Many companies, in the recovery phase post pandemic, are offering their employees to choose to work from the office, outside, or both as per their convenience. While this benefits the business to hire the best talents from across the world, this brings with itself its own share of challenges. How effective is this model for a business to ensure the productivity of its employees? How does it impact the holistic well-being of the workers within an organisation, while not being present together in a shared physical space of work?
Life was perfectly normal when employees rushed to their workplace to finish their daily goals and targets. The office spaces held immense opportunities to socialise and learn. Everyone was comfortable with this lifestyle.
And then… the pandemic happened, baffling almost every framework (and system) that the society had created in the past few centuries. The world suddenly was coerced to go remote and work.
What was a mere obligation at the beginning, gradually began a common sentiment that the acclimatising society caught up. This adaptation and the recuperation of the world from pandemic gave birth to a new way of work, the hybrid model.
In a hybrid setup, the workforce is distributed, constituted by those who work flexibly. In other words, the employees have the choice to work from an office, remotely or both. Statistically speaking, the world has embraced this model quite humbly. The productivity of a remote worker, on average, increases by 40% more than the one working onsite. Experts suggest that while it leverages the employees to experience the freedom to explore and innovate, it facilitates a trusted relationship between the management and the employees.
This means an increasing number of businesses are willing to test the waters. For those who have their teams constituted by globally distributed demographics, this is an innovative way to stay connected to showcase their productivity. What’s more? The businesses are experiencing increased efficiencies with reduced running and maintenance costs.
The question then arises: How can this model be enabled to unleash better productivity while ensuring a healthier workforce, and an efficient management system within an organisation?
“Over the past year, no area has undergone more rapid transformation than the way we work. Employee expectations are changing, and we will need to define productivity much more broadly — inclusive of collaboration, learning, and well-being to drive career advancement for every worker, including frontline and knowledge workers, as well as for new graduates and those who are in the workforce today. All this needs to be done with flexibility in when, where, and how people work.”, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft
That said, the key features that shape the future of the hybrid work model are- building an inclusive culture, appreciating the flexibility, and creating an energised sphere to ensure the overall wellbeing of the employees.
An imperative inclusion
An improved corporate culture that fosters a sense of belonging for everyone aids in embracing the diversity that is an essential part of the team. This also facilitates a clear communication channel, while ensuring a meaningful contribution to the growth of the business.
The key element, here, is to create a multi-channel pathway that focuses on the growth of the employees. Though a hybrid model is yet to be practiced quite at large to be able to find the right balance of working from home and from the office, it encourages newer ways of collaboration.
Flexible working conditions
According to a report by Accenture, 40% of workers felt they could be healthy and effective whether they were onsite or remote. Productivity and health, the report states, are correlation factors of the availability of enough resources at individual and organisational levels. These nurture the employee by eliminating the challenges pertaining to work.
Wellness, learning, and collaboration are the three dimensions of defining flexibility. Experimenting constantly to modify the conventional conditions is the only way to find the correct equilibrium for hybrid work culture. Tailoring parameters like working hours (from home and office space), investment in technological infrastructure, refurbishing the workspace (to accommodate the new conditions), supporting learning and upskilling opportunities, and many others could reap even larger benefits than anticipated.
Re-energising work with wellness
Remote work, in collaboration with global lockdown, took a heavy toll on the energy levels and well-being of employees around the world, especially for the freshers.
Engagement protocols and policies need to be put to order that strike an appropriate balance with the unplugged hours (that provide a refreshing and quality downtime). Leadership at the organisations are responsible to ensure this equilibrium, by setting examples and nurturing a culture of holistic wellbeing within the work teams.
A sustainable recipe for a thriving work model
Though inevitable, change is never easy. A hybrid model is a certainty of our future work culture. Such transformations do need time, a huge collective effort, and an unmeasurable technological advancement. It would require the world to constantly unlearn and then re-learn new approaches and techniques to keep abreast with the transitions. Keeping the people at its core, a business can accomplish itself with policies and planning. The complete recipe for sustainable growth for businesses, sure it is.
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