Business leaders worldwide have witnessed the rising popularity of hybrid and remote work models during the pandemic. Even though many have talked about and experimented with remote work before the pandemic, it became a life and business-saving option during the Covid -related lockdowns, keeping employees healthy and safe and businesses operational during turbulent times.
Now that the severe crisis is over, numerous business owners worldwide hope that their employees will flock back to the offices and continue to work from the office full time like before.
But the workplace has changed forever. And remote employees don’t want to relinquish the work flexibility and autonomy that remote work offers.
This is why employees expect their bosses to offer hybrid work opportunities, allowing them to combine office-based and remote work according to their needs.
Managers adapting to the new perception of the workplace in the post-Covid era want some answers about hybrid work.
If you want to develop a hybrid work environment and meet growing employees' needs and avoid soaring turnover rates, here are several answers to burning questions about hybrid work.
Remote capable workers can do their job remotely for at least half of the time. And statistic shows that 60 million American workers are remote capable. While only 8% of these employees worked remotely before the pandemic, this rate soared to 70% during the Covid-19 crisis.
And what can employers expect in the post-Covid era?
By the end of 2022, most remote-capable workers continued to work primarily out of the office with 42% of employees having hybrid schedules and 38% on fully remote ones.
These numbers indicated that most employees expect hybrid work to become a predominant option in the future ( 53%). However, 24% want to have the opportunity to work fully remotely.
While numerous business owners are aware of the employees’ growing demand for increased work flexibility, flexible work options won’t be available for all employees.
Many surveys show that managers and business leaders are ready to embrace a hybrid work model. However, they are hesitant when it comes to fully remote arrangements. These hesitations stem from the fear that their employees will underperform while working without adequate supervision.
If the same concerns prevent you from offering increased work flexibility to your employees, you can rely on a remote work time tracker. This offers you detailed information on how your employees spend their time while working remotely. You’ll get real-time insights into the apps and tools they use, the tasks they work on, and productivity fluctuations throughout the day.
By investing in advanced technology you’ll create highly collaborative and productive work environments meeting employees' needs and secure your business's effectiveness and profitability.
But what if businesses don’t want to invest in advanced technology and stick to traditional and outdated work practices? Thus, deciding to force their em[ployees to return to the office full-time?
When you go intentionally against employees' wishes, ordering them to return to the office even though you know that they prefer remote or hybrid work, you’ll probably face the following issues:
These negative consequences of your decision to stick to office-based work can devastate your productivity. Thereby, ruining your profitability and brand image. More importantly, they can motivate you to reassess your stand on remote or hybrid work arrangements.
When asked to name the reasons why they prefer hybrid to office-based work employees usually put the absence of commute at the top of their list. This lack of commute saves them precious time that they can spend with their family and friends, or working on their critical tasks.
The freedom to manage to work where and when they want to comes in second on this list, followed by improved work/life balance.
A hybrid workplace allows employees to come to the office whenever they want to connect with their coworkers and collaborate in person. Creating and nourishing meaningful relationships with coworkers is essential for employee satisfaction and productivity. This is why 38% of fully remote workers want to shift to the hybrid model.
One of the biggest challenges leaders face besides tracking productivity is organizing work time in the hybrid workplace. They want to reach some consensus with their employees regarding two crucial questions:
Unfortunately, according to many surveys, employees’ needs and expectations about the hybrid workweek vary significantly. Thus, preventing employers from gaining a clearer picture.
For example, 3 out of 10 employees would like to work from the office less than two days a week, while 4 out of 10 say they would come to the office 2-3 times a week. But this data can’t reflect the opinion of the majority, and can’t help business leaders to determine an optimal number of office work days.
When it comes to whether you should create hybrid work schedules or allow your employees to choose when they want to come and work from the office, the situation is a bit clearer. 4 out of 10 employees say they want the freedom to choose when to work from the office. Whereas, 6 out of ten think they need more structure.
This data indicates that you should introduce some structure into a hybrid work schedule. Especially when your critical projects require in-person team collaboration. Or when you want to gather your employees on-site for training or learning sessions. Otherwise, you should let your employees decide where they want to work.
Creating a highly collaborative and reliable hybrid workplace is a demanding process that revolves around boosting productivity, flexibility, and connectivity.
You can boost productivity by shifting your perception from the time spent on specific tasks to the quality of outcomes. The remote work time tracker can help you stay in sync with your employee performance. Thus, helping them focus on meaningful work rather than false productivity, and rewarding stellar performance.
When it comes to flexible work schedules there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. You should allow managers to devise flexible work policies according to employees' job descriptions, responsibilities, and life circumstances.
Develop strong interpersonal relationships within your hybrid workplace by creating interesting opportunities. This can include, training and learning sessions to gather your employees in the office. More importantly, plan office team days intentionally. Focus on in-person collaboration on critical projects.
Social interaction is one of the most significant advantages of office-based work. Thus, if you want to see your employees in the office more, organize interesting team-building activities. This allows your employees to meet and bond on a more personal level by sharing non-work-related experiences and fun moments.