Pandemic has changed the way we live, work and play. For employers that means adapting to meet employee needs; for employees, it requires a shift in mindset as well as practical adjustments like changing your daily routine or working from home instead of going into an office space every day (if possible). That is why the companies must change the way they work to adjust to the requirements of this post-pandemic scenario.
What does the future look like? The answer is easy: it will rely on a new hybrid system of work where employees work from a remote location and only visit the office to do teamwork on the undertakings. The office serves as a business center, which might lead to a change in the way the company’s business headquarters runs.
What Will The Hybrid Workplace Look Like?
Since the pandemic began, businesses have reevaluated how to best utilize their offices. While many organizations will probably still consist of actual workplaces, obviously they won’t be something very similar. There will be an adjustment in the method in which we work in them and how actual designs and office formats will be utilized for joint effort.
For instance, one methodology may be to have certain days for in-person presentations and coordinated effort, and afterward different days assigned for remote work. In-person seminars may be held for generating new ideas, presenting new tasks, while remote work can be for tasks that don’t require teamwork. The workplace could be updated and redesigned by disposing of desk areas and making more pleasant gathering spaces.
Modern-day Employees Utilise a Hybrid Approach to Work
Today, many businesses are as of now beginning to plan about implementing the work model that resembles the one implemented by Google, Facebook, Twitter and Shopify. The companies have even worked with setting up long-time, expandable work from home (WFH) strategies. It is clear this shift is going to be present in the future.
As per the recent study from Gartner, eighty-two percent of top managers at the companies want to allow team members to work remotely, for some amount of time. What’s more, a new worldwide Lenovo research conveys that workers anticipate a comparable inclination in business attitude, with fifty-two percent of participants in research conveying that they will continue to WFH more than they did in the pre-pandemic time – even after social distancing restrictions are no longer applicable.
Since employers are aware that this hybrid workforce will be a part of the game, the change in the role of the office as a business centre will continuously develop. That will make way for the reliable IT infrastructure, consisting of smoothly working personal gadgets for employees, high-tech cyber security software (with facilities assisting its learning), and remote IT help service that will be even more necessary than it was before.
After examining the benefits of technology and how it has changed in the pandemic, we can look back in time when the outbreak first emerged to affect the businesses internationally. The remote personnel working for the companies increased by a large number in a time faster than anyone predicted or was even ready to manage. That led to the utilization of teamwork apps that facilitated online collaboration. The number of members using these apps increased by millions during the outbreak in April 2020. In this time-length, employees and end-users both began to rely on video meetings for interacting with fellow workers for all purposes, ranging from meetings or informal communication. These video meeting apps changed their features with time to provide a smooth user experience.
Now let’s consider the modern-day situation. The majority of employers have begun to understand that their team members have been equally productive from home when they compare the progress of their work at home with that at the office. Also, the new research states that about two-thirds of the worldwide workforce interviewed consider their productivity increases when they work from home rather than in an office. That is why the necessary aspect to consider is that the companies should take complete benefits of work from home opportunities. In this way, they can reduce their real estate expenses and spend on improving their office technology to assist their hybrid workforce.
The Benefits of Hybrid-Workforce
Given below are some of the benefits of having Hybrid-Workforce:
Improved Productivity And Better Employee Satisfaction
One of the assumptions that the employees who work from home won’t be effective in completing their objectives proved only a prediction. In fact, as per the international research of two hundred and sixty top managers, the remote workers do work that is equal in quality to work they do in the office. Improvement in effectiveness of work is related to the comfort provided by not travelling and the least amount of office distractions. Also, better productivity is attributed to freedom in utilizing the work timings that are suitable for every employee.
Doing a job remotely is one of the most demanding options for job searchers. According to a country’s leading staffing company, forty-two percent of the employees will prefer to work from home so they can benefit from flexible work times offered by their employers. The aspect that is motivating the employees to work from home is a better work-life balance. It is leading to improved retention rates that have increased by forty-six percent for the UK’s companies. The employees prefer flexible working hours so they can also spend time on other valuable activities in their life. With the convenience of working remotely, the employees feel happy which encourages them to do the job at their company for a longer time.
Lowered Business Costs And Reduced Carbon Footprint
One of the famous hiring companies surveyed four hundred business owners about their opinion on the pandemic and discovered that remote work assisted in preventing the leaving of employees in sixty-six percent of companies, and forty-four percent of companies considered remote jobs to improve their profits. By not allocating office space to the employees, the companies are making plenty of savings in expenses, office equipment, accessories etc. and they can reinvest the saved cash for increasing their growth.
The Remote Work will be Becoming Popular in Future
Our earth is also benefiting from an improvement in the environment by a reduction in travelling of employees. That has also taken the load off the transportation services and road networks, leading to an ideal decrease in pollution. It is also reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the entire world.
This year, scientists convey that the environmental effects of the pandemic lockdown will make the earth’s atmosphere better because the world’s carbon emissions won’t be too high for the first time.
An Inclination to Prefer Remote Methods of Work
Our working methodology has changed with time. After studying the employees who work from home, many business executives are making changes. Google declared that almost 0.2 million employees will keep working from home in the future and they anticipate it till next summer. Also, Facebook is announcing its work from home (WHF) policy as per which their employees will be working by July next year. And Twitter informed its employees that they can work remotely for an extended time.
Companies that were not permitting their employees to work remotely are now implementing this strategy. In comparison to work from home plans before the pandemic, our research shows that more than eighty percent of participants consider employees will invest at least a quarter of their time working from home in the years proceeding from now.
The majority of companies are considering decreasing their office space, or they have presently done that. That is because they are anticipating that a big number of their employees will continue doing their jobs remotely in 2022 to 2023. The worldwide companies are planning to implement hybrid workforce models to assist their employees in doing their work in future. That will consist of person-to-person communications and work from home facilities.
Supervising Cybersecurity in The Hybrid Office
With time as the businesses adapt to the hybrid model, apply new strategies necessary for safeguarding the remote workforce, securing their digital environment and defending them from cyber exploits. The pandemic created a fast pace shift of e-commerce applications and technological systems into the cloud. As per a survey, seventy-six percent of companies started working with cloud services in advance.
It is even before their predicted time of working with this service. That has led to more opportunities for cyber interference and introduced security loopholes that hackers can access. A security company is reporting that there are almost four thousand new cybersecurity complaints registered every day. It is a four hundred percent incline, at the time that proceeds from the pandemic.
Plenty of companies responded in an effective manner with the security concerns by providing their remote employees with high-tech security infrastructure. But these responsive measures have been implemented to a specific extent so far. It is necessary for businesses to opt for a reliable strategy on securing their employees and safeguarding their digital work area in times when hackers have the chance to interfere with a big network of remotely working employees. It is time to apply a more tactical method for securing the hybrid workforce that prefers remote work.
Pandemic has created a scenario in which cybersecurity scientists can prove their abilities by applying the new security standards in practice. So with expert guidance, helpful strategies and the appropriate technology, employees working remotely can continue to keep on working from home even in the years after the pandemic.
Reduced Expenses for both Company Executives and Employees
Since there will be fewer people in the offices every day, companies can reduce their work expenses because of several factors. The first one is that if most of the hybrid workforce team members are at the office for about two to three days each week, the employers can change the way their employees do their work. They can shift to a free-desk-occupying model, in which the office members can work at any available desk they can find instead of getting a seat allocated to them by the supervisor. Due to the fact, fewer employee desks are occupied most of the time, companies can shift to smaller offices and reduce the money they spend on rent.
Hybrid Workforce Team Members Enjoy Better Work-life Balance
Working at the office on a desk for eight hours a day and five days a week doesn’t lead to a beneficial work-life balance.
With a hybrid workplace system, employees can make a schedule that works for their personal requirements.
Some employees may be required to play a game to decrease their afternoon laziness, while others may have to go early to take their kids from school. Specific people consider that they are highly motivated in an office atmosphere between 7 am and 3 pm rather than the conventional 9 to 5 timings. A hybrid workplace assists all these employees to make sure that they can manage their time such that it benefits their overall growth.
Better Employee Retention
A hybrid workplace system enhances team members’ satisfaction and work-life balance. Employees who do not prefer to travel save cash and have more time for taking part in activities they like. Their quality of life becomes better because they can spend more time with them or improve themselves, and the hours for which the employee keeps on working are full of productive work. The employee feels better, while the employer does not want to spend cash hiring new employees. It is a win-win situation.
The Cons of a Hybrid Workplace
There are some cons as well of using Hybrid Workplace which is as follows:
Feeling Being not Part of the Team
Assuming you have not attended a team lunch, you know you feel that you have not been part of necessary activity. A hybrid workplace system can create a zoom on this feeling. Remote work team members will miss their side-by-desk discussions, water cooler conversations and of course team lunches and gatherings at the office.
In a less successful hybrid workplace, some employees may consider it difficult to do teamwork. Doing seminars and meetings where few team members are in the meeting room and others are making calls from the conference call app creates a specific environment. Those in-office might consider that the ones at home are working easily and doing less work. While the ones at home might consider being left out of discussions occurring at the office.
While it may seem that a hybrid working environment would lead to lesser office politics, unfortunately, that is not the truth about it. That is because there is proximity discrimination in it.
Proximity bias is a concept that workers with closer physical distance to their team and company’s management will be considered as preferred workers and in the end, become more successful in the workplace than the remote employees.
VoIP Can Improve Hybrid Workforce Environment
Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) significantly improves the hybrid workforce environment by offering seamless communication solutions for both in-office and remote employees. VoIP technology enables flexible and mobile communication, allowing team members to connect from any location with internet access. Integrating unified communication features enhances collaboration by consolidating various communication channels into a single platform. It promotes real-time interaction and bridges the gap between in-office and remote workers. The cost-effectiveness of VoIP, coupled with its scalability, adapts well to the dynamic nature of hybrid work, accommodating changing patterns and workforce sizes. VoIP empowers employees with the tools they need for efficient and cohesive communication in a hybrid work setting, contributing to a more productive and connected work environment.
Conclusion: Preparing for a Work From Home Future
The pandemic has forced all of us to make big changes in our lives. For many people, that means adapting to a new way of working. Fortunately, we’re seeing more and more companies embrace the idea of a hybrid workforce – employees who work from home part-time or full-time and come into the office for meetings or other collaborative tasks.
This arrangement is proving to be beneficial for both employers and employees. Employers get the benefit of having an employee available during normal business hours, even if they are not physically at the office. Employees enjoy the flexibility to work when they want and how they want, within certain parameters. If your employer has not yet embraced this trend, it may be time to have a conversation.
The future is now a reality. With today’s technology and advances in remote collaboration, working from home has never been easier or more efficient than before! As this trend continues to grow at an unprecedented pace—especially with Millennials leading the way–we can expect changes not only for our jobs but also how companies across industries operate on both small-scale levels (such as family businesses) all up into Fortune500.
With this discussion, technology will continue to become better and assist in fulfilling employee and employer requirements. Besides teamwork applications, the other instruments that stay necessary for worker productivity in the hybrid work atmosphere consist of employee laptops, noise-reduction headsets and monitors.
In the office, that might imply making a “touch-free atmosphere” where employees work on personal team technology to reduce physical interaction. Or it might lead to making smaller calling facilities and meeting spaces as an initiative to shift away from the present office space, that can have an automatic video software making it convenient to connect the teams in one room with the other.
It can be done on the go and the employers can equip the employees with a foldable laptop with which it is easy to move from the office to the coffee cafe to the home or any location that is between. And at home, it may require employers to make investments in products the workers require for their “home office”, like standing desks or comfortable ergonomic seats.
For the IT teams, it becomes necessary to make investments in the equipment that facilitates IT to handle a large yet remote work team. That can consist of expanding cloud storage for more far away storage, increasing the security solutions to handle cyber sabotage and deploying remote IT services to assist in resolving employee technical issues from a distance.
With this discussion, you can be on your way to understanding the concept of a Hybrid Workforce, how to secure it and its pros and cons. We have provided useful pointers on the topic that can assist both employers and employees in setting up their hybrid workforce. We hope you found our post helpful. Since it provides an overview of the latest trend in the modern work environment.