Hybrid Working: the key to work-life balance in the modern age
November 29, 2022
May 24, 2023
Do you work from home or do you come to the office every day? Working hybrid has become the new way of working for many teams worldwide. Although this flexible work arrangement is based on giving workers the choice to work from anywhere, it can take various forms. No matter which model you decide to adopt, the benefits keep persuading a greater number of organizations to switch to this modern way of working. Why do employees and employers prefer a hybrid schedule instead of being fully remote? What are the best practices to make hybrid work? Why is this model the future of work and how do statistics support this? Sit down, make a cup of tea and learn about the shift that is currently happening in our work environments.
What does working hybrid mean?
Discover a concept based on employee centricity and flexibility
Working hybrid means your employees have the choice to work from different locations. According to the hybrid work policy you establish, they have to be on-site several times a week or a month. This could be on certain fixed days or on any day of their choosing. We will explain the four most common types of hybrid work models later.
When not at the office, employees can work wherever they want. Some prefer to stay home, others focus better at a coworking space, and maybe others thrive when surrounded by nature. The goal is to enable them to choose their working environment according to their needs and improve employee well-being.
Embrace a working model triggered by COVID-19
Hybrid work wasn’t popular before the pandemic as many businesses worried that their employees would work less and lose productivity. In 2020, the mandatory lockdowns that occurred worldwide forced companies to adopt remote work and, in turn, realize the benefits of working from home. In 2021, we learned how to live with the pandemic and employers slowly started to ask their workforce to come back on-site. This is when some organizations decided to keep the option to work from home. They noticed its perks from both an employee's point of view and from a business perspective. So yes, COVID-19 has certainly reshaped the way we work and has been the trigger for more work flexibility. And as you are about to see, it is here to stay!
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Explore the different hybrid work models and choose the right one for your team
Working hybrid is all about creating a flexible schedule that matches your company’s and employees’ needs. Setting up a hybrid work policy is fundamental for your workers to know what to do and what to expect. Most organizations adopt one of these four main hybrid work models:
- hybrid at-will: employees choose when they come to the office and it frequently includes flexitime opportunities.
- hybrid fixed schedule: the organization or the manager decides on which days workers have to be on-site.
- remote-first model: team members work more often at home or in a third workplace (coffee shop, coworking space…) than in the office.
- office-first concept: people have to work more days on-site than in another location.
Why is this flexible work arrangement a better option than a fully remote model?
Encourages workplace connection
When workers got the chance to experience working from home during the pandemic, they discovered many perks but also some downsides of it. For example, personal connection is lost when working remotely. They miss the social part of the working life (having lunch with their colleagues, collaborating on a project in-person, having an after-work drink…). Little by little, they can also lose the connection to other aspects of their job such as the company’s values or mission. But working hybrid allows them to enjoy the advantages of the home office while maintaining workplace connection.
Maintains corporate culture
Organizational culture is a key aspect of any business but takes time and effort to build. It helps teams stay on the same page, feel part of a community and remember why they are working together. Yet maintaining a positive work culture when all employees work fully remotely can be a challenge (not an unachievable one though). Companies need to be aware that promoting corporate values becomes more difficult when employees work from different locations and never (or rarely) meet in person. Solutions exist but letting your staff regularly come on-site helps maintain corporate culture.
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Fulfils everybody’s needs
Depending on your employees’ profile, a fully remote policy may match their expectations. This is why some companies choose distributed work over hybrid work. But as each organization is unique and has specific needs, taking your employees’ expectations into account is crucial. A multigenerational workforce is likely to be happier with a flexible work arrangement than a fully remote model, for example. Why? Because with so many demographic groups in the workplace (Gen X, Y, Z), it is difficult to satisfy everyone with a single option. A hybrid schedule can be more easily adjusted to your workers’ requirements.
Why are hybrid work models here to stay?
Matches the trends of the future of work
Even before the pandemic, the number of digital nomads was rising. Who doesn’t dream about working from a coffee shop in Bali one day and coworking space in New York the next? This desire for more autonomy was reinforced when employees experienced the benefits of working remotely during the pandemic. Remote work opportunities are now one of the top criteria for people looking for a new job. Workers want more freedom and flexibility in their professional lives, and this is exactly what working hybrid is about.
Allows for a better work-life balance
This quest for more flexibility is driven by a wish for more balance. Our careers take a lot of our time and working from home enables us to save some of this time, by commuting less, for example. With more free time to spend on personal activities and to take care of themselves, employees tend to have a healthier mindset. Moreover, hybrid work allows them to choose the working environment that suits them best, which also plays a major role in how they feel. This positively impacts their personal and professional lives and they are able to focus and be more productive.
Reduces turnover, burnout, and absenteeism
Are your team members thinking about quitting their jobs? By meeting workers’ expectations in terms of flexibility, you automatically increase your chances of reducing turnover. Not only does your staff want to stay but they are also more satisfied with their professional life. Additionally, enabling them to have a better work-life balance positively impacts their mental health which can then help reduce employee burnout. It also allows them to better coordinate their personal and professional duties. This is a clear advantage that can reduce absenteeism. Remote mentoring can also help your team feel connected when working from home (and maintain great job satisfaction).
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Boost employee satisfaction and happiness
Work flexibility is the perfect manifestation of employee centricity. By letting your staff work hybrid, you show them that you care about their well-being and happiness at work. You take their expectations into account and provide a solution to improve their working conditions. There is a big chance that these initiatives have a boomerang effect on your business. Increasing your employees’ satisfaction and happiness usually goes hand-in-hand with greater worker engagement, motivation, and retention.
What are the statistics about hybrid work saying?
After two years of experiencing hybrid work, statistics become more pertinent and keep proving the benefits of a flexible work arrangement. Now that we have a better overview of the impact on employees and companies, here are some relevant insights.*
Statistics about hybrid employees’ quality of work and productivity
The following numbers represent the percentage of employees affirming that a flexible schedule improves their quality of work and productivity.
Figures about the impact of working hybrid on work-life balance and employee well-being
Is hybrid remote work really enhancing employee well-being? The following numbers show the percentage of workers who believe working hybrid has improved their work-life balance and well-being.
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Data about other key aspects of an organization (retention, trust, motivation, culture…)
Hybrid work models have a snowball effect on many aspects of the company. Here are a few other areas where employee feedback shows that this concept has a positive impact on businesses.
Insights about employees’ preferences between full remote, hybrid and full-office working models
We strongly believe and often say that a hybrid work model is an ideal solution for your workforce, but let's see what the employees truly prefer.
Key information to remember
This data about the impact of hybrid work scheduling on employees explicitly shows that this model is appreciated by all generations. However, it is clear that Millennials and Gen Z workers highly value and see the advantages this new way of working has on their professional and personal lives. As Baby Boomers are slowly retiring, Gen Z is growing, and Millennials are the biggest demographic group in the workplace, therefore, taking these insights into account is key.
We hope all this information helps you forecast the needs of your workforce and embrace the trends of the future of work to sustain a positive and successful work environment. To make it work, hybrid teams believe that there are three fundamental aspects that businesses should focus on. 57.4% mention the importance of investing in technology, 54.1% highlight the crucial impact of management support, and 53.4% affirm that a strong company culture is essential.
Do you want to implement this new flexible work arrangement in your organization? Are you looking for a user-friendly tool to support you when working hybrid? Request a free demo of the deskbird app and discover all its great features!
*Data sourced from the Global Hybrid Work Study 2022 from Cisco.