Hybrid office model of doing business might just be the new thing to stay!
If nothing else, the COVID19 pandemic proved people do not need to work in the office to be productive. One of the researches showed that nearly 90% out of 1000 remote workers stated their productivity either stayed the same or improved by working from home.
So, people do not need the office but does the office need them?
The answer is yes. Clearly, not everybody can work remotely, but then again, the pandemic requires strict measures to take place at work. The solution – hybrid offices!
What is a hybrid office?
A hybrid office is an arrangement where employees get a chance to split their work days part remotely, part in-office. Certain positions require people to be in the office full-time, but there are also others which do not.
Since the productivity of people did not seem to drop due to remote work, many companies decided to acknowledge it. Not only does it contribute to the ever-present rule of social distancing, but it also saves money. The reduced costs for rent, bills and office supplies could never not come in handy for the employers. On the other hand, work from home offers the luxury of fewer interruptions and flexible working hours, so the employees can be more focused.
What is the point of it?
Besides the previously mentioned pros, the biggest one might be the practical purposefulness.
For example, for easier communication, an accountant is required to be in the office, full-time. However, if you are in the marketing or sales department that is not the case. You are able to work from home and come to office for the specific reasons.
The researches show people tend to be more creative and in an unstructured, collaborative, working environment. The periodical visits to the office take away the pressure of the working system and make people more relaxed.
Researches conducted prior to the pandemic showed that 67% of employees felt disconnected to their colleagues and 50% said the sense of disconnection influenced the way they view their job.
On the other hand, 45% of the current remote workers miss in-person meetings with their colleagues and the work-related conversations in the office.
What does this mean?
For one thing, it shows the people’s need to incorporate their working life into, well, their life. It seems the hybrid office model will be able to maintain that delicate balance.
How should employers approach it?
Since people feel less pressured working remotely, it would be smart for the employers to maintain this work mentality. They should orient all the important issues at the time when the employees are in the office and leave work from home for some less challenging matters. Of course, this will not always be the case, but for the employees this implementation would definitely be a motivation boost.
Employers should also pay close attention to the atmosphere of the team working from home, and encourage them to raise any potential concerns in person. That way the employees will more likely speak up, and the employers will have a realistic picture of the overall mood of the team at all times.
The best way to achieve this is to include the remote work policy which would state the remote working hours, how people are expected to communicate with colleagues, their availability etc.
Is the future bright for a hybrid office?
Imagining the hybrid office as a permanent way of doing business seems real. Even after the pandemic ends, chances are many will stick to the remote work for multiple reasons. Companies experienced a huge relief in money savings due to a lesser number of people working from the office and, logically, they want to preserve it. It is also likely people will need time to regain trust in the everyday life without the fear for their health, once it comes. Many will embrace this style of work for much time to come and, if it serves its purpose, chances are it will stick around for good.
What does this mean for business travel?
The pandemic has once again proved the ability of business travel branch to adapt and reinvent in order to meet the necessities of the market as closely as possible.
Business travel agencies have been aware of this concept of work for quite a while. A lot of them, actually, found a way to adapt in terms of service provision.
They realised they need to focus on promoting remote ways of communication and socialization.
DIB travel, for example, offers the possibility of a hybrid conference and meeting, where clients can choose to have a certain number of employees present at the event and others joined virtually. The biggest advantage is definitely the reduced costs of transportation and accommodation which would appear higher, if all the employees were to be physically present. Likewise, the psychological aspect is a huge part of a successful hybrid meeting. Elements like attendee experience management, virtual meeting fatigue and reporting and insights are some of the things that require meticulous planning.
Also, in case certain situation arises, all of the components can be moved to virtual, thus, the meeting or event can be continued no matter what.