Unpacking the Advantages and Challenges of Hybrid Work

  By Henry Glickel  |    Posted on Wednesday May 4, 2023 at 08:00:00 AM

Category: Articles

Companies are trying to hire people who want to come into the office, but candidates are looking for something more flexible. In fact, 57% of employees would consider leaving1 their company if they were made to return to the office full-time. While most businesses quickly adopted remote working in 2020, more and more companies are requesting that employees return to the office. There is a happy medium to be found, and that’s where hybrid working2 comes in. It offers employees the degree of flexibility they crave and helps you nurture the collaborative office culture your business needs. But how does it work?


What is hybrid working?

Hybrid working is the practice of combining remote working with days in the office. This can be split by employees who solely work remotely, employees who only work in the office, and employees who do a little of both. The great thing about it is that you get to choose which model to implement in your organization. You could offer a few days of remote working combined with a few days in the office if that suits your company and employees better than fully remote. 


During the pandemic, employees tasted a degree of autonomy they had never experienced before due to working remotely. Many are keen for it to continue. It is especially popular among the younger generations or those with families. Gallup found that 71% of employees with a hybrid working arrangement feel they have improved work/life balance3. They also found that 67% feel it is a more efficient use of their time, 58% experienced less burnout or work fatigue, and 51% felt they were more productive. These numbers are striking in their positivity, not just for employees but the companies they work for too. So what are some benefits to you?


Increase productivity and improve employee happiness

The increased time flexibility that hybrid working represents isn’t lost on employees. A study carried out by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) found that, while working hours were reduced on days worked from home, they increased on other days4, including over the weekend. This shows that people take advantage of the flexibility remote working offers, fitting work around their personal lives. As long as this doesn’t negatively impact projects, there’s no reason why this shouldn’t be embraced. In a sales environment, this could represent a greater opportunity for securing business, as going the extra mile (such as taking calls on evenings and weekends) can be beneficial to securing new sales, revenue, and profit. When you combine this with the 51% increased productivity5found by Gallup, the argument for adopting a hybrid working model becomes even more compelling. One reason for this could be that working from home lends itself more to focused, individual work, the type that can get interrupted by impromptu meetings when in the office. 


As well as increasing productivity, the NBER study also found that hybrid working reduced attrition rates by 35%6. Imagine the positive impact of retaining a third more of your workforce every year. You lose fewer skilled people through resignations and spend a third less on recruitment and training. 


Attract a wider pool of candidates

Depending on the type of hybrid working model you adopt, you may attract candidates from further afield. There’s no need for employees to live within a commutable distance if they’re rarely travelling into the office. This is great news for you as it means you can work with candidates who would otherwise be out of reach. You could bring in new skills and experience without having to look at what’s available in your backyard. 


What are the drawbacks?

Implementing a hybrid working model isn’t as simple as giving everyone laptops and letting them go on their way. You need to make sure the right tools for collaboration are in place. Otherwise, you risk people feeling less connected to your company’s culture, something 32% of Gallup’s respondents found7. A great way to combat this is to organize days when the entire team is on-site at the same time. This will help them feel more connected on a personal level, as opposed to just through a computer screen. 


You also need to ensure the programs you’re using can be accessed remotely. This will help minimize disruption between the home and office for those splitting their time between both. 


We can help

If you’re considering moving to a hybrid working model, we can find the right candidates who want to nurture your company culture.  Reach out to one of our elite recruiters today!

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