Hybrid Work: The Future Has Already Begun
Hybrid working before the pandemic was an exotic perk – a “perk,” to put it in the American way – that most people had seen in movies or had dreamed about when reading articles about the great offices of Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and of their working conditions. Then COVID arrived, and hybrid/smart work became necessary: countless companies of all types and sizes had to embrace this new professional dimension forcefully.
Otherwise, their activities would stop completely. Now that the situation is less critical, flexible working arrangements have become “normal,” and, indeed, more and more workers are looking for companies that offer this approach.
In short, the future has arrived sooner than expected, and the transition to a fluid model of conceiving the day-by-day of one’s employees is not only advisable, it is almost necessary. Yes, because there are more and more people who are at ease in this flexible environment, as are the job offers that offer it.
Hybrid Work: Why It’s Sought After And Why You Should Offer It
There are several reasons hybrid work is so appreciated: the improvement of people’s private/professional life balance. If we go into more detail, however, several other aspects appeal to those who work, including:
- The ability to work where and when you prefer: there are those who, for example, are more productive in the evening or solitude (and silence).
- The possibility of avoiding the stress and costs associated with traveling to your company.
- The possibility of avoiding exposure to ailments and diseases (not just COVID, which has not yet been eradicated).
- The ability to work for global companies, where relocation is not a disadvantage.
But be careful; it would not be only workers who would benefit from hybrid work: there are also many advantages for companies. For example:
- People see the company more positively precisely because of the empowerment and trust that flexible working implies.
- The talents and intellectual heritage that people represent are preserved if professional life is “sewn” on people. Read: Employees only look for opportunities elsewhere.
- Real estate and management costs are reduced: having fewer people in the office means moving to smaller, more efficient, and, above all, less expensive environments.
- The ability to hire talented people regardless of geographic location: numbers in hand, attracting the interest of professionals worldwide greatly increases the possibility of hiring talented people.
Contrary to what “old guard” managers may think, hybrid work can bring benefits to all actors in a professional relationship. However, it is essential to prepare in the best possible way, following a clear roadmap and acquiring the necessary technological resources. Let’s see how.
Roadmap And Technologies To Introduce Hybrid Work Permanently
A roadmap that permanently introduces flexible working into a company can be simple. A few simple points can pave the way for this new professional mode:
- Ask your employees what they think so you can avoid blindly creating a new working environment but respond to people’s real needs. Alternatively, create fictitious employee models (personas) that reflect the various types of people who work for you.
- Establish clear guidelines and communication flows, where objectives and expectations are always explicit and proof of “virtuality.”
- Create working hours policies that control the capacity of shared spaces while providing the flexibility people value. Or delegate to managers the ability to manage remote work in their team’s presence.
- Enhance and invest in your corporate culture: make your employees feel important, even if they are not in the same physical space as you, and create new “hybrid” team-building opportunities.
- Make the office and company spaces even more comfortable: if working in a presentation is as pleasant as working from home, people will show up more often (and more willingly).
- Build a technology infrastructure that supports hybrid working.
This last point is much more important than it seems: adequate software and hardware ensure stable production processes and solid business efficiency. But what is needed? Here are some tips:
- Choose integrated communication and collaboration platforms: software like Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, etc., are necessary.
- Appropriate hardware: large screens in meeting rooms, high-resolution cameras, level audio supports, and touch surfaces will make everyone seem to be in the same room.
- Mobile support, always: in a hybrid work model, the ability to work from your phone is essential. Make sure this is possible and expect a definite increase in productivity.
- Choose integrated suites: continuing to switch from one tool to another is useless and harmful, even in terms of security.
- Include workspace management systems in your company’s technological equipment: manage, monitor, analyze, and make data-based decisions.
- Leverage directory systems to keep user information synchronized across all collaboration software: managing who’s in and out of the office becomes easier.
- Invest in Cloud-based Security: If everyone is connected, the chances of cybersecurity breaches increase. Vpn and multi-factor authentication help, but more is needed.
Hybrid working has always been considered an “alternative” model, but now more than ever, flexibility plays a key role in business growth and efficiency. Being ready is no longer an option.