Everyone is buzzing about hybrid work schedules now that companies are calling their employees back to the office, but many questions remain.
Reasons Why Hybrid Working Model is Gaining Popularity
Some people have been working in-person full time for decades and reject the transition out of fear of change. Some fear that workers will get too comfortable at home and laziness will slow productivity.
Some don’t understand what hybrid remote work model fully entails or why so many people are calling for this change.
Now is the time for everyone (employers and employees) to educate themselves on the hybrid work model and consider the widely implemented change.
Hybrid Working Model
A hybrid working model implements a mix between remote work and in-person work. Some organizations allow workers to come and go as they please as long as they put in the required hours.
Others are stricter with the schedule, but allow certain days to be remote days. The main idea is that an agreed-upon portion of the workweek is spent working remotely.
Many people have been working remotely during the pandemic, and companies are starting to see the benefits of remote work.
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Some of the biggest global companies, including Twitter, Facebook, and Microsoft, are implementing a hybrid work model for their employees and setting an example for smaller businesses worldwide.
Many businesses are enthusiastic about the hybrid model, but some prefer to go back to the way things were pre-pandemic.
These companies may be forced to adapt to the hybrid schedule as many employees are refusing to accept the traditional work model. According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, “the future of work is here and it’s hybrid”.
During the lockdown, companies discovered that production actually increased while people worked from home. In a recent Boston Consulting Group study, 75% of workers reported being at least as productive as they were pre-pandemic, and 42% of leaders in a different study reported increased productivity.
Working From Home
Working from home is allowing workers to fit work around their lives instead of struggling to fit life around a rigid office schedule. As schedules allowed for more freedom, people reported less stress and companies reported increased productivity.
Hybrid models are beneficial for production, which is the most important aspect of work, but it doesn’t stop there. Working from home has helped with commuting, distributed talent, and mental health issues in relation to the workplace.
Ditching the commute to work saves time and money, reduces carbon emissions, and actually increases productivity. Without changing the workday hours, a study found a 13% productivity increase without commutes.
Eliminating commutes breaks down location barriers and allows companies to search for top talent anywhere in the world.
Companies benefit from hiring the candidates they see the most potential in, and workers benefit by being able to accept their dream jobs without moving across the country.
A hybrid workforce relies less on physical offices when workers are mainly at home, this allows the organizations to save money in building maintenance and real estate costs.
The economic impact this hybrid model has should be enough to convince almost any company to implement it, but the benefits to workers’ mental health really seal the deal.
The traditional work model has allowed organizations to overlook the impact of putting in over 40 hours per week can have on workers’ mental health. Microsoft found that 60% of Gen Z (ages 18-25, the age many people are first entering the professional work world) feel that they are either struggling mentally or are merely surviving.
A burned-out generation is not ready to enter a traditional work model. Microsoft says Gen Z needs to be re-energized, which could be done if the workplace felt more comfortable and familiar to them.
It was necessary for them to adapt to an online group setting for education and work during the pandemic, so it makes sense that many of them would flourish in an online group setting at work after the pandemic.
With a large number of technological options available, working remotely has never been easier.
Microsoft found that over 40% of workers are considering leaving their jobs. 33% of workers say they will leave their jobs if their employer requires them to go back to in-person work full time.
People have gotten used to working from home and found that it actually benefits their work performance as well as their wellbeing. A staggering 73% of workers surveyed by Microsoft said they wanted hybrid options to be implemented permanently.
Workers want the balance and reduced stress a hybrid model provides, and organizations are going to have to adapt to that demand if they want to keep their employees or add new talent.
Many big-name companies are very publicly transitioning to the hybrid model, which raised awareness of the issue and prompted other companies to follow their lead.
The discussion around this topic will most likely continue for quite some time yet. The changes people are calling for are disrupting the norm, which can be frightening to society, but change needs to happen as the world develops.
Now is as good a time as any to implement drastic beneficial change.