Hyrbid work has become a buzzword since people have begun to go back into the office. The perfect mix of allowing employees to work from home some days and come to the office when necessary, hybrid work is becoming an increasingly popular work model for startups and large organizations alike.
The Business Leader reports that 57% of employees prefer hybrid work in 2022. It’s clear that this flexible work model is here to stay. Let’s talk about why!
The role of the physical office is shifting.
As more companies embrace the hybrid model, the role of the physical office is inevitably shifting. Less employees are coming into the office on a daily basis. Therefore, work is no longer directly associated with a physical office space. The office is now a place for collaboration, as teams that choose to meet in person are doing so for more fruitful discussion and synchronous communication.
One of the challenges of hybrid work is the feeling of disconnectedness when working from home. Therefore, the office has begun to represent the social aspect of work. Having these interactions to build social capital is immensely important for company culture and individual employee wellbeing.
Gen-Z is entering the workforce.
Shifting demographics is another reason for hybrid work becoming a dominant workplace model. An article by mccrindle states that by 2025, Gen-Z will make up 27% of the workforce. With generational changes comes cultural shifts. Different generations have different values and expectations when it comes to work.
Gen-Z was raised with technology as a central part of their lives, from the adoption of smartphones to the rise of a number of social media platforms. Therefore, they are not only comfortable with technology playing an integral role in their work but also expect workplaces to have reached a certain level of technological advancement.
When it comes to hybrid work, the majority of the backlash has come from older leaders within the organization. They have built proven ways of working successfully in-person without the use of technology and therefore might feel that it is unnecessary.
With Gen-Z making up more than a quarter of the workforce by 2025, the hybrid work model is likely to become dominant.
Employees are seeking greater flexibility.
While over a year of working from home had its many caveats and required immediate adaptation, many people learned about themselves and their preferred working styles. Some realized that working from home increases their productivity and allows them to dedicate time to other important aspects of their life. Others felt disconnected from their work and their colleagues while working from home and missed the in-office environment.
One lesson we can take away from the pandemic and the quick shift to work-from-home is that work models are not one size fits all. What works for one company or person may not work for another. As a result, it is important for companies to embrace flexibility in this new climate. If a company is worried about an employee working from home, especially if they are new, then they can always run a background check or do a people search online to see what they are like and their history, it will give them a better understanding of who they are hiring.
Most employees realized that having greater flexibility in their work hours and location greatly improved their wellbeing and job satisfaction. So much so that hybrid models are preferred over traditional work models. A study from Ergotron revealed that 88% of employees had increased job satisfaction when given the flexibility to work from home.
Hybrid work is proving to be cost-effective.
Hybrid work models not only benefit employees but also benefit companies at large. One of the main benefits of a hybrid arrangement is that it can be more cost-effective than traditional work models.
First and foremost, companies are likely to realize they require less physical space than they might have originally thought, allowing them to downsize their office space, reducing rent and maintenance costs significantly.
Hybrid work has also proven to increase employee retention. When employees can work when they are the most comfortable and productive, they are likely to have higher job satisfaction. Flexibility allows workers to prioritize other aspects of their lives, giving them greater work-life balance and leading to overall well-being. Retention is crucial for saving costs as recruiting and onboarding new employees is extremely expensive. Netsuite reports that employers in the United States spend over $1 trillion on recruiting replacement talent.
New technology is supporting the transition towards hybrid work.
The backbone of hybrid work models is the technology that supports them and ensure their success. From communication and video call platforms to software built specifically for hybrid work management, technology is facilitating the rise of hybrid work models. Let’s explore just a fraction of the many workplace technologies on the market.
When working from home, it is essential that clear communication channels are established as online communication can be difficult or lead to misunderstandings. Therefore, technology that helps establish synchronous communication when the team is working remotely is required for a hybrid team.
For example, Slack is a digital workspace platform that centralizes all communication. It allows teams to break down into smaller channels for more efficient communication. With Slack, employees can easily share files or have a quick call all in one place.
Workplace Management Technology
Hybrid work also requires additional management of employee schedules, such as when they will be in the office and when they will be working from home. The physical office space needs to be organized in a way that lends itself to collaboration when the team is in the office.
deskbird, for example, is a workspace booking and hybrid scheduling software that allows employees to book desks and office spaces for when they are coming into the office. Not only does this allow teams to choose which days are best to collaborate but it makes space allocations highly efficient without creating additional work for HR or workspace managers.
Hybrid work has truly transformed the way we view work and the expectations we have for our jobs. Personal well-being, career development, and the creation of social capital are priorities that are arising within the workforce and are supported with the implementation of hybrid models. It’s safe to say hybrid work is not going anywhere. So is your company ready to adapt?
Annabel Benjamin, Content Writer at Deskbird
Annabel Benjamin is a content writer and marketer at Deskbird, specializing in topics such as hybrid work, workplace management technology, and workplace culture.