The Hybrid workplace making office workers rethink the way they work
8/31/2021 | By Marella Gimenez
With the onset of the pandemic last year, businesses, offices, and companies had to navigate and adjust their working environment to adapt to the changes brought forth by COVID-19. At the time, employers needed to comply with strict health and social distancing guidelines to ensure their employees’ safety and welfare.
Initially, as a response, most offices opted for a work-from-home (WFH) setup. But as present conditions started to improve, the Hybrid work setup has become the more common emerging environment in companies.
As a result, both employers and employees are now confronted with how office work setup will move forward from hereon. With the Hybrid workplace most likely to become the norm as COVID-19 persists, the following points prove to be significant areas of concern:
• What exactly is a Hybrid workplace?
• How can a Hybrid workplace be successfully implemented?
• How does a Hybrid workplace affect companies, their culture, and their employees?
• How does a Hybrid workplace affect individual workers’ work-life balance?
What is a Hybrid Workplace?
A Hybrid workplace is a kind of office setup where employees of a company either:
1. Work almost entirely remote and only come to the office to attend regular face-to-face meetings; or
2. Entirely office-based, with only a handful of workers or teams assigned to work remotely
Regardless of how the Hybrid workplace is organized, the most appealing feature of this environment is its common goal to balance the needs of individual workers and enhance their ability to collaborate with other teams and be productive in a shared physical space.
A Hybrid workspace works towards this common goal by:
1. Providing a flexible environment, it promotes work-life balance for individual workers
2. Facilitating increased productivity among and heightening employees’ satisfaction
3. Cultivating independence and trust between seniors and their juniors thus lessening instances of micro-management
Successfully implementing a Hybrid workplace
Since a Hybrid workplace is most likely to become the norm, leaders and executives of organizations and companies must conduct proper consultation with their employees as to the possible changes that will occur in their work environment.
To successfully implement transitioning to a hybrid workspace, the heads of companies must get a full view of the advantages and disadvantages of this setup. Likewise, they must also be informed of the common sentiments arising among their employees.
Below are some key points which can be used as guidelines to successfully implementing a Hybrid workplace:
Getting feedback from employees on what their essential needs are
It is incredibly critical for companies and offices to refrain from assuming that employees all want and need the same things. Conducting consultations and surveys about their work experiences in the past year can provide the company a well-informed idea of where things currently stand and what options they have moving forward.
Offer employees enough WFH setup options
By offering WFH setup options, this allows employers to allocate resources more effectively. Office spaces can be redesigned and repurposed to accommodate the transition in the work environment.
Access to reliable technology
To further facilitate and equalize work productivity among workers, accessible and easy to reach needs on technology like essential equipment, tools, software, cloud, etc., even on resources and information must be guaranteed. This is to ensure that despite being in different locations, everyone remains effective at work.
Enabling mobility and remote working/collaboration
Companies should also consult on what possible avenues can be resorted to having smoother working or collaboration relationships among its employees.
Keeping the company culture
Despite all the advantages of a hybrid workspace, it cannot wholly replicate the company culture formed when all employees are physically present in the office. Executives must find a way to make sure that everybody gets the complete employee experience.
Making the job listings remote
Due to its flexible characteristic, making job listings location-agnostic is possible. However, developing a new interview and hiring process that supports applicants no matter how far from the office they may be is a must.
Maintain social distancing in the office
Since a hybrid workspace highlights collaboration among teams or employees, whether in the virtual or physical sense, creating a socially distanced office layout is important too. This is to secure the good health and safety of the individual workers.
Ensure fairness and equality in decision-making
Executives and heads of companies must ensure that they refrain from having a bias against employees who work remotely compared to those who spend most of their time in the office. They must create a system where employees, whether working remotely or in the office premises, are evaluated fairly and equally.
A hybrid setup encourages building greater trust between seniors and juniors. Likewise, it provides for greater autonomy on the part of the employee.
Boosting employee management
Providing an avenue for greater autonomy on the part of the individual workers, avoiding micromanagement that reduces efficiency, is attainable.
How the Hybrid workplace makes office workers rethink the way they work
1. Employees increasingly value flexibility in the workplace even before the pandemic
We are in the age where spending eight hours in the office does not necessarily mean productivity. Individual workers have realized that work can be done — sometimes, even more efficiently — in different locations outside of the office.
2. Employees pay attention to work-life balance, shaping professional schedules to fit around personal lives
Upon realization that productivity is not tied down to the location where work is done, more and more workers aim to have more time devoted to their personal lives and endeavors. Providing a way for them to tailor-fit their work schedules around their individual goals is now a necessary factor.
3. Employees will experience improved satisfaction
A hybrid workspace allows for more autonomy and independence on the part of employees. By diminishing the instances of micromanagement, workers have more chances to showcase their individual skills and talents.
4. Employees will happen to be the top priority
A hybrid work environment centers on how employees and teams can set up their work schedules and locations to facilitate smoother collaboration. The company's rules and regulations will be revised to cater to transitioning to a hybrid workspace, the goal of which is to ensure more balance between the employees’ personal and professional lives.
5. Employees want the best of both worlds
Given that increased productivity and efficiency are possible in a hybrid workplace, coupled with the fact that it gives them more time to pursue their personal goals, it is no surprise that most employees would favor this setup.
Better performance at work means increased recognition and privileges for employees. Being able to work off-site means more time to cultivate their personal growth. Best of both worlds, indeed!
KMC: The largest co-working and staff leasing provider in the Philippines
If you are thinking about transitioning to a hybrid workspace for your office, KMC offers spaces and services to suit your company's needs.
KMC is committed to providing flexible and customer-centric office co-working spaces for businesses and companies that want to establish and grow their operations in the Philippines. The company boasts extensive office spaces and co-working spaces spread out across Metro Manila, Cebu, Clark, and Iloilo.
Aside from offering private offices and co-working spaces, KMC also provides services to help businesses comply with legal requirements in the country and give assistance in human resources and payroll management.
KMC Hub: A Co-working Space Full of Life
KMC Hubs are co-working spaces spread out across different locations in the country. These spaces are built to cater to your business needs, whether you are growing your enterprise or scaling down temporarily.
KMC Hubs have a coworking membership system that gives access to members to all 24 KMC hubs. By applying for coworking membership, the employee is issued a KMC coworking passport that provides access to the member to work at any of its co-working hubs. Applying for membership can be done online.
KMC Private Offices
KMC also offers private office spaces for businesses needing instant office spaces to set up their enterprises. The arrangement of these private offices and the terms for the lease agreements can be customized according to your company’s needs.
COVID-19 made us rethink how we build our work environments. It has shown us that more flexibility can be imposed on our work systems without sacrificing work productivity and efficiency.
There is no way to know what the future of the workplace truly is. This is a reminder that employees continue to look for companies embracing a flexible, hybrid workplace.