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What Exactly is a Hybrid Workplace Model, and How Does it Function?

The hybrid workplace concept mixes remote and on-site workers, with some or all employees being able to select where and when they work.

By Munnazir ZarinPublished 4 months ago 4 min read
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Coworking space in Islamabad

A hybrid workplace paradigm combines in-office and remote work to provide employees with flexibility and support. Employees in a hybrid workplace often have more autonomy and a better work-life balance, and as a result, they are more engaged. Building a more productive, healthy, and stable workforce benefits employers.

What exactly is the hybrid workplace model?

The hybrid workplace concept mixes remote and on-site workers, with some or all employees being able to select where and when they work. Office time might be scheduled by the day, by teams, or on an as-needed basis.

The hybrid approach is not appropriate for every workplace or industry; it is best suited to employees whose work is computer-based and does not require on-site performance. A recent McKinsey analysis looked at remote work that can be done without sacrificing efficiency. It was concluded that "between 20% and 25% of advanced economies' workforces could work from home three to five days each week." This is four to five times more distant work than existed prior to the outbreak."

The hybrid workplace model is not a transitory or stop-gap solution; rather, it represents the future of work and adaptive, resilient workplaces.

Why is the hybrid workplace becoming the norm?

The shift to remote and hybrid work was underway long before the pandemic, but, like with so many other things, COVID-19 expedited the process. Businesses faced a slew of issues, ranging from providing the necessary tools to managing productivity and morale in a distributed team setting. However, after a few months, it was evident that there was no turning back - staff enjoyed this new, more flexible manner of working.

Businesses can profit from lessons learnt from their remote work experiences now that some employees are reentering regular office settings - at least some of the time. The idea is to create a hybrid work paradigm that best meets their individual requirements.

Modern HR tools are helping the transition to hybrid work by allowing data to be collected, managed, and analysed from all teams, independent of location. Technology may help with employee onboarding, upskilling, and reskilling, and it can also provide employees with access to everything they need during their employee journey, from collaboration tools to cloud technologies, when used appropriately.

The ideal "new normal" workplace is an inclusive hybrid workplace in which all employees, regardless of location, are productive, engaged, and feel connected and included.

Advantages of a Hybrid Work Environment

A hybrid workplace that prioritizes the human experience takes use of developing HR technologies to become more adaptable, agile, and productive.

According to Gartner, "just 36% of employees were high performers at typical organisations where employees work a regular 40 hours per week in the office." When firms transitioned from this atmosphere to one of radical flexibility, where employees could choose where, when, and how much they worked, 55% of employees performed well."

Increased employee productivity: A variety of factors contribute to increased productivity, including increased autonomy in choosing work hours and location, fewer interruptions at home than in the office, repurposing commuting time, and the ability to come into the office when in-person collaboration is most beneficial.

Reduced overhead costs: Businesses are examining their real estate strategy and chances to cut office space or relocate to smaller cities, all of which can reduce overhead. Employees that are hybrid are more engaged, which leads to less churn and lowers costs.

Improved employee experience and work-life balance: Greater flexibility and autonomy promote job satisfaction and happiness, which improves work performance and overall employee well-being. A unified focus on work-life balance contributes to the success of a mixed workplace.

Improved safety and social distancing: Because COVID-19 variations are expected to be a persistent concern, the hybrid workplace paradigm enables office space to be built to prioritise safety and sanitization. Mixing and matching who is at the workplace - and when - allows for social distancing and increased cleaning, which also makes it easier if contact tracing is required.

Technology can also aid in the reduction of pandemic-related health hazards. "Internet of Things (IoT) sensors, for example, can count the number of individuals in a building and limit occupancy." Based on the frequency of use, they can also detect workstations that require sanitization. This data may be analysed by artificial intelligence (AI) to discover areas that maximise worker safety. According to Forbes, "it can also evaluate building floor plans to execute automatic social distancing and eliminate touchpoints."

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