Do you think a hybrid working model can replace the traditional work-from-office culture? Yes. The hybrid working model is much preferred and the most happening thing in a corporate environment in post-pandemic time. According to research, 92% of employees prefer to work from home at least one day a week and 80% prefer to work from home 3 days a week.
Still, the hybrid working model is in the experimental stage and some start-ups already implementing it.
Evolution of Hybrid Working Model
During the pandemic time in 2020, everything was closed so companies were forced to implement a working-from-home culture for their employees. This situation actually extended for years due to the pandemic situation continuation. Then many countries started easing their restrictions and allowed people to come to the office in a minimum number where work from home is still suggested to do. There the concept of a hybrid working model came where employees can come to the office and work once or twice a week. Many companies accepted and continued that considering the protection of their employees.
Now almost every restriction is removed and companies are looking to start work from office culture back full-fledged. But there are mixed emotions from employees. Some wanted to continue working from home, some want to return to the office and some are ok to come to the office twice or thrice a day. That leads to the experimentation of a hybrid working model.
The hybrid working model provides flexibility to employees as well as helps them hold the bonding between colleagues and management through direct interactions also. According to a survey done by Accenture, 83% of employees would like to continue the hybrid working model.
Definitely, the Hybrid working model has its own challenges and benefits. Let us discuss the challenges:
Challenges in the hybrid working model
1- Coordination gap
There might be situations that the physical presence of an employee can resolve better and more effectively than a person connecting via call or online meeting. This kind of coordination imbalance can be happening in the hybrid working model for sure.
Let us take an example of a technical team where 2 of the mare fresher and rest all 3+ year experienced in the same company. The freshers might not be that fluent with the working structure of the company nor that comfortable with their senior employees. Similar cases can generate some coordination issues.
2- Communication issues
We have tons of communication channels and mediums. We have been using multiple options since the pandemic started. Still, there must be times you would have faced communication issues because of internet failures or difficulty explaining via call. This is a common issue with the hybrid model of working. In the hybrid model, some of your companions might be working from home and you are in the office. You can feel the situation, right?
Let us check an example of having an automation failure where your tech team is working from home. You are missing your leads due to the failure, You have to connect with them immediately. The process will be informing them and checking their availability the n sending a link to connect. This can be a 20-second task when all of you are in the office. Just take your laptop and go to their desk. That’s it
3- Creativity and productivity lag
It is obvious that you are interrupted or obstructed by minimum people when you are working from home. This can leads to procrastination or limiting your creativity also. Because of the time take to connect or communicate with other colleagues, people tend to settle for work that can be better or can be improved.
This won’t be the same case when you are in office. Your work will be monitored by the design, marketing, and c-level department in your direct presence. You will be more active and present to your work
The major concern of c-level people with the hybrid working model is competency. The competency of an employee when they are closely monitored by the management and other staff in the office will be more than the competency of an employee who is working from an office in a safe place. This is basically called proximity bias. Anybody who is closely working with their team or team leaders will show better competency and success than remote employees.
How To Make Your Hybrid Model Effective
1- Make way for digital learning and resources
Always have a centralized learning resource about your tools and other things. It is not necessary that all know how to use video conferencing or how to use it. It is better to have guidance videos to help them. Make it centralized so that all employees can consume as well as share when needed. Do not hesitate to invest in tools that help you acquire this knowledge. An effective way to train and develop your remote employees is highly needed in any organization.
2- Build great connections with your co-workers
It is important to build good connections and rapport with your fellow employees. Let them know each other and how they are associated with your company. Have weekly or bi-weekly meetings with your team, conduct intro meetings with new hires, celebrate successes, and engage your team always
Do not forget your company culture even if your employees are staying at a distance. If you celebrate bdays from the office at least send them bday wishes or gifts.
Plan your hybrid working model well and execute it to gain a better success rate. Remember your employees are important and your goals are important