How top companies' hybrid work strategies are faring this 2022
7/25/2022 | By Marella Gimenez
As alert levels are lowered and economic activity slowly returns to the way things were, many companies have also deemed it safe to return to the office - although on a smaller scale. This has brought on the hybrid work model, offering employees the same freedoms and benefits of working remotely while still putting importance on collaboration and a positive work culture in the workplace.
Today, many of the largest business empires in the world are operating with the hybrid working policy in place. They include Nike, JP Morgan Chase, AT&T, and Target to name a few. They are working on various hybrid work programs, some on full remote while others on an optional set up.
Labour experts say that this type of work arrangement is here to stay for a very long time. Let us take a look at how companies are performing with the use of the hybrid work model. But first off…
What is a hybrid work model?
Simply put, the hybrid work model is a flexible work structure that allows an employee to work in a full- or semi-remote mode. Its goal is to attain maximum productivity while providing staff with work flexibility. It gives workers the freedom to choose to work where he or she can be more productive - at home, in the office, or both.
Difficulties in adopting a hybrid work model
Research done by a leading consultancy in Asia shows that a large percentage of business managers are already set on offering their employees the option to work under the hybrid model setup. This just proves that decision makers are experiencing the increase in productivity while operating using the hybrid work arrangement.
But, just like any other work system, companies have experienced birth pains at the onset of this model's implementation. Here are some of them.
- Many companies experience a dip in productivity as workers adjust to the hybrid work model. Confused is how many described their situation as they try to get acquainted with the new work conditions. Many of the tenured employees who are used to doing things manually are having a hard time learning the latest communication and collaboration technologies - monitoring softwares, online training apps, production analysis tools, and a lot more automated implements.
- Sustaining the business' culture has become a legitimate struggle. Without actual human interaction, a company's work culture has to be revamped in many aspects. Team activities have to be done online. This includes conferences, training, and even binding activities such as group exercise and yoga.
- Collaboration and communication has also become an issue at the beginning. Some of the problems surrounding collaboration are internet connectivity and speed, lack of work equipment such as laptops and mobile phones, use of low-end communication and collaboration apps, and distraction at home. A CEO of a Singapore-based marketing firm complained that although file- sharing softwares are adequately available, there is no substitute to face-to-face team brainstorming sessions.
- Some positions have become ineffective in a hybrid work model. Coaching and monitoring can now be performed by a few people since performance is gauged by output instead of hours worked. Now that productivity is based on results, a lot of positions at work can be considered unnecessary.
Despite these concerns, hybrid work is still the most ideal work arrangement today. Managers can create the best work ambiance. All it takes is a few tweaks in the current system to achieve results that would be beneficial to both employer and employee.
1. Creating a Better Working Environment
Applying the best hybrid work strategies can result positively on all business fronts. However, just like any other vocation, success in the hybrid work model requires learning and careful implementation. The goal is to make employees grow, become more productive, and enjoy working under the hybrid work model.
And because this is a relatively new work concept, issues will arise every now and then. Success is measured by how fast a manager reacts to the problem at hand, how tactfully he handles and solves dilemmas.
When you have achieved a working state where everyone is content with the present setup and productivity is at its highest, you may have attained a good working environment. The next challenge will be how to sustain it.
2. Empower Employee Flexibility
It has been proven that workers as a whole perform better when they are allowed to choose the type of work setting they are more comfortable with. This is one of the principles encapsulated in the hybrid work system.
Flexibility to choose one's working setup fosters a more enriched work and life balance. Because hybrid work is geared towards a more results-based approach, an employee will have more time to pursue his hobbies and family life matters.
3. Boost Employee Experience - Investing in the right tools/technology
Communication is key in building the ideal environment for a hybrid work model. At dead centre is the challenge to conform to the digital requirements of this novel work system. A company needs the latest tools and technology to seamlessly continue its business operations.
There are three factors to consider in choosing the right tools and technology, implements that are designed to assure a good working environment for people using the hybrid work model.
1. Equipment that ensures reliable and unimpeded online connectivity and extended battery life for workstations. Dependable laptops and desktops and good internet servers are vital in hybrid work. Backup mobile phones are sometimes necessary, too. They can be used to continue working while the major tools are down.
2. Effective communication tools and softwares such as cameras, video conferencing apps, file-sharing softwares, and CRM platforms. High-tech SaaS and apps are readily available for companies who want to avail of the latest breakthroughs in office productivity tools. Large companies with IT teams even create their own remote work tools the reason of which is discussed in the best item.
3. Security apparatus. Work equipment such as laptops and mobile phones are considered on-the-go assets and they carry vital company information. A company using the hybrid work model has to make sure that business details cannot be accessed by unauthorized individuals, hence, the need for a trustworthy security program.
4. Build a Culture of Belonging
Employee retention is always a challenge in any work setup. Retention strategy will always be hinged on constant communication. Steady communication with an employee makes him feel important, makes him feel that he is really part of the organisation. It cultivates a sense of belonging.
A manager has to constantly look for new ways to get his employees engaged in something worthwhile. One can still create group activities even when everybody is working remotely. This enforces the team culture and it will boost the hybrid work program. With constant communication and online group activities, the feeling of being alone is immediately quashed.
Some collective activities that a hybrid team can apply includes online happy hour and internet videoke contests. Some even invite online stand up comedians and resource speakers on personal improvement. Multinationals are now hiring remote yoga instructors for their hybrid employees.
Hybrid work is here to stay for a very long time. It has been proven to boost productivity and successfully promote work and life balance for many people.
Companies save a lot on utilities and office documents and equipment because they opted to switch to the hybrid work model.
The hybrid work model is relatively new and unorthodox as many would say. But in a very short period of time, it has been proven to be quite effective in helping companies achieve their goals, production-wise.
The challenge now is how to integrate this innovative work model to your own company.