Why Hybrid and Flexible Working is Key to Productivity and Good Mental Health

In an era of unprecedented disruption, the notion of hybrid work is something that many find unfamiliar. Indeed, while it represents a sharp departure from the traditional work model, what exactly constitutes this innovative approach to employment remains an open question. To gain insight into its evolution over time and explore its effects on society at large as well as individuals within it we must delve deeper…

The hybrid approach has revolutionised our thinking about work. This flexible, modern way of working has been ubiquitous within the business world for years now and is becoming increasingly popular among companies from around the globe – yet each instance must be tailored to suit its circumstance. In this blog post we’ll explore what a hybrid work model entails, why it’s important for both productivity and mental health, and how you can transition into it with ease!

What does ‘Hybrid Working’ mean?

Simply put, a hybrid work model is one in which employees divide their time between remote work and regular office hours. While this arrangement may seem novel at first, there are a number of benefits that come with it. For starters, it allows for a greater level of flexibility as employees can choose when and where they work. Additionally, it can also help to reduce stress and enable more productive working relationships.

Hybrid remote work is a variation on the traditional remote work model in which employees remain connected to their office while working from home. This type of arrangement offers many of the same benefits as traditional remote work but also comes with its own set of challenges. For example, it can be difficult to manage communication and collaboration when workers are separated by distance.

Additionally, it can be more challenging to establish trust and build rapport when workers are constantly interacting in a virtual space.

Organisations who employ a hybrid work model can cultivate an optimal work-life balance for their staff, thereby enabling productivity and employee engagement. This in turn contributes to businesses running more efficiently – which ultimately benefits all stakeholders involved.

The advantages, and disadvantages, of hybrid working. 

Employees find value in hybrid working. As evidenced by Wakefield Research’s survey, nearly half of employees (47%) would consider seeking other employment opportunity if their employers do not offer a viable hybrid work model.

A survey conducted in April 2022 revealed that a remarkable 77% of organisations have already adopted the hybrid model, with 56% granting employees the ability to decide when and how often they wish to come into work.

Naturally, the conundrums accompanying hybrid work exist. Are there any rewards to be had? Or perhaps some potential pitfalls that need alerting? For both employees and employers alike, let us take a look at what could potentially come out of this arrangement.

In a conventional workplace arrangement, employees must be present at their desks from 9 am to 5 pm daily. Those in an adaptable working style are granted more leeway to maximise productivity when it suits them best – whether that’s later in the day or during weekends away from the office. This can lead to flexible schedules and opportunities for work-related activities taking place anywhere within reasonable commuting distances of their homes.

In a recent study by McKinsey, respondents stated that they would be more than willing to embrace flexible work policies if their employers were to offer it. This flexibility is what underpins the hybrid model and perhaps an important drawcard for employees attracted towards this paradigm shift.

For those seeking to strike a harmonious balance between work and personal life, finding the right arrangement is straightforward. The freedom to customise your own schedule can be a boost for those juggling obligations – freeing up time to take care of any unexpected requests such as making an errand run or fetching offspring from day-care. 

In a hybrid work model, your organisation can access an expansive talent pool. This provides you with the capability to hire personnel with specialised expertise, which can result in advantageous positioning for your organisation and swift entry into untapped markets.

In a hybrid work arrangement, fewer individuals can be onsite at any given moment. For some businesses, this may necessitate downsizing of office space allocation. At the minimum it will assist in calculating how much space is required to accommodate your workforce needs.

Evidencing an overhaul to your workplace strategy could yield substantial savings, without sacrificing the quality of life for employees. Reallocating funds from office/property expenditures can provide a significant boost that can be re-invested elsewhere – like allocating more work options for staff members in the form of satellite offices and co-working spaces.

The diverse population of people who enter the workplace is vast, consisting of individuals with different appearances; hues; ranging from ethnicity to culture and background – as well as individual circumstances. This necessitates a one-size-fits-all approach that doesn’t necessarily suit every individual perfectly. Traditionally, employees had no choice but to accommodate their employers shift schedule which was not always ideal for them personally

Parental pressure to locate child-care should a child not be able make it to school, for a churchgoer who must forego one of their special masses because of the time constraints – or if they have no choice but enduring unpaid leave due to inclement weather conditions could prove detrimental.

The ability to adapt their schedules and arrangements gives employees more leeway when it comes to taking care of mental health-related needs. Thus, fewer sick days and leniency on HR for eliciting behavioural requirements will be experienced.

Of course, with the positive there’s also some negative. As the sophistication of modern workplaces continues to increase, the flexibility and opportunity for collaboration between employees is also increasing. While this may be beneficial in some cases, it can sometimes lead to missed opportunities when colleagues come into work at different times of the week; which could result in a lack of coordination with regards to schedules and interactions. To effectively mitigate potential issues such as this one, investing in an appropriate workplace technology solution is paramount – enabling communication amongst co-workers whilst maintaining visibility on when colleagues will be present so that teams can collaborate more readily from day-to-day without missing out on crucial face-to-face time.

The art of hybrid work is a delicate balance that requires the utmost care and attention if it’s to be successful. If you aim for freedom and flexibility within your workforce, leaders must find a suitable equilibrium between proper governance, policies, as well as regular maintenance to ensure employees are able to enjoy these benefits without succumbing to inefficiencies or other unforeseen consequences.

Adaptability is a vital component in successfully navigating hybrid work environments. As people’s needs and requirements fluctuate, it may be necessary to periodically alter office days so that the overall happiness of one’s team remains intact.

In certain industries, hybrid work models may prove ineffective. For instance, emergency services and hospitality servers must be onsite in order to function effectively; while manufacturers typically require full-time personnel to produce their wares. As a result, employees are now opting for jobs according to their level of flexibility afforded by them.

The right tools can transform your hybrid workplace into a more efficient space. As an example, consider implementing hot-desking, room booking and/or an easy check-in system for employees so that everything runs smoothly.

A blend of home-based and office-based work can be advantageous for employees who wish to increase their productivity while maintaining a happy, engaged workforce. It is essential that employers find clever solutions to connect people across the globe while providing regular entertainment opportunities so as not to degrade employee engagement levels.

At its peak, hybrid work will facilitate seamless collaboration between remote and on-site employees so that all personnel can achieve productivity at ease. Investing in tools for communication such as remotely accessible communication devices and video conferencing apparatus could be beneficial in this regard; determining whether or not you need fresh technology or if current resources can be repurposed into novel applications is essential to making an informed decision.

Ensuring an organisation’s culture is a critical component to success. A company-wide sense of unity and camaraderie can be enormously advantageous as you navigate through the complexities of hybrid work models with distributed staff. 

The hybrid model of work is rapidly becoming a ubiquitous, undeniable presence in the workplace. On one hand, this phenomenon can be viewed as a positive development; employees are now receiving more opportunities and greater autonomy than ever before. Conversely though, there are inherent risks associated with the adoption of such an approach – if leaders do not take care to accommodate their workforce’s needs then they risk losing valuable talent to employers offering more accommodating environments!

We hope this blog has answered any Hybrid Working questions you might have had, and also helped you to see why you should adopt a Hybrid Working opportunity into your business. Remember, offering your people flexibility will result in greater productivity and results for your business. 

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Pinky Ghadiali

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