed to keep the hybrid workplace running smoothly. However, investment in video conferencing, project management systems, and cloud-based storage has allowed companies to introduce automation and improve efficiency.
Diversity and inclusion in the hybrid workplace
When your employees can work from anywhere, you can recruit the most talented people, almost regardless of their location. This can be a great benefit for employees with limited mobility or specific cultural needs, for example. However, it’s also important to make sure your remote workers are fully immersed in your company culture and decision-making.
Sustainability and hybrid working
If you’re looking for opportunities to reduce your company’s carbon footprint cutting down on daily commuting is an attractive option alongside waste reduction and reduced office space. To cut business miles further, employees can combine work-related activities with the school run and journeys to gyms and shops.
Managing your remote teams
New skills are needed to manage hybrid teams, so additional training is part of the transition. This will include styles of communication, use of new and different technologies, and performance management. It’s the ideal time to upskill and improve your overall management structure and approach. This could also include more devolved decision making and employee empowerment.
Hybrid working and employee wellbeing
Almost one third of organisations are already making it easier for their hybrid workers to access employee benefits remotely. Over a quarter have also introduced new benefits to improve their mental and physical health. Virtual GP appointments or extra social events are just some of the options on offer. These are amongst the findings of research carried out earlier this year with HR decision makers and employees.
Patterns of hybrid working are evolving, so you’ll want to constantly review the support you offer and the way it’s delivered. Over time your team members are likely to make different choices about how they want to work. Even employers who have already updated employee benefit packages will probably need to make further changes.
Measuring the impact of hybrid working
Two thirds of employers who have already embraced hybrid working say they measure how it’s affecting their teams. Over half measure productivity and engagement. Other measures include staff retention, sickness, use of support services and recruitment. You’ll need your own indicators to understand how your employees are performing and how hybrid working changes your business.
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