What is a hybrid workforce?
Remote work became the topic on everyone's lips during the pandemic. Thanks to strong Wi-Fi connections and practical laptops, digitalization has led to a paradigm shift over the past 10-15 years, making remote work a possibility. However, previously, remote work was treated as a luxury rather than a default option. Many businesses have now realized that they can offer their employees more flexibility and even base their entire business structure on the hybrid workplace model. They have seen an increase in employee productivity and motivation as a result.
Attributes of the hybrid workforce
A rising number of managers and employees advocate for the hybrid lifestyle. Shortly put, the hybrid workforce consists of employees that both work in-office and outside the office walls, usually from home. They set up a desk and communicate with managers and team members remotely through chat or video conferences.
The workers carry out their usual tasks and work towards the same business goals, but with more flexibility and autonomy. What are the characteristics of a hybrid workforce? Let’s take a look.
Better work life balance for hybrid and remote workers
Many adults have a hectic and busy lifestyle juggling work, family, hobbies and chores. On top of that they have to keep up with new trends, technology and face competition from other businesses. The everyday commute is draining and hectic. By working from home, the employees can focus more on work-related tasks and the work life balance is improved.
Several tasks require deep work, which is easier without mindless chatter and other disturbances. Less time spent on the bus or in the car means that people have more time to pick up their kids, make it to a doctor’s appointment or hit the gym.
When employees have the freedom to plan out their day better they can adjust the workload according to their energy levels and are able to reach their goals quicker.
As a result, the personal life of the employee is enhanced. Chances are it will improve their efficiency at work as well. A happy and content employee is also more productive.
Remote employees can work around the world
The digital nomad lifestyle is attractive for people who want to work remotely and to be able to travel around. It does not necessarily mean traveling to different continents every other month but maybe settling down on a remote location in a coastal town in Portugal or France for six months or even a couple of years.
As an employer, you will get a valuable asset, a remote worker, who is flexible and potentially could network with business contacts in a certain area. Let’s say you would like to expand to Italy or Australia - what could be better than employing a remote worker who lives there?
A hybrid workforce freely switches between working remotely and working in the office. They stay in touch with remote colleagues and brainstorm together in the team. Which leads us to the next paragraph about working on site.
The possibility to work on site with a hybrid workplace model
Not everyone likes to work at home every day, no matter how comfortable and practical the home office is. To be office based is also an advantage. It is an incentive to meet with colleagues and share a few laughs by the coffee maker. Also, networking and brainstorm works well when people meet face to face .
The hybrid model invites employees to the office and improves company culture. The strength of this model is a combination of flexibility and routine. It strengthens the company culture as well. The employees can work towards goals as part of a community - your business.
What's the future of hybrid work?
There are many benefits with a hybrid workforce compared to only hiring in office employees, especially when it comes to business expansion and growth. Here are few examples:
- Employer branding.The most important part of the business are the employees, no matter what product or service you are promoting. By offering the possibility of hybrid work, the company is able to attract skilled and talented workers who thrive in a flexible and comfortable working environment. They are also likely to attract similar colleagues who also support the hybrid work model.
- Expand the talent pool. Sometimes, companies would have to find new ways to reach skilled workers in their industry. With a hybrid workmodel you are not limited to a certain city, but can look for talent elsewhere. A diverse team with hybrid workers can learn from each other and form important business connections in their region or city to achieve business goals.
- Solve complex tasks. It’s hard to keep up these days. Technology is changing and corporations expand globally. Since there is always new information to digest and skills to learn, it is important to provide the employees with the right tools. A hybrid workforce would enjoy the flexible solution and focus on some tasks while working from home where there is peace and quiet. In order to keep and attract highly skilled workers it is essential to stand out and offer employees continuous training and motivating tasks.
How to sustain company culture with a hybrid workforce
A great number of companies are amazed at how much can be achieved through hybrid work. To keep a healthy organization, it is important to establish certain procedures.
One example is to work in smaller teams in the workplace so that each individual is heard and seen, both by each other and the managers. Possible bumps in the road can be communicated more efficiently. Everyone has a clear role and defines tasks which reduce misunderstandings even if team members don't meet in person on a regular basis.
Mindful communication for remote workers
Another aspect is to tailor the meeting culture to the hybrid workforce. Set a clear agenda, proper collaboration tools and offer a platform for feedback and discussion. Try to avoid public criticism as a manager, and instead schedule a one-to-one meeting with the employee in question. It is often stated that companies with psychologically safe environments increase employee performance.
As team leader you can even use a video conference as an opportunity to encourage psychological safety by actively listening to the participants and observing their expressions. Some employees feel that they can be more vulnerable in a chat than talking to someone “face to face”. Others don’t feel the need to give in to peer pressure which is more present in the office. Some employees might contemplate their answer more carefully and not blurt out random statements.
Employee retention strategy
Another threat to the company culture is a high turnover of employees. To meet the demands of modern business life, you could choose to reskill or upskill employees. The business is able to keep talent by offering them a new career path. For instance, an administrator could continue to work in HR. Someone who wants to try hybrid work can learn more about a certain software system or IT-equipment.
The cost of recruiting new employees and training them are usually higher than supporting current employees and teaching them new skills.
Want guidance on how to set up your hybrid workforce 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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