What is Hybrid Working and how do I implement it?

The world of work is progressively changing, with growing desires for a more flexible system fostering the ‘hybrid workforce,’ where employee needs are the new priority.

How did this model come about? The short answer – The pandemic. The long answer, the hybrid workforce rooted from the progressive enforcement of remote work/study over the past two years. This way of life has subsequently reshaped the current structure of our workforce, as many employees have grown accustomed to this way of life; sometimes even demand it as skill shortages prevail. This approach comprises both remote and in-office work, offering a more flexible work schedule for employees. This system supports a better work/life balance, as employees have the option to work in their desired location, offering more time for family or social activities.

Why should workplaces opt for this model? Not only does this model assist employees to achieve a more balanced lifestyle, the flexibility of this system promotes productivity and improved work outcomes. In-office and remote options can satisfy multiple needs, leading to increased employee satisfaction. Furthermore, employees are able to structure work around their lives, leading to better mental health. This system has shown to result in improved working relationships, as employees are able to work collaboratively in a face-to-face setting, while catering for those who prefer working alone. Companies such as Microsoft, Apple and Spotify are currently talking about hybrid work, promoting its benefits and discussing the transitions they are making. (https://www.computerworld.com/article/3652613/apple-joins-the-great-return-to-hybrid-work.html)

For businesses implementing this model, it is important to ensure sufficient resources are available for employees to feel comfortable at work. Offices should help their employees prepare for a hybrid workforce by providing necessities at their disposal. Specifically, menstruators should be provided with adequate resources to enable them to thrive in the workplace. Pads and tampons should be free for menstruators, which may increase employee satisfaction, whilst facilitating a more inclusive environment. Ultimately, employees are more likely to be productive and positive in the workplace if they feel their needs are met.

It is time for businesses to place employee needs at the forefront of the organisation. Implementing the hybrid workforce model will require people managers to provide adequate resources for their employees to actually return face-to-face. These commitments will no doubt ensure employees can thrive in the workplace, thereby increasing productivity and better work outcomes.

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