The pandemic caused by the appearance of the COVID-19 virus caused companies to be forced to make changes in their work modalities. The solution that many companies are moving towards is hybrid working . It is a model that gives employees the flexibility to work anywhere.
Employees can work from home, at the office, or anywhere else around the world. Companies have the possibility of implementing hybrid work calendars that define the dates and times that employees are expected to work in the office.
They can also offer employees full sovereignty to choose when and where they want to work.
The working model for the future
At present, the hybrid work model is very present, in this way it is essential to open up the possibilities of changing and improving it. In fact, it is emerging as the work model of the future.
According to a report published by Microsoft, a percentage of more than seventy percent of workers are betting on the continuity of remote work once the pandemic ends.
However, contrary to these results, 75% state that they need to spend more time in the office with their colleagues. So, the similarity between the figures indicates that it is necessary to apply a scheme that is beneficial for both parties.
Benefits of Hybrid Work for Employees
Many companies are betting on a hybrid work model , however, it is important that they know the benefits that this pattern offers to employees. The most relevant ones are mentioned below.
Employees have the ability to choose where to work and, on some occasions, when.
Better balance between personal and work life
Downtime to and from the office has disappeared and employees have the opportunity to better balance their work and other tasks.
Workers are often happier if they have more flexibility and independence in choosing where to work. Happier employees also tend to perform better.
Benefits of hybrid working for organizations
The application of hybrid or mixed work has benefits for both employees and organizations and institutions. It should be noted that they will be reflected once they are implemented through a coordinated action plan. Next, some of the most significant.
Allowing employees to work from home means spending less money to rent, fit out, and maintain office workspaces.
Recruit the best candidates
Now that the awesomeness of working from home is open, many workers are looking for companies that offer mixed jobs. By offering mixed job options, companies can ensure that they attract the best candidates for the position.
Likewise, happier employees equate to higher performance. Also, happier employees indicate that there will be less staff turnover.
Hybrid work and productivity
In a mixed environment, company-provided work options can maximize the productivity of all employees. Flexibility is one of the keys to designing a hybrid work plan.
Enterprise organizations can provide the ability to remotely track part of a team, which in turn allows others to work in the office. At the same time, you can allow all employees to work from home on an occasional basis.
When companies have employees working remotely, face-to-face, and two-way, they can't rely on classic productivity metrics that only apply to on-site employees.
It is recommended to use objective indicators that can be applied to different types of workers. This will create an effective, fair and efficient mixed workspace. In addition, problems can be detected early and help provided before it's too late, such as burnout or lack of training.
A report resulting from a survey by McKinsey & Company shows that at least nine out of ten companies said they are adopting a hybrid model, however, only a few have a determined plan to implement it.
Here are some metrics to quantify productivity levels:
- Percentage of tasks completed on time.
- Number of completed tasks.
- Evaluation of the quality of the work carried out.
- Customer rating.
- Activity level during working hours.
- Availability of working hours.
How to successfully implement a hybrid working model
To successfully implement the hybrid work model in any company, the starting point must be the immediate communication of the work policy.
Likewise, invest to provide the necessary tools for workers to be highly productive, either in person or remotely. However, it is essential to define several aspects.
Define what an operational hybrid workspace looks like for the enterprise
There are many types of mixed work environments and each environment has a different impact on the work of employees. To put it into practice, it is important to define the ideal mixed workspace that the company requires.
Some of the factors that need to be considered are the type of work of the company and the ability of the company to adapt to a mixed workspace. For example, budget, information security, among others. Also, employee preferences. As well as, which model is beneficial for your productivity and that of the organization.
Check where employees work best
According to a survey carried out by PwC, 47% of the employees who were consulted said they feel more profitable when working remotely. In contrast, only twenty-eight percent of executives agree with these statements.
There are many factors that cause this difference, so it is important to understand where each worker works best. To find out, you can start by comparing key performance indicators (KPIs).
These focus on the "how" and indicate the performance of the process so that goal setting can be achieved. Therefore, the decision must be made based on what works best for them.
In addition, it is also recommended to involve employees in the process to learn about the factors that affect their productivity . After hearing their feedback, they can be helped to reach unmatched levels of productivity.
Adjust the hybrid work schedule between teams
Since not everyone in the company will be working in the same place at the same time, cross-team collaboration can suffer in a mixed model. It is possible that there are employees who work different hours, or that certain projects require that all the workers dedicate themselves to them at the same time.
For this reason, it is of fundamental importance that the employees and the schedules of the groups are aligned to achieve the desired levels of productivity in a hybrid environment.
To achieve this, they have the possibility of using task administrators that the entire workforce can access. In this way, an employee will be able to see what projects he has indicated, who he works with and the schedules of his teammates.
Invest in collaborative programs and tools
A hybrid workplace will not work without the involvement of instruments. Although this component seems difficult to achieve, there is a wide variety of tools and programs that make it feasible.
For example, cloud-based software helps employees communicate and help freely from the site where they are located.
Plus, with the right software, there's the ability to integrate productivity and management tools, which will further improve cross-group engagement and productivity.
The hybrid work model is very recent, so you must be open to change and improve it.
Optimizing the hybrid workspace with various feedback channels
No matter how hard you try, a hybrid workplace will never be perfect from the start, so as a Human Resources representative of a company, you must be open to receiving opinions and criticism from consumers and workers to carry out the necessary changes.
For this, meetings can be held with the employees to see how the adaptation process to the new work modality is going. In addition, surveys can be sent to consumers to identify potential drawbacks or points that have been overlooked.
One of the downsides of remote work is that the line between professional and personal blurs, so it's easy for employees to feel burned out.
One way to avoid this is to use a project management program that makes it possible to visualize the workload of each one. This will make it easier to know how long it takes them to complete their tasks.
Manager bias is something to consider in mixed workspaces. In most cases, the performance of employees who come to the office is valued much better than those who work remotely.
Hybrid workers are often not recognized at work and have fewer opportunities for career growth. In order to avoid this situation in the workplace, there must be training for supervisors. It is pertinent that it emanates from the Human Resources department.
Hybrid work and mental health
Hybrid work has multiple advantages, among which we can mention the savings in time for transfers between the office and home, less money spent on fuel, the possibility of a longer rest and the balance between work and personal life. However, it can have harmful effects on the mental health of workers.
Having more time causes workers to spend more hours dedicated to work and it is difficult for them to separate, which may be due to existing distractions at home that do not allow them to work. Overwork or even start and end times are not respected.
Paradoxically, this means that more and more people experience the burnout syndrome that leads to tension, anguish and physical signs such as lack of sleep, loss of appetite, demotivation and visualization of work as something repulsive and unpleasant.
Importance of mental health
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines mental health as a state of general well-being that includes physical, mental and social conditions that allow people to use their abilities to respond effectively to daily stressful situations and to be active in the work at different levels of functioning, while contributing to their community.
Mental health needs balance, effort, free time, compensation, personal and professional life, relaxation in responsibility and more. If these balances are not maintained all the time, mental health will suffer, forcing the person to live day after day feeling encapsulated, carrying out a very basic and unmotivated routine.
Caring for mental health means betting on quality of life beyond the challenges of the dichotomy between health and disease. Health systems and services play an important role in primary and specialized mental health care. However, neither primary care nor professional services are sufficient to meet the demand.
But the happiness and quality of life of workers is not just a matter of public health. Unhealthy levels of stress or anxiety produce changes in people's behavior which in the short and medium term are not only costly, but also have verifiable effects on groups and organizations.
Poor mental health is associated with lower productivity, greater difficulty in interpersonal relationships, and higher costs of hiring and training replacement workers.
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