Today, everyone in this world is trying to cope up with an unprecedented situation in which even expert alerts & advisories could not give definitive clarity. The initial stages of the pandemic were a strange and chaotic time for workplaces around the world and still is. However, now that the economy is being opened gradually with less COVID-19 restrictions in place, the government has made it easier for companies and offices to develop their own favourable environment and safety protocols for employees transforming the workplaces to a hybrid avatar in 2020. Hybrid work is in many ways a new medium or format which is being rapidly adopted world-over.
While hybrid work norms means more flexibility in the future of work, it encompasses many possibilities. Hybrid work tends to include more freedom around when to work as well as where.
A hybrid workplace, in the current context refers to workplaces which are adopting a model where employees are given the flexibility to work from home and partially work from office.
Many companies who fall under the portfolio of ‘Essential service providers’ have been working continuously since the lockdown while following the hybrid workplace model. Employees across different departments have been put on rosters depending upon the nature of the work. And at any given point of time of the day, there are not many people on the floor. Adopting such a working model is one of the new and effective ways to adapt to the social distancing norms.
For many, this hybrid model might even be a blessing in disguise giving them the flexibility of caring for children or elderly who are also home-bound and need supervision. Working parents particularly are finding the hybrid work model to be a better solution as they are homeschooling their children.
In such a situation to make the model a success, technology has been one of the most important tools for communication in terms of how people are connected. From a technology point of view, companies have built their various customised solutions to stay connected. Another development is being explored by launching a software to track the productivity of the sales/ marketing team. Google Meet is also one of the most effective tools which is helping the employees of the company to remain connected via video or normal voice calls. While the face to face connection may not remain consistent but at least through technology the entire office is connected to ensure smooth workflow and productivity. From an HR Perspective as well, all the hiring and onboarding processes are now done virtually via video calls.
Without technology, it is nearly impossible to sustain this new form of the hybrid workplace model and employees might feel isolated or disconnected. The idea to have a blended solution allowing for safe distancing and ability to work from home while staying productively and socially connected with fellow co-workers. Every fortnight, some companies are organising virtual leadership connect sessions with all the C-level people in the organization for their employees for review and also to connect so that the face to face interaction is not missed.
To appreciate and encourage the people working in the hybrid model successfully, they are being rewarded with digital certificates for their extraordinary efforts during trying times.
Covid-19 has challenged and changed how many of us do our jobs, yet with good direction, thoughtful strategies and the right technology, working in a hybrid workplace can be a change for the better even in the post-pandemic world.