Hybrid Work Bringing Back Focus and Collaboration to the Way We Work
7/19/2022 | By Marella Gimenez
The pandemic has permanently reshaped the global business landscape. At this point, remote work has become the norm for most companies. The future of the hybrid work model is looking bright. According to Canadian billionaire Stewart Butterfield, co-founder of Slack and Flickr, the life and habit changes that flexible work has made for employees are here to stay.
The truth is, the gradual shift to a hybrid working model has already been brewing in the startup community with COVID accelerating its integration to the prevailing work setup as we know it.
This alternative work model started catching the attention of many business managers way before the prohibitive pandemic situation made it necessary. In 2019, according to a Gallup poll, almost half of American workers spent at least a day of work at home or somewhere else and more than a quarter worked outside the office full-time.
In fact, statistics prove that hybrid work is bringing back focus and better collaboration to the way we work. But first, it is important to know more about this work model.
What is the Hybrid Work Model all About?
The hybrid work setup refers to the type of work arrangement where the employee spends a specific amount of time working in the physical office and at home. Prior to the pandemic, this hybrid work arrangement was used as a come-on for hiring prospects. Today, it has become imperative for companies to give their employees a level of flexibility in their work schedule.
To get a better view of how this alternative model works, let us take a look at the major types of the hybrid work model.
The Hybrid Work Model
Home + Office
This mixed work setup has come to define what the hybrid work model really is. In this arrangement, employees work a specific number of days at home and the rest at the office or in a rented co-work area.
The number of days spent at home and at the office differs with each company.
- Flexibility. With a mixed hybrid work setup, an employee gets to experience working in both a formal and an informal setting. This allows a worker to work more independently, with less commute hours or reduced gas consumption.
- Face-to-face meetings and collaboration can be done on days when employees are in the office. Items which cannot be covered in online meetings can be discussed in person during office days.
- Some people are more adept when there is actual personal interaction and being in a physical office allows this kind of collaboration.
- Employee training can be performed on office days, where trainers can monitor employee progress real-time.
- A mixed hybrid work model means lower overhead cost for employers. Electricity, water, hot and cold drinks, cleaning expenses, use of office materials such as paper and ink, and a lot more - consumption on these is greatly reduced.
- Depression or isolation caused by long periods at home or in one setting can be avoided by a mixed hybrid work setup. A study shows that people who work full time at home experience different levels of loneliness. The home+office work setup can help workers dodge this potential productivity issue.
How to boost collaboration in a Hybrid workplace
There are possible drawbacks of the hybrid work model that further emphasize the significance of a good collaboration plan for all the stakeholders.
A potent collaboration program is designed to:
1. Find common ground
Teamwork means a group of people performing in unison to achieve a common goal. In order to achieve this, a common ground should first be established. Without a unifying denominator, each employee will work according to what he thinks is the proper way of reaching his/her objective.
Devoid of a proper collaboration agenda, some employees may feel left out or intentionally cast aside on the company's social activities and opportunities for promotion.
A suitable collaboration strategy can result in a seamless work synergy especially in a hybrid work arrangement.
2. Maintain Work-Life Balance
In order to achieve an efficient collaboration in a hybrid setup, an efficient task and scheduling tool/program is essential. Add to this a professional communication software. Making sure that everybody is aware of each employees own tasks, deadlines, and work schedules is imperative in creating a better work/life balance scenario.
3. Creating Collaborative space / Software
A collaboration tool is necessary to be able to smartly delegate the tasks within a working group.
With the right collaboration software, team members can competently integrate their skills and knowledge to attain their objectives better and faster.
Knowing their daily tasks ahead of time via a work delegation software helps employees to put their focus specific chores.
4. Recognizing Accomplishment
A perfect collaborative software does not only hand out tasks and schedules. It also tracks progress and monitors employee performance. The program should include alerts on infractions and achievements.
With this, an employer can prevent an employee from commiting more errors that he or she may not be aware of.
Or, inversely, inform management of a ln employee who provides extra effort at work. This helps management to reward where kudos is due and help others who need guidance.
5. Build Trust amongst your team
Even with the most high-end monitoring softwares, the success of the hybrid work model is hinged on trust and transparency.
Making sure that every employee has a channel to speak with team leaders and supervisors enhances the smooth flow of work.
Group and one-on-one collaboration sessions can really build confidence in workers. Constant communication with all the team members inculcates trust and faith, something that is vital and pivotal in a remote work setup.
Importance of Hybrid Work Culture
Hybrid work has been the key for many companies to remain productive during the pandemic. It has allowed thousands of businesses to not only stay afloat but even prosper despite the challenges and limitations of the new normal.
The hybrid model has also benefited the labour sector tremendously. Those who were seeking a healthy company culture and collaborative energy in their jobs have had their needs met thanks to hybrid work.
Comparatively, this work arrangement is relatively new. Some are still experiencing difficulties in adjusting to this type of work. In order to blend in, one has to understand and embrace the hybrid work culture. Effective collaboration is important in seamlessly adapting to the hybrid work culture.
In order to function fast and well, an employee needs to succinctly comprehend the tasks at hand and when they are needed. This can be achieved through constant communication.
An ideal hybrid work culture can only be attained when team members are working with minimal assistance because the right and timely information has been cascaded to them via regular collaboration.
This does not mean that conversations should cease after meetings. In fact, constant small talk during working hours can nurture solidarity at work.
Collaboration in a hybrid work model is the catalyst to its success.
Working remotely greatly minimizes interaction, and this situation can negatively impact the worker's emotional and mental well-being.
Hence, it is crucial to hone communication tools that promote the overall well-being of employees and bring back value to physical interaction. It will also reinforce the connections that will push people and teams to strive more.
Through good collaboration strategies, managers can create and foster a working environment that encourages team culture and constant communication.
With careful planning, the hybrid work model can boost your company's productivity and bring your company culture to the forefront like never before.