November 23, 2020
November 30, 2020
In a Stanford survey, US workers were asked whether or not they would like to continue working remotely after the pandemic. 55 percent of them responded that they wanted some mix of office and home time going forward. This widespread shift towards embracing remote work has meant that companies are now looking at how they can make their workplace more flexible.
Enter the hybrid office.
Hybrid working combines both remote and on-site working in a defined balance. Businesses are beginning to implement a mix of workplace policies where staff—be that some, or all—are allowed to work from home, in the office, at a different location, or a variation on a daily or weekly basis.
What does it actually look like in action, though? We’re going to look at the different types of hybrid working, and some companies that are already implementing the hybrid approach.
The ‘hybrid workplace’ is an umbrella concept that includes (but isn’t limited to):
Xerox’s Future of Work Survey 2020 reveals that 82% of the workforce in 600 organizations will be back in their physical workplaces in 12-18 months. Some of those companies are increasing technology budgets and digital transformation strategies to support a switch to hybrid working.
Google was one of the first major tech companies to announce that employees might continue working from home until July 2021. During an interview with Time Magazine, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said that several factors informed the decision. Many of them had to do with employee well-being:
Pichai also said Google was “reconfiguring” its office spaces to accommodate what he called ‘on-sites’ — days when employees who mostly work from home can gather back in the office.
Microsoft has announced part of its hybrid strategy is to permanently offer employees greater flexibility once the outbreak subsides. They ‘recognize that there is no one-size-fits-all solution’ and have adopted a hybrid strategy that includes guidance around remote work, flexible working hours, and benefits.
Kissflow, a digital workplace services provider, has introduced a mixed working model called REMOTE+. This mixes three weeks of working from anywhere with one week of in-office work. The company pays for accommodation costs for the office week and encourages employees to return home for the other three.
Workplaces may begin reopening, but social distancing will be around for a long time. Keeping health and safety in mind, a hybrid office might be the right choice for your business. It’s yet to be studied in great detail, but it looks like it’ll be the key to maintaining employee well-being and increasing productivity and cost efficiencies while figuring out what works best for your employees in 2021.