Before the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, hybrid working was fairly rare. So when the world was forced to take their office lives home, we all became very well acquainted with home working, and adapted, fast.
It brought numerous benefits to businesses and organisations, so much so that many decided to employ hybrid working as the norm, rather than enforce a mass return to offices. (Even tech giant Microsoft saw the benefits!) It seems everyone now knows exactly the advantages that hybrid working brings. But just in case you need a refresh, here are our top picks!
Hybrid Working Benefits for Individuals
Probably the initial benefits we all saw from home working were how it affected us as humans. The direct impacts that hybrid working has on the individual are likely the reason it has become so popular today.
1) Better Work-Life Balance
There’s no denying hybrid working allows us to better balance our time between work and non-work… For some, this means it’s easier to catch up on life admin during lunch or do a spot of housework. For others it means more time spent with our friends and families, not to mention relieving childcare pressures for some by removing a stressful commute at the beginning and end of a few days each week.
However you choose to spend the time you save, improving your work-life balance can have tremendous benefits to your individual mental health, such as including flexibility and the freedom of choice and autonomy to make your week work for both you and your employer.
2) Lower Daily Costs
With no need to commute to the office every day, you’ll find a slightly smaller hole in your pocket every month. For those of us who drive to work, this can be a massive money saver on the cost of fuel. If you’re a public transport user, paying for three days of commuting rather than five is guaranteed to be a pleasant money saver.
If you work in a city centre or around shops and cafes, you’ll probably find yourself visiting them fairly often. Even when we pack lunch to work, most of us tend to spend more money the more often we visit the office. Team lunches and after-work drinks are huge culprits of this. The less we go to the office, the less we spend. Simple as that.
3) More Geographical Flexibility
Commute times used to be perhaps the most vital factor in choosing where to work. With the need to travel to and from work five days a week, a longer distance is not exactly an incentive. But if we don’t need to make the trip every day, we’re less likely to turn down a job because of how long it takes to get there.
Without hybrid working, an individual who lives in Birmingham would normally need to move to London in order to work there. But with hybrid working, the need is lessened. If you only need to attend the office one or two days a week, traveling to the office is less of a hassle.
Benefits of Hybrid Working for Organisations
Many traditional businesses see hybrid working as an improvement for employees but not for the organisation itself. But hybrid working doesn’t just help the average worker, it has massive benefits for organisations too.
1) Improved Employee Wellbeing & Productivity
As we’ve already established, hybrid working helps the work-life balance of employees. But how does this benefit the organisation? Happier workers can often equate to better work outcomes. Employees who have better mental health are more likely to be more productive and take greater pride in their work.
Hybrid working can also mean employees get to choose when they work from home. This means that if an employee has a particularly difficult task coming up, they can do it while at home, where the hustle and bustle of an office environment can’t distract them.
2) Reduced Employee Turnover
Workplace trends suggest businesses that do not offer hybrid working are more likely to lose staff to those organisations that do.
Hybrid working can be a huge incentive for a staff member to stick around. If you – as an organisation – are offering a competitive hybrid working policy, employees can build their lives around this which could mean they’re less likely to jump ship.
3) Incentive for Top Talent
Hybrid working also makes your organisation more attractive as a job prospect. Highly talented individuals are in demand as a resource, and typically have the option to choose between job offers. If you’re the business that offers the best hybrid working option, you’re more likely to land that top talent.
The best way to do this is to offer a hybrid working system that is as flexible as possible. Some workers might like the option to come into the office as often as they like, rather than being limited to two or three days a week. If your system is flexible, you’ll meet the needs of more people.
4) Lower Office Costs
With a hybrid working policy in place, you’ll likely find that your office is hardly ever full. This means that your office will probably never need to support the full workforce. If this is true for your business, you won’t need to spend as much money on larger office space.
By employing a hot-desking system, desks can be used by one employee one day, and another the next. Cutting down the amount of office space you need is a great way to save money on a monthly basis.
Benefits Hybrid Working has on the World
Hybrid working isn’t just great for businesses and individuals, it’s great for the world too. Here’s how.
1) More Eco-Friendly
Hybrid working is actually good for the environment. With fewer workers commuting into the office every day, those who commute by driving are saving fuel. Fewer cars on the road means less fuel being churned into the atmosphere every day.
Looking at this on a global scale, if every office worker drops their commute from five days a week to three, that is a 40% reduction in weekly emissions. If the entire corporate world utilised hybrid working, this could see a major improvement in global emissions.
2) More Employment Opportunities
Further to the point about geographical flexibility, hybrid working companies offer more employment opportunities due to a lessened need to attend the office. If an organisation offers hybrid working, candidates no longer need to live as close to the premises as before.
This means that an advert for a job can apply to a wider geographical area, meaning it also applies to more people. Therefore, hybrid working provides an increase in employment opportunities.
3) Improved Mental Health in the Workforce
Because hybrid working allows for improvements in mental health, widespread hybrid working means widespread mental health improvements. It has been often discussed how a working utopia would feature employees working from wherever they like, whether it be in the office, at home, or elsewhere.
Are There Any Drawbacks to Hybrid Working?
It’s still important to strategise your hybrid working plan for your organisation as there are also a few potential issues that can arise from hybrid working that are worth considering.
1) Potential for Burnout
Perhaps one of the biggest issues with working from home is the potential for employee burnout. Working at home for days in a row with no physical interactions with colleagues can lead to burnout. This is a surefire way to see a reduction in productivity when employees work from home.
This can be more prevalent among workers who do not have a dedicated office space to work from or feel disconnected from their team and the projects they are involved in.
2) Employee Trust
One of the biggest considerations with hybrid working is how well an organisation can trust its employees to work as well from home.
There is always the potential that productivity might drop for some workers when they work from home. However, with strong guidance and leadership and a positive structure around the hybrid working policies, this shouldn’t be an issue.
3) More Reliance on Technology
When working from home, you are reliant on your own employees being able to sort the tech, both hardware and software, that they need. If their internet connection isn’t great, it can mess up their day. While organisations can provide high-quality equipment, all potential issues can rarely be prepared for.
It is essential for a hybrid workplace to be able to operate seamlessly, with functionality available to everyone. There are several cloud-based platforms that enable this and are vital to keeping a hybrid workplace functioning. The biggest of these is likely Microsoft Teams, which helps thousands of offices to work remotely all over the world.
Looking to Implement Hybrid Working?
In order to implement hybrid working in your organisation, you need to ensure your workforce can collaborate effectively. You need to ensure all documents are centralised to avoid versioning issues and be able to manage a remote workforce.
Employees need to be able to communicate instantly as if they were in the office while managing their work seamlessly. If you are using Microsoft Teams, all these functions are available through Verto 365.
Verto 365 is a platform that integrates directly into Microsoft Teams, to help you bring more of your work into the platform you’re already using.
Kanban Boards are the main feature of Verto 365’s free version: Workspaces. Within the Workspaces created, users can group as many kanban Boards as they need. These boards can be for individual use, to get a good handle on work tasks, or can be shared with colleagues to work together on projects. As it’s all held within Microsoft Teams, collaboration can be accelerated by your hybrid workforce.
Take a look at our Complete Guide to Hybrid Working article and find out more!