7 Key Benefits of Hybrid Working Models for Businesses: Embracing the Future of Work
As the future of work evolves, the hybrid working model is emerging as a powerful force shaping businesses, and more importantly, creating healthier, more fulfilling work-life experiences for employees.
Hybrid working has seemed to be successful among many companies so, let’s explore together, and understand what makes this model so impactful.
What is Hybrid Working?
Hybrid working refers to a work arrangement where employees divide their time between working from an office and working remotely, typically from home.
The ‘hybrid’ part implies a blend of the traditional, office-centric work model and the flexibility of remote work.
To offer the best of both worlds – the collaboration and connection of an office setting, alongside the flexibility and autonomy of remote work.
7 Key Benefits of Hybrid Working Models for Businesses
The shift to a hybrid model is not just a trend—it’s a response to the evolving needs of businesses and employees alike. Here’s why:
1. Increased Productivity
Embracing a hybrid model often leads to enhanced productivity.
This model gives employees the choice to work in an environment that best suits their preferences and work style.
Perhaps they need the quiet solitude of home for focus-intensive tasks, or maybe the energy of the office space for collaborative projects.
The ability to choose can reduce stress and distractions, and can therefore enhance focus and productivity.
Furthermore, the time saved from commuting on remote days can be invested in work, rest, or personal development—all of which can positively impact work performance.
2. Cost Efficiency
Businesses operating under a hybrid model often experience significant cost savings.
With a portion of employees working remotely at any given time, the need for large, costly office spaces decreases.
This could translate to a smaller office, shared workspaces, or hot-desking systems.
The savings made on physical infrastructure can be redirected towards other areas of the business or to improve employee benefits, making it a beneficial scenario for everyone involved.
3. Employee Wellbeing
Employee wellbeing is at the heart of the hybrid model.
With the flexibility to choose where and when they work, employees can better manage their work-life balance.
This can lead to reduced stress levels, improved mental health, and a greater sense of control over their daily routines.
This helps to support their overall wellbeing.
When employees feel their health and wellbeing is supported, they are likely to be more engaged, motivated, and loyal to the company.
4. Expanded Talent Pool
With the ability to hire remote workers, businesses aren’t limited to candidates within commuting distance of their physical office.
This opens up a world of possibilities, enabling businesses to recruit from a global talent pool.
This can lead to more diverse and skilled teams, ultimately driving innovation and business growth.
A hybrid working model can significantly reduce a company’s carbon footprint.
Fewer commuting days means less pollution caused by transport.
Additionally, a smaller office space can reduce energy consumption.
This not only cuts costs, but also aligns with the growing expectation for businesses to be more environmentally responsible.
6. Increased Employee Satisfaction
When employees have the ability to manage their own schedules and work environments, they often report higher levels of job satisfaction.
This is not just about convenience, but about feeling trusted and empowered.
This increased satisfaction can lead to better employee retention rates and a more positive company culture.
7. Business Continuity
The recent global pandemic demonstrated the vulnerability of traditional work models.
In contrast, hybrid work models offer a resilient solution.
They allow for business continuity in the face of disruptions, whether that’s a global crisis, local issue, or personal emergency.
Businesses with a robust hybrid working model can adapt and continue operating under a variety of challenging circumstances.
These are just seven of the key benefits of hybrid working models.
Of course, each business is unique, and hybrid working may not be the best fit for everyone.
However, with its flexible, inclusive, and resilient nature, it’s clear to see why it’s fast becoming a leading choice for many businesses worldwide.
How to Support Employee Wellbeing with Hybrid Working
Hybrid working has many inherent benefits for employee wellbeing, but it also requires proactive strategies to ensure employees feel supported, connected, and valued.
Here are some top tips to consider:
Provide the Necessary Tools and Resources
Ensuring your team members have the right tools and resources to do their work effectively is crucial.
This includes reliable technology, ergonomic home-office furniture, and any specific software or hardware required for their roles.
Some companies offer allowances to help set up a comfortable and productive home office space.
Establish Clear Communication Channels
In a hybrid work model, communication is more important than ever.
Regular check-ins and updates can help keep everyone in the loop and feeling connected.
Make use of video conferencing for face-to-face interaction, instant messaging for quick questions, and collaborative tools for team projects.
Promote Work-Life Balance
While flexibility is a key advantage of hybrid working, it can blur the lines between personal and professional life.
Encourage your employees to establish boundaries, such as setting clear working hours and taking regular breaks to avoid burnout.
Offer Wellbeing Support
This could include mental health resources, wellness programs, online fitness classes, wellbeing webinars or regular wellbeing check-ins.
Some companies have even introduced ‘Wellbeing Days’—paid days off for employees to rest and recharge.
Foster a Culture of Trust and Autonomy
Trust your employees to manage their time and tasks effectively.
This autonomy can greatly enhance job satisfaction and mental wellbeing.
Remember, it’s about measuring outputs and results, not the number of hours sat at a desk.
Recognise and Reward Efforts
Positive feedback and employee recognition can go a long way in boosting employee morale and job satisfaction.
This could be a simple message of appreciation, a public acknowledgment during a team meeting, or a more formal reward system.
Remember, supporting employee wellbeing is not a one-size-fits-all process—it requires continuous effort, open communication, and a willingness to adapt and learn.
By putting these steps into action, you can create a supportive, positive, and productive hybrid working environment.
A Guideline to Hybrid Working Policies
Having a well-defined hybrid working policy is crucial to ensure a smooth and efficient implementation of this work model.
It sets the expectations, rules, and procedures that guide employees and managers in their day-to-day work.
Here are some key elements that a hybrid working policy might include:
Not all roles may be suitable for hybrid work.
The policy should clearly define which roles or departments are eligible and under what conditions.
Specify the expectations around where employees can work.
For example, you might require employees to live within a certain distance of the office for in-person meetings or events.
Alternatively, you may allow fully remote work from any location.
Hybrid working often involves flexible work hours, but there may still be ‘core hours’ where employees are expected to be available.
Define these clearly to avoid confusion and ensure efficient team collaboration.
Provide guidelines about which communication tools to use and when. This might include email, video calls, instant messaging, and project management software.
Clear communication guidelines help prevent misunderstandings and ensure everyone is on the same page.
Productivity and Performance Metrics
With employees working in different locations and potentially at different times, it’s crucial to have clear and fair metrics to measure performance and productivity.
Tech and Equipment Policy
What tech and equipment will the company provide, and what is the employee responsible for?
This section could also include guidelines for tech support, cybersecurity, and data privacy.
Health and Safety
This section should include the company’s duty of care for employees’ physical and mental health.
It could include guidelines for setting up an ergonomic workspace, taking regular breaks, and where to find wellbeing resources and support.
Remember, a successful hybrid working policy is one that is clearly communicated, regularly reviewed, and open to feedback.
With a comprehensive policy in place, businesses can provide a framework that supports employees in this new way of working.
Understanding the Challenges: Disadvantages of Hybrid Working
While hybrid working brings numerous benefits, it’s crucial to acknowledge and prepare for its potential downsides.
Recognising these challenges is the first step towards creating effective strategies to manage them.
Let’s delve into some of the common disadvantages of hybrid working:
With team members working in different locations and potentially at different times, communication can sometimes suffer.
Misunderstandings can occur more easily, and team members might feel out of the loop.
To counter this, businesses can use communication tools and regular check-ins to keep everyone connected and informed.
Risk of Isolation
While remote work can offer much-needed solitude for concentration, it can also lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, especially for those who live alone.
This can be mitigated by fostering a strong company culture, organising regular social events (both virtual and in-person), and encouraging frequent informal chats alongside formal meetings.
Difficulty in Maintaining Work-Life Balance
The line between work and personal life can become blurred in a hybrid work model.
Employees may find it hard to ‘switch off’ and end up working longer hours than they would in an office setting.
Companies can help by promoting a culture of work-life balance, setting clear boundaries, and ensuring employees take regular breaks and time off.
There’s a risk that employees who spend more time in the office might have more visibility and access to opportunities compared to those who work more remotely.
To combat this, managers need to be trained to ensure fairness, and performance should be assessed based on output rather than time spent in the office.
Remote work relies heavily on technology.
Tech issues, from unreliable internet connections to cybersecurity threats, can disrupt work.
It’s essential to provide employees with the right technology and IT support, as well as training on cybersecurity best practices.
While these challenges may sound daunting, with careful planning, clear communication, and ongoing support, they can be managed effectively.
After all, any worthwhile change comes with its hurdles.
Hybrid Working Statistics: Embracing the New Normal
To further highlight the importance and growth of the hybrid working model, let’s look at some key statistics.
These numbers not only illustrate the prevalence of hybrid work but also offer insights into its impact on businesses and employees alike.
Growth of Hybrid Working
According to travel perk, just 30% of UK companies are working fully on-site.
Prior to the pandemic this was 57% which goes to show how hybrid working has become part of the new work culture
In the UK, approximately 58% of employees prefer the hybrid working model.
In the US, 47% of employees prefer this model. (Source)
Many employees report having more free time and love the ability to carry out simple home duties throughout their working day when working from home.
However, some also love to come into the office occasionally to get that social connection and interact with colleagues.
A Stanford study found that remote workers are 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts.
The flexibility and reduced distractions of a hybrid work model can significantly boost productivity levels.
Retention and Recruitment
A FlexJobs survey shows that 80% of U.S. workers would be more loyal to their employers if they had flexible work options.
Additionally, 72% of talent professionals agree that work flexibility (which includes hybrid work) significantly impacts their talent attraction efforts, according to LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends report.
Global Workplace Analytics estimates that if everyone worked remotely half of the time, the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions would be equivalent to taking the entire New York State workforce permanently off the road.
These compelling statistics not only underscore the benefits and popularity of hybrid working models but also highlight their potential for positive change in our workplaces, communities, and environment.
As the world of work continues to evolve, the hybrid model stands out as a resilient, flexible, and effective way forward.
Every business is different, and the effectiveness of a hybrid working model can depend on various factors such as the industry, company culture, and individual employee needs.
It’s all about finding the right balance that benefits both the organisation and its employees.
Good luck in your hybrid working journey!
Tyler Lowe – Health & Wellbeing Speaker
BSc Sport & Exercise Rehabilitation