Hybrid work is term bandied about with increasing frequency, and it represents a seismic shift in the work landscape. Right now many businesses are at a crossroads faced with a dilemma: stick with the current 9-5 model and a shared office or take the leap and embrace a fully remote or hybrid workplace model. All the while, the content marketing trends are shifting as the landscape changes.
There are plenty of risks to adopting remote or hybrid work models, as it can break down communication, cause rifts between coworkers, and dampen employee productivity levels. Yet the rewards can outweigh these risks, as many employees now favor the remote work setup having seen that the grass may indeed be greener.
So what exactly is the hybrid work model, what will it look like in coming years, and should you consider implementing it within your company?
Hybrid vs remote
Before we take a look at everything the hybrid work model entails, it’s worth comparing it with the fully remote work model as both are rapidly emerging as viable options in the current climate.
In a nutshell, whereas the hybrid work model has employees divide their time between the office and their home, remote work generally implies that all of the work can, and is, completed at home.
For many businesses, the fully remote work environment doesn’t make sense. Maybe they prioritize the in-person interactions the office allows, or their infrastructure doesn’t allow for a fully digital workplace. Unlike tech companies which have been able to swiftly change systems to cater for a fully remote work dynamic, many don’t have that luxury.
As such, the hybrid work model is being considered more strongly than ever before. The classic 9-5 no longer works in the eyes of many employers and employees, so there’s been a shift in emphasis on what is necessary for productivity.
Enter the hybrid work model.
In essence, the hybrid work model is simply a reevaluation of the current 9-5 work week, in which coming into the workplace five days a week is under serious review. The hybrid work model, then, acknowledges that the shared office is in some ways beneficial, but that it’s fine if employees work a couple of days from home too. In order to accomplish the same levels of productivity, it’s been common practice for a lot of enterprise businesses to implement the use of monitoring software for employees.
Industry giants lead the way
If you’re looking for evidence that significant change is afoot, you need only take a look at what the biggest companies are doing. When the likes of Google, Apple, and Microsoft are prepared to roll out hybrid work models for their thousands of employees, you know that there’s been a shift in the zeitgeist.
Soon, it won’t be farfetched to claim that hybrid work will be the new norm for most companies. Especially when you consider that many employees who got a taste of remote work in the pandemic won’t accept anything less from future positions.
Many won’t want to return to five days in the office if they’ve sampled the hybrid or remote work life, which means to be competitive and continue to attract top talent companies will be forced to adapt.
Is there evidence for the shift to hybrid work?
So what exactly does hybrid work mean, in concrete terms, to companies like Microsoft?
Well, the tech titan recently released a report laying out exactly what this style of working means for its 160,000 employees located all over the world. One highlight of the report is the enlightening statistic that suggests a staggering 64% of leaders are actively discussing the possibility of transitioning to a hybrid work model.
The groundbreaking report also lays out in plain terms that by adopting a fully remote work model companies risk alienating gen Z employees. Under the hybrid work model, there’s still space for socialization and those water cooler moments that can help make the office workforce tick.
When working fully remotely, 60% of those between the ages of 18 and 25 reported that they were struggling, which could be put down in part to the lack of social connections in the work environment.
A recent survey from Envoy reinforces the growing desire for hybrid work among working professionals. 47% of employees claim that they would look for work elsewhere if their employer didn’t offer some form of hybrid work. As such, if you don’t offer flexible hours as part of the work package these days, you might miss out on top talent as they seek work elsewhere where their need for adaptable work schedules can be accommodated.
Finally, a detailed 2022 report from Buffer on the state of remote work revealed that 97% of working professionals would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their careers. While you may not be able to transition to a fully remote work environment, and might not make sense for you to do so, the hybrid work model is worthy of strong consideration.
Going fully remote, taking your workspace completely online might not be feasible for your business. Yet, there’s mounting evidence to suggest that working professionals crave some form of remote work and this is only likely to grow in the coming years.
If you can adapt your business to accommodate this need for more flexible hours, and allow employees to work from home at least some of the time, you’ll position your company well to compete for top talent and maintain a high employee retention rate.