Mar 4, 2024

Exploring the Strengths of Hybrid Working

Women working on her laptop in a cafe.

In the changing landscape of the modern workplace, hybrid work has become a reliable force. This popular approach leverages the benefits of flexibility, adaptability, and improved work-life balance, facilitating a more productive work environment. It not only empowers individual employees but also contributes to the overall success of organizations. Stay tuned - we are about to explore the strengths of hybrid work.

What is hybrid working?

Hybrid working means the possibility to work remotely and in the office now and then. Hybrid signifies the intersection between two options. Employees can set up a comfortable home office and still stay in touch with colleagues and managers.

Workplaces have found different ways of implementing the hybrid solution. Some offer a great amount of flexibility and allow employees to work anywhere, whether it be from a coffee shop, a coworking space, or on a train, as long as the Wi-Fi and VPN work. Some companies prefer set schedules and require workers to be present on certain days or for a certain amount of hours.

Companies welcome hybrid and remote workers

Embracing hybrid work has evolved into a strategic advantage for certain companies, especially with less access to a wide talent pool in a particular city and the need to recruit nationwide or globally. Hybrid work is also the go-to option for attracting professionals who wish to feel a sense of autonomy and be able to focus. This includes everyone from system architects to analysts.

Many employees experience the highest level of satisfaction when they can change work environments and are not required to be in the office from 9 to 5 every day. It reduces the feeling of simply working on the clock and looks at work in terms of outcome, not the amount of hours put in.

In the competitive quest for top talent, standing out and providing exceptional job perks has become more crucial than ever.

What are the advantages of a hybrid layout?

A hybrid arrangement facilitates hybrid working by incorporating seating designs that enhance flexibility and productivity.

  • Spaces for all types of work. Different tasks require different kinds of seating. If you are working together with teammates, a smaller meeting room can be perfect for a brainstorming session or short briefing. More focused work would require a solitary desk. Between meetings, people might want to sit down shortly in the lounge and answer a few emails. The list is long, and furniture can be arranged in many different ways.
  • Hot desking spaces. Since the amount of assigned desks usually is limited in the hybrid office, it would be great to offer desks that can be booked for a few hours or days at a time. The goal is to set up a space where these types of desks are clustered together. Not only for practical reasons, but also for promoting networking and team work.

Increased productivity and mental health

If you have been to a larger corporate office, you might have noticed that a traditional office environment is common: desks in long rows, the occasional green plant, a lunchroom, and a reception.

The thing is, people are not all the same. Most are not comfortable being cast in the same mold but accept the situation to work with something they love or that pays well. An open office landscape is not for everyone, and with hybrid work, people can choose whatever they prefer.

Hybrid working gives people the chance to work from home and put more time and effort into their family and hobbies, instead of wasting time on a tiresome commute. Employees can also set up their desks as they choose and switch between an ergonomic chair, the couch, or a kitchen chair. In the comfort of their own home, they would feel more relaxed and be able to set the scene for productivity. At lunch, they can put on their workout clothes and go for a run, and later resume a challenging task.

When people are happy with their work environment and schedule, their well-being improves, which positively impacts productivity and job satisfaction.

Reduced overhead costs

The advantages for employees have been mainly covered above, but there is also another reason for the rise of hybrid work. Sometimes it is hard to determine which came first, the chicken or the egg, but we will give it a shot!

Desk occupancy has steadily declined over the past decade, and the pandemic triggered the transition to hybrid work. This resulted in significant portions of office buildings remaining vacant. As a result, companies ended up paying more for office space than needed.

Companies had to adapt to the new normal and offer more flexible solutions for hybrid work. It is also evident that companies are looking to promote hybrid work and not only approach it as a problem to be solved.

To prepare for future fluctuations, hybrid work is a favorable option for business owners who want to design a flexible office. They have realized that hybrid workers are more productive, and a hybrid office means fewer overhead costs. When the office layout can be changed more easily, it frees up more space and prepares the company for whatever change is on the horizon.

An example: Steer desk bookings to certain areas that you want to use and steer away from bookings from spaces that you might need for different purposes. It means that certain spaces can be used for various events, and you will make the most of the office.

Meet your sustainability goals

Hybrid working reduces the carbon footprint associated with commuting, as fewer employees travel to a central office. It also contributes to corporate social responsibility goals by promoting a more sustainable work model.

What makes a successful hybrid workplace?

To transition to a hybrid model, it is essential to enhance work processes. This can especially be a challenge for companies that have been in business for a number of decades and have to face a paradigm shift. There are several methods to accomplish this.

Streamlined work processes

When people are working remotely and cannot meet their colleagues face-to-face, communication can easily become a barrier to doing a great job. An online communication tool makes collaboration easier.

Real-time conversations can take place, similar to when a colleague comes up to your desk and exchanges a few words. And with emojis and the possibility to add screenshots and documents, both sentiments and information can be shared. It doesn’t get closer than being in the same room as that!

The online video call is also a helpful feature which is perfect for feedback, briefings, and weekly check-ins. A group video session can boost the morale of the entire team and does not have to involve work. You can also join a fun game or after-work activity, connecting hybrid and in-office employees.

Users can, of course, indicate if they are ‘away’ or ‘on a call’ not to be disturbed. It is recommended to set up some basic communication guidelines as well. When is it considered to be outside office hours, and how long are you expected to wait for a reply? These simple rules are necessary because hybrid work tends to blur the line between free time and work.

Remote work made easy with an app

Technology is one of the pillars of hybrid work. A desk booking software is key when you want to create a successful hybrid environment. At Flowscape, we are committed to delivering a user-friendly application that facilitates desk booking.

You would have access to a great number of features in the same app to find your favored desk for the day. It can also be used to locate other colleagues and stay away from crowded spaces. By booking a desk in advance, you would not have to fret about coming into the office after a few days working at home. There will be a spot available for you.

The app also proves advantageous for space managers as they gain access to occupancy analytics, allowing them to configure desks and spaces accordingly. Optimizing space heavily depends on data. Knowing when and where people are present, managers can make sure that desks are properly cleaned and equipped with USB-ports and screens.

Access to the right information

When people are less present at the office, some managers may struggle to keep everyone up to speed. Daily check-ins are minimized, making it crucial to offer a robust roadmap, especially when individuals are working independently.

To ensure that hybrid employees stay on track, a user-friendly and cloud-based project management software is highly recommended. Here, tasks can be assigned to employees and receive different labels to indicate progress. Additional information can be added, such as the scope of the task and contact persons. With this clear and visual information, project managers can ensure that no one lags behind and deadlines are met.

Usually, different documents can be uploaded and accessed from a shared dashboard. Everything from general guidelines to more extensive instructions for a specific task. Endless check-ins and questions are reduced, and everyone knows what to do and how to do it.

Trello, Notion, and Clickup are examples of project management tools that do this well.

A great sense of autonomy

With freedom comes responsibility. To make it work, both employees and managers must have the right mindset.

A hybrid workplace can only succeed if motivated and talented individuals take responsibility for their work. This motivation comes from within and is strengthened by traits such as grit, self-reliance, and conscientiousness.

Motivation also stems from external factors, such as a supportive and inspiring work environment and great leadership. Hiring employees who possess all the positive traits mentioned above and providing them with support and training is crucial. They are more likely to thrive in a hybrid workplace.

Collaboration is often mentioned as a key factor for success. Creativity is sparked when people can share ideas freely. However, some ideas are best formed when working in solitude, as also stated in The Washington Post. Give your ideas room to breathe!

A hybrid employee working on their own at home can come up with groundbreaking solutions. The synergy between the dynamic office and the serene home office can definitely drive innovation. Competing companies are always ready to take the next step, and so should you.

Hybrid work model makes everyone a winner

The advantages of hybrid work extend beyond individual employees, profoundly impacting the entire organization. As illustrated by the examples above, the adoption of flexible work brings significant benefits to the entire company, ranging from mental health to productivity.

There has never been a better time to embrace and integrate flexible work processes. Get in touch with us to explore how we can help facilitate the implementation of hybrid work.

Want guidance on how to set up your hybrid office for success?

Feel free to schedule a meeting with one of our product experts to learn more about our solutions and how technology can help you streamline your office processes without interfering with employees' day-to-day work.

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