When the COVID-19 pandemic was at its apex, most companies and organizations had to retrieve to work from home. With the decline in the spread of the virus and the formulation of vaccines, many were open to returning to a traditional office environment. The problem is that the work-from-home model proved successful, and most organizations hesitated to let it go 100%.
The result? This has led to the popularization of the hybrid work framework. A hybrid work model combines both the benefits of the two models. It allows employees to continue working in the office while also allowing them to work remotely when needed. The key benefit of this approach is that it provides an opportunity for employees to be productive without having to sacrifice any of their personal time or energy.
Hybrid Work Model: What Is It?
A hybrid work model is an arrangement where employees are required to be physically present in the office during certain hours. They can then work remotely on other days. However, they’re not allowed to work from home all day long. That’s because some activities require face-to-face interaction. For example, you may need to meet with clients or customers to discuss business matters. You also need to collaborate with your colleagues on various hands-on projects.
So what does this mean for employers? Well, they have to find ways to accommodate these needs. One way to do that is by providing flexible work arrangements. These include things like flex schedules, telecommuting options, compressed work weeks, etc. Another option is to provide remote access to company resources through secure software applications such as a workplace management system.
Why Should Employers Consider Using a Hybrid Work Model?
There are several reasons employers should consider using a hybrid work model. Here are just a few of them:
- Flexibility: With a hybrid work model, employees can choose how much time they want to spend in the office versus working remotely. So if they feel like they don’t have enough time to complete tasks, they can simply opt out of coming into the office. And this ripples the effect of improved productivity.
- Productivity: Employees who work from home tend to be more productive than those who work in the office. That’s because they usually work 40% longer than they would in an office environment. Plus, with improved work-life balance, remote workers eliminate stress and other distractions that may take away their productivity.
- Collaboration: Working from home enables employees to connect more easily through a reliable workplace management platform and a host of other collaboration tools. As a result, they can share ideas and information more efficiently.
- Communication: Managers and supervisors can use video conferencing to facilitate communication between team members. This makes it easier for them to stay connected even when apart.
- Cost Savings: Compared to traditional offices, hybrid work environments offer significant cost-saving opportunities to employers and employees. For instance, employees can save $4,500 on commuting costs annually. Employers also benefit from reduced office expenses, labor costs, absenteeism, etc.
The Latest Hybrid Work Trends and What They Mean to Your Organization
Hybrid work keeps evolving, with companies constantly formulating new strategies to improve employee satisfaction while maintaining productivity. Below are some of the latest trends in hybrid work models:
1. Flexible Schedules
With a flexible schedule, employees can decide whether they want to come into the office or work remotely. This gives them the freedom to pick up extra hours whenever needed. It also allows them to set their hours without feeling pressured to meet deadlines.
But that’s not all; autonomy has also enhanced job satisfaction, with 88% of employees admitting they’ve never been happier at work. That also means employers can attract and retain top talents by offering more choices in employees’ schedules.
2. Office Space Redesign
Another noteworthy trend is redesigning office spaces to accommodate hybrid work arrangements. It’s a no-brainer; not all employees can be in the office simultaneously in a hybrid work setup. Even on the busiest days, most companies only see 60% of their employees come to the office.
That means there’s an urgent need for office space optimization and management to avoid issues like open cubicles and desks sitting empty. To tackle this, one trend that has already begun taking shape is the concept of office-in-demand. Here, an organization may decide to close or lease out a particular floor within a specified period and only make it available when there’s a surge in in-office work.
3. A Surge in Technology Adoption
Many hybrid work organizations are continuously embracing technology to enhance efficiency and productivity. One example is the adoption of virtual receptionists. These automated systems allow callers to speak directly with an agent instead of waiting on hold. This helps reduce customer wait times and increases agent productivity.
Another example is the adoption of cloud computing. In addition, with the help of cloud computing, organizations can now access data and applications from any device. This enables workers to collaborate seamlessly across different locations and devices. For instance, using cloud-based workplace management software like FM:Systems, organizations can effortlessly connect workspaces, conference rooms, and other amenities in a seamless scheduling experience. Among other capabilities, the platform also supports desk sharing for improved employee engagement.
But let’s face it; despite these notable positive hybrid work trends to look out for in 2022 and beyond, a lot still needs to be ironed out for the model to be 100% effective. So here’s a quick outlook of some worrying trends:
- Hybrid work is uncertain. Many companies have yet to embrace the model fully. As such, there’s a lack of clear guidelines on implementing hybrid work successfully. In addition, the uncertainty surrounding the model makes it challenging for businesses to plan ahead.
- Hybrid organizations still lack a concrete strategy. Hybrid work is still very much a new concept. Organizations haven’t had enough time to develop a comprehensive plan to address the challenges associated with the model.
- Most hybrid work setups aren’t optimized. They’re still getting implemented as pilot programs. As a result, many organizations don’t know what works best for their business. They’re also unsure about what areas require improvement.
- Potential inequities between remote and on-premise employees are a top concern. While hybrid work offers significant benefits to remote and on-premises employees, there’s still a potential inequity between them. For example, some remote employees might not receive the same support as those physically present at the office.
FM:Systems Can Help Improve Your Hybrid Work
We can all agree that no hybrid work setup is 100% perfect. Right? So why not take advantage of the good parts of each model and improve upon the bad ones? It’s possible! And we can do it together.
That’s where FM: Systems comes in. We’ve built a suite of tools that will enable you to optimize your hybrid work setup. Our solutions include:
- Desk Sharing. Desk sharing allows users to share their workspace with others. It enables hybrid employees to find, and reserve shared workspaces quickly and effortlessly from their mobile devices. In addition, they can invite others to join them and collaborate on projects.
- Scheduling. Scheduling features allow you to create schedules for your team members. For example, you can set up meetings, assign tasks, and track progress.
- Collaboration. Collaboration features allow teams to communicate effectively and efficiently. These include chat, video conferencing, file sharing, and document collaboration.
- Real-Time Data Collection and Analytics. FM: Systems comprise robust IoT sensors that collect real-time data from your workspaces. Using this information, our AI engine provides insights into your workplace optimization rates.
- Seamless Integration with Existing Tools. Our solution integrates seamlessly with existing software like Slack, Trello, Google Drive, Microsoft Teams, and more. You’ll never need to worry about losing productivity while switching between different applications.
If you’re in the market for a top-class hybrid workplace management solution that’s easy to use, scalable, and affordable, FM: Systems is the real deal. Please schedule a demo to see our product live in action, or contact us today, and we’ll be happy to help you get started.