Recent surveys find that two-thirds of workers expect to continue to work from home at least twice a week since the pandemic and the forced alternative working arrangements.

Whilst there will be many firms that are unable to or unwilling to offer working from home (WFH) as an alternative or an option to consider, there are many that will be considering permanent WFH or a blended onsite/off site working practice (known as hybrid working).  

Hybrid working can be far ranging, from static set days working from home and the office to flexible hours to suit between office, home and or hot-desking.  

Positives

Overhead costs will be lessened as office space reduces, this and the increased flexibility with hybrid working could be well received by employees, helping them to better work towards a work-life balance, something that is becoming increasingly popular with a modern-day workforce.

With the option of hybrid flexible working/part WFH, will widen your search when hiring new staff as well as it being crucial in maintaining morale and staff retention, especially if employees are still anxious about a full-time return to the workplace.

A further point – time away from ‘disruptions’ at work can help focus productivity which will assist the completion of tasks/objectives. (I have definitely benefited from some quiet time at home in order to complete a piece of work).

And the not so positives…..

As side from the practicalities on if you can actually perform the job remotely, issues around staff feeling isolated when working from home may come in to play (although hybrid working may go towards mitigating this) as well as overall communications with management and the wider team.  

Staff may also be more difficult to manage remotely, with the potential for them to see the days they aren’t in the office as days where they need to work less hard. It will be important for management to monitor these situations and be prepared to take further actions should there be issues in productivity.  There is strong evidence however, if the setup is appropriate, that WFH can increase productivity.  

Finally, not all employees want to go down the hybrid working route, and indeed may feel very demotivated by a move to do so.  Do not underestimate the importance of having a workplace that encourages team engagement.

Next steps…..

Reviewing the options as a business as well as with your employees will ensure that the right approach is taken – with all variables considered.   In all, the introduction of hybrid working comes with varied positives and negatives, it is something that many organisations may increasingly be looking to introduce.

As to how this should be done, please feel free to contact me and we can review your requirement and understand if hybrid working is practical and importantly adds value to your business.  

Marie Speight

MOTIVATIONAL : STRATEGIC : CHANGE

T: 01630 638580M:  07841 568637 , email: info@mariespeightconsulting.co.uk