Hybrid working, while it wasn’t the norm pre-2020, has been found to provide better balance for workers who are not required to be at work full-time to get their jobs done. While remote working used to be deemed as a bit of a luxury and only offered in a small number of cases, the social etiquette behind a more flexible attitude to working away from the office has become a lot more accepted, and in some cases promoted, as productivity soars.

The Definition of Hybrid Working

Hybrid working nowadays is commonly defined as the ability to split your time at work between the office and working remotely. For most of us, this means working from home or in a local coffee shop, at the library or from co-working spaces to name a few.

Back in 2020, workers were forced to set up shop at home as the only option, and work there for most of the year. Kitchen tables were turned into ad-hoc workspaces, and spare rooms all over the world were turned into offices.

For lots of us, being able to work from home was ideal, and made our lives a bit easier. Having discovered the benefits employees were seeing from home working, many organisations decided to bring in hybrid working options as a permanent fixture.

Why Do Companies Utilise Hybrid Working?

So why exactly has hybrid working stuck with us? Here’s a few benefits that really stick out:

1) Wellbeing

One of the most talked-about aspects of the COVID-19 pandemic is the effect it had on our mental wellbeing. Emerging from this was the revelation that having a better balance between work and life is good for our mental health. The Office of National Statistics states: Of those currently homeworking 85% expected to share their time between their usual place of work and remote working in the future. (source)

 

2) Increased Productivity

Whether it’s the lack of a proper office space at home, or distracting colleagues at work, hybrid working bridges the gap between the two. This allows those who work better in the office to choose to spend their time there, with the same applying for those who work better at home. Moreover, it’s provided the opportunity for workers to really explore where they are most productive, as opposed to forcing productivity from a fixed place, which was the only option previously.

And it’s not all about productivity in the workplace that businesses are focused on. With a growing interest in defining, progressing and tracking wider benefits around Environmental, Social and Corporate Governance (ESG), organisations are looking to drive financial impact by appealing to the conscience of society and what people deem to be important (and no, that’s not the bottom line of your organisation).

By securing an improved work-life balance through fewer days in the workplace and more at home where the washing can be hung out at lunchtime and dependents are able to spend more time with those they love, it shows that productivity can come in many forms. Provided the outcomes are delivered for the work we are paid for, the outcomes we are not paid for, but are equally (if not more) important, will be satisfied leading to wider cultural improvements across the board.

 

3) More Appreciation of the Working Environment

Perhaps the biggest issue that people found with working from home full time is the lack of interaction with their colleagues. With the social element stripped from working, many of us found ourselves losing motivation over time.

This highlighted just how important a good working environment is to get the best out of your employees. When we are given the choice of working from the office or from home, we come to understand the benefits of each environment, and can plan our time accordingly.

 

Is Hybrid Working the Future?

It seems that for many, hybrid working is here to stay, for now. Businesses all over the world are realising the benefits of giving employees a little more freedom. But will it stay with us forever?

According to Nick Bloom, a professor of economics at Stanford University, around 5% of paid working days were from home in the UK and USA. When the pandemic hit in early 2020, this rose to around 50%. This has now dropped to around 25%, with many previously home-working organisations allowing their workers to attend the office two to three days a week.

Time will tell how this rate grows in future. More traditional white-collar organisations such as banks and councils have been keener to retain office working as the norm. While for now, it looks like hybrid working is a favourite among more creative organisations and agencies.

 

Will Hybrid Working Suit You?

So where do you stand on hybrid working? Are you someone who works better from the comfort of home, or do you prefer a bustling office environment. Here are a few things to consider when thinking about how hybrid working might suit you:

 

1) Where are you most productive?

You’ll probably already know whether you are more productive at home or in the office. If you’re someone who struggles to get into the right mindset for work while at home, full time office work might be the better option.

Some of us are equally productive no matter where we are, which makes hybrid working ideal. Some tasks lend themselves to home working, while others benefit from a collaborative environment. If this sounds like you, hybrid working might just be perfect for you.

 

2) Do you have a suitable workspace at home?

Perhaps the biggest issue that the world found with working from home was the lack of a suitable workspace. Many of us had to use our kitchen tables as a desk, which tends not to foster the right headspace for being productive.

Some of us are lucky enough to have a dedicated space at home, such as a spare room converted into an office. If this is you, it sounds like you’re well equipped to handle hybrid working.

 

3) How well do you collaborate from home?

It’s arguably the case that the office environment makes collaborating with colleagues easier. Being able to bounce ideas off each other allows for more creative thinking, which isn’t so easy when working remotely.

Some people find that all they need to collaborate effectively is regular updates via video call, but others thrive on real-world collaboration. It’s up to you to determine if you can collaborate just as well from home as you do in the office however tools such as Microsoft Teams which drives collaboration in digital format are a great way to maintain connection, communication, and collaboration when not physically with your team. Now, power apps, such as Verto 365, are emerging that bring even more of your work capabilities into your MS Teams platform without you having to navigate from one system to another to achieve what you need to.

 

Making Hybrid Work for You

If you are looking to implement a hybrid working model in your workplace, there are a handful of prerequisites that will make the pivot a lot smoother.

 

1) Clearly define your stance on hybrid working

Every worker should be crystal clear on their organisation’s position on hybrid working. Formal policies should be in place that explain how the organisation stands on the hybrid model.

Many organisations have made hybrid working an option, meaning that workers can choose whether to work from home or from the office. Others mandate that their workers attend the office a set amount of days per work, while allowing them to choose one or two days to work from home. If you’re a decision maker in your organisation, it’s up to you to define your policy on hybrid working, and clearly communicate it to your workforce.

 

2) Find a method of communicating effectively

Employees need to be able to communicate seamlessly whether in the office or working remotely. Many organisations spread their communications over multiple channels, which can make things confusing for their workers.

Thousands of organisations around the world are consolidating their communications using platforms like Verto 365. By hosting all company comms and workloads in one place, you improve your employee’s capacity to collaborate and communicate effectively.

 

3) Be aware of the effect on mental wellbeing

Understanding how hybrid working affects the mental wellbeing of you and your teams is absolutely essential. The more you understand this, the better you can communicate with your colleagues.

Some of us can feel somewhat isolated when working from home, which has a significantly negative impact on our mental wellbeing. Being attentive to the mental health needs of your colleagues and employees is absolutely vital to ensure everyone stays happy and productive at work.

 

How to Make Hybrid Working Seamless

A platform like Verto 365 can enhance the benefits hybrid working brings to workers and an organisation. If you’re using Microsoft Teams already for work, Verto 365 helps you control and manage even more from within the same platform. This means collaboration on more of your work can stay in one place so that you don’t have to.

When installed in Microsoft Teams, Verto365 brings its complete range of work and project management tools, and embeds them directly into the MS Teams interface. Work management and planning tools like Kanban Boards and Document Sharing ensures everyone stays on the same page.

 

If you are looking to make hybrid working easier for your organisation, try Verto 365 free today, or request a demonstration from one of our hybrid working experts!

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