Hybrid working is where staff conduct a mixture of working from home and from the office. Whilst it is not a new concept, as the option to work from home through flexible working existed prior to the pandemic, it is something that has become much more popular in recent times. Staff that have successfully worked from home during the last 12 months but there is a need in some industries for at least a part time return to the office.
How these requests and arrangements will be managed is still not completely defined. There are thoughts that some businesses will have a blanket policy for Hybrid Working whereas others will ask employees to submit formal flexible working requests where they meet the requirements.
Benefits of Hybrid Working
As we emerge out of the pandemic, employees may be increasingly thinking about their long-term career goals, and flexibility in their jobs could be a key aspect of this. Hybrid working could therefore be a solution to this issue.
The increased flexibility with hybrid working could be well received by employees, helping them to better work towards a work-life balance, something that is becoming increasingly popular with a modern-day workforce. This could be crucial in maintaining morale and staff retention as we go forward, especially if employees are still anxious about a full-time return to the workplace.
It should also be remembered by organisations that this could be a good recruitment tool and if they do not explore hybrid working options, their competitors may be willing to do so, something that could deprive them of otherwise valuable members of staff.
Cons of Hybrid Working
Of course, hybrid working isn’t a perfect solution for all businesses, and indeed some may see more drawbacks than others. For example, some roles may be difficult to undertake from home, even on a part-time basis, and managers will need to take this into account. There is also the issue of staff feeling more isolated when working from home, although hybrid working may go towards mitigating this issue.
Staff may also be more difficult to manage remotely, with the potential encouragement for them to see the days they aren’t in the office as days where they need to work less hard. To this end, it will be important for management to monitor staff in these situations and be prepared to take further actions should there be issues in productivity, which we will explore in the next article.
It should be remembered that not all staff may want to go down the hybrid working route, and indeed may feel very demotivated by a move to do so.
The introduction of hybrid working comes with varied pros and cons, but it is something that many organisations may increasingly be looking to introduce on a more formal basis. It would seem that whilst Hybrid working brings flexibility that there will need to be some parameters in place.