Mar 14, 2024

What Employees Want From Hybrid Working: Addressing Their Needs

Blog post about Hybrid Work

Hybrid working has gradually taken center stage, offering employees a blend of remote and in-office work. As this flexible approach gains new territory, it prompts a crucial question: What exactly do employees want from hybrid working? Part of the answer lies in increased flexibility, improved work-life balance, and the ability to shape one's work environment. In this article, we will delve further into this modern concept.

What is hybrid work, and why do employees want it?

Hybrid work refers to a work arrangement that combines both remote and in-office work. Employees have the flexibility to split their work time between working remotely, often from home, and working at a physical office location. This approach contrasts with traditional office-based work or fully remote work setups.

Employees tend to appreciate hybrid working for several reasons:

  • Flexibility: Hybrid work offers employees the flexibility to balance work and personal life more effectively. It allows them to adapt their work environment to their individual preferences and needs.
  • Better work life balance: Working from home occasionally can contribute to improved work-life balance. Employees may spend less time on the daily commute, providing them with additional time for personal activities or family.
  • Autonomy: Hybrid work empowers employees by giving them greater control over their work schedules. They can choose when and where they work, potentially leading to increased job satisfaction.
  • Increased productivity: Some employees find that they are more productive in a quiet and comfortable environment at home. They also take the opportunity to use technical tools for a more flexible and adaptable work experience.
  • Health and safety: The COVID-19 pandemic has emphasized the importance of health and safety. Hybrid work reduces the density of employees in office spaces, maintains social distancing, and mitigates health risks.

An increasing number of companies are allowing employees to mix working from home and going to the office. People like hybrid work for different reasons, such as having a flexible schedule and a better balance between work and personal life. Companies see the advantages too, such as keeping employees happy and creative. It is easy to see why hybrid work is becoming increasingly popular.

Challenges with the hybrid workplace

Not everything is sunshine and rainbows, however. There are, of course, disadvantages to hybrid work as well. Firstly, it can be difficult to collaborate with remote employees. If you have an in-office meeting and need to include a remote member, what's the best option? Should everyone communicate via online video communication software or talk to the remote colleague on a screen? To improve meetings and collaboration, it is crucial to invest in great communication software. As a bonus, it lets you know when people are available or on another call. Switching between online chat and video calls should be made easy.

Avoiding misunderstandings

Another downside to hybrid work is keeping people motivated and friendly. Managers may notice that misunderstandings happen when people use text-based communication. Written words have a tendency to come across harder than they seem. As a result, team leaders may require mandatory in-office days to allow people to enjoy freedom and autonomy for the remainder of the week. It does not necessarily have to involve solving complex tasks and dealing with pressing issues, but can also include team-building exercises.

Rules and guidelines

Setting up rules and guidelines for hybrid work is recommended so people know what is expected of them. Team leaders should also be aware of changing group dynamics. Since not everyone gets together every day, it might pass under the radar. Hybrid work is presented as the holy grail for employees who wish to have more autonomy and flexibility. It might be true for white-collar workers, but what about the heroes in healthcare, education, and construction who need to be present on-site every day to make it work? It is evident that hybrid work is not suitable for all industries, which has made some people feel excluded and even switch careers because of it.

Flowscape supports hybrid work

At Flowscape, we are aware of different obstacles hybrid employees and managers face. Our software is designed to make the transition between the home office and in office seamless. In a user-friendly app, desk booking is managed with just a few clicks. It has never been easier to find your preferred desk for the day, close to your favorite team members.

Understanding hybrid work: perspective across generations

Boomers: Depending on the generation you belong to, hybrid work may hold varying degrees of importance. People in the older age group, referred to as Boomers, have witnessed different solutions come and go. As one would expect, they might be more reluctant to changes. Old habits die hard.

Generation X, also known as the latch-key generation, experiences a similar dynamic. This age cohort is often described as the most entrepreneurial and supportive of their peers. This trait is likely influenced by their childhood, characterized by unsupervised play in neighborhoods, fostering independence. Individuals born in the 1970s are far from retirement but have accumulated significant experience in the workforce.

These two generations have two things in common when it comes to hybrid work. Both realize that they can save money by working from home and not having to spend money on public transport or gas. Additionally, both Generation X and Boomers are accustomed to communicating with friends and family long before the internet became mainstream. They prefer coming into the office most days to meet their colleagues. They believe in hybrid work in the most literal sense: 50% at home, 50% in the office.

Millennials more or less grew up with online communication from their early teens into adulthood. It comes as no surprise that they are most likely to quit if they were required to be in the office full time. Their ultimate goal is reducing stress by improving work-life balance, not necessarily saving money.

Gen Z, as opposed to Millennials, is less prone to embracing hybrid work. They are more eager to learn from peers and receive constant support from managers in the office."

Strategies for Hybrid Work Success

Hybrid work might be a general term, but it is hardly a one-size-fits-all solution. Every team is different, influenced by age, gender, and experience. Let’s dive into a summary of strategies for improving hybrid work.

Adaptability with the hybrid work schedule

People who opt for a hybrid work model prefer managing their own schedules. A flexible work arrangement sparks creativity and productivity. Some employees work better in solitude and get their creative juices flowing in the home office. Others feel more inspired when they can brainstorm with colleagues in an office space together.

Possibilities for career advancement

When it comes to career advancement and personal growth, embracing online learning platforms and staying updated on the latest tools and technologies is essential. The ability to navigate virtual collaboration spaces and demonstrate adaptability to remote work practices are increasingly valued skills. Cultivating soft skills such as time management, self-discipline, and proactive communication is crucial. With the flexibility that comes with hybrid work, individuals need to strike a balance between independent work and collaborative engagement. Managers and team leaders should address the need for acquiring new skills and set aside time for training.

A supporting company culture

With hybrid work, it is important to establish an inclusive work culture and give people a sense of belonging. Establishing connections can be challenging in a hybrid work setting, particularly when employees have the flexibility to choose their in-office days.

Embrace the best of two worlds

In conclusion, the desire for flexibility, an improved work-life balance, and autonomy are key elements of hybrid working. Understanding and addressing these employee needs is critical for achieving a more productive and satisfying work experience. The answer lies in combining the company’s aspirations with streamlined work processes for the employees. Both technology and work culture play an important part in making that happen.

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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