What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working has become a common phenomenon in the corporate world. Many employees have seen the benefits that working from home has to offer. There are also a wide range of benefits for employers too. A hybrid work model incorporates office attendance. However, staff are able to work from home some of the time, as opposed to being required to come into the office five days per week.
What are the benefits of hybrid working for employers?
How is hybrid working affecting productivity?
What challenges does hybrid work present for employers?
What can employers do to keep employees engaged with the hybrid model?
The Biggest Employee Experience Trends of 2021
Based on unique insights from over 300 HR professionals and organisational leaders, The State of Employee Engagement 2021 report reveals HR’s biggest priorities right now, the challenges ahead for hybrid working, and uncovers the great employee engagement divide.
What are the benefits of hybrid working for employers?
Hybrid working can bring many benefits for employers. If executed correctly, then the hybrid working models can improve productivity and provide a better employee experience in the process. There may be multiple reasons for this, from less distraction on a day-to-day basis, to employees having more energy as a result of not having to commute into the office. Whatever the reason, higher rates of productivity with hybrid working is generally positive for the performance of a business, providing the quality of work is maintained.
Companies can offer their employees the freedom to decide how and where they can work optimally. It may be possible to give some flexibility as to when employees are required to work. However, for many businesses employees are still expected to stick to core hours. It is up to companies to gauge how much autonomy they grant to staff.
Positive impacts for staff retention and talent acquisition
Hybrid working brings many benefits, but employers should consider that this style of working may not suit every employee. WorkBuzz can help employers find out how staff feel about hybrid working, allowing them to make decisions based on their feedback. In terms of recruiting new employees, hybrid working allows employers to find prospective candidates from a wider talent pool. Companies can extend their search radius to find people who would usually be unable or unwilling to commute on a daily basis.
It can also become easier to retain employees, as people are able to have a better work-life balance. Remote or hybrid working can help staff feel happier and more satisfied with their work and personal life. This generally increases loyalty and employee satisfaction. By retaining employees, a company can avoid the expensive and lengthy processes of hiring new staff. It also helps foster good work relationships as staff can form lasting relationships with their co-workers.
Better insights from employees
Trust is one of the primary factors that promote a productive and healthy work environment. By allowing people to work from home, employers give employees the opportunity to demonstrate they can perform the role at home. At the same time, employers can actually get better insight into the performance of their employees. This is because such work environments use shared technology and collaboration platforms. Providing there are systems and processes in place, employers can view the activity of their employees and understand performance in a much more insightful way.
Find Out How To Get Better Employee Engagement
How does this style of working affecting productivity?
Office distractions are minimised and higher levels of focus are often seen in employees who work well at home. There is also likely to be a reduction in unplanned leave and absenteeism because employees can work from any location and at any time.
Hybrid working can help promote employee health and wellbeing. Giving employees a break from the conventional work environment and commuting routine frees up more time for exercise. It also means employees can avoid commutes, which are known to affect mental and physical wellbeing. It should be noted that working remotely can also cause poor health and wellbeing due to factors such as staff feeling isolated if they are working at home alone. In this sense combining home and office working gives the best of both worlds to avoid such negative aspects of remote working.
What are some of the challenges for employers?
Hybrid working can help improve collaboration and working relationships among employees. It changes the full-time office dynamic and people are required to find new ways to work together. Group meetings can be challenging because physical cues are not always apparent. However, working out a way to communicate effectively in virtual meetings can generate positive outcomes.
When employees only meet virtually, it can also make it harder for them to foster good relationships with each other. However, the same can be true when employees work together in a traditional setting. In this sense splitting time between home and office working offers the potential to work remotely on tasks that require individual focus and come together physically when required.
Combining office and home working models have proven popular with many businesses and employees. However, there are cases where employees need, or simply prefer, to work from an office on a full-time basis. Before adopting hybrid working, companies must establish a strategy that will help promote its success. It is also important to find ways to measure how well employees interact with the new way of working.
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What can employers do to keep employees engaged with hybrid models
When it comes to hybrid working, there are a range of things that can keep staff engaged. Whether in an office or at home, employers should encourage physical activity to help employees look after their health. This has many benefits for companies and employees.
Making sure there is an inclusive culture helps make everyone feel happier to express themselves at work. This fosters a work environment where all team members feel free to share ideas. With active leadership, employers can engage employees whether they are working at home or in the office. Things like designing team meetings for both remote and office-based workers can help everyone feel part of the team. Regular one on one catch-ups with employees gives the opportunity to discuss experiences and maintain engagement. Ultimately, it is up to employers to help employees learn how to communicate, stay in sync, and collaborate with this style of working. This includes watching for burnout, as well promoting general wellbeing and healthy lifestyles.
Employers can implement systems to monitor and assess the productivity of their staff without constant meetings and updates. Providing the remote staff with a clear brief and ensuring that they are well equipped with training and tools to help them perform their tasks remotely is vital. Communication does not need to be constant, but finding the balance with remote and office-based staff will help everyone keep up to date.
How can WorkBuzz help companies keep employees engaged with hybrid working?
To create a more engaging hybrid work environment it is important to gain an understanding of how employees feel about working from home and the office. WorkBuzz offers a flexible, simple to use, and confidential employee engagement platform which allow employers to easily gather this information.
WorkBuzz have a ‘best practice’ question library that can be combined with any custom questions you feel are relevant for your workplace, to create a bespoke employee survey which focuses on how they feel about hybrid working. Responses from the survey can then be turned into actionable insights and used to drive change in the areas that matter most to your employees. Benchmarking is also available so you can understand how you compare to similar organisations.