How sustainable is the hybrid work model in the post-pandemic era?
As the lockdown curbs begin to ease, organizations are seen exploring ways to promote a safe work environment. The concept of remote working adopted during the lockdown period made it feasible for organizations to continue work operations without hampering employee productivity. Now HR leaders and organizations are keenly looking for innovative models that can be availed in the post-pandemic world to create an efficient and healthy workplace.
Given the circumstances, nine out of ten organizations will be combining the concept of remote and on-site working, according to a recent survey. The hybrid work model will have some employees working from home while some working from the office, depending on the nature of the work and responsibilities pyramid. The new work model provides a greater sense of flexibility to the employees while boosting their productivity and enhancing the employee experience.
Traditionally, hybrid work models were present in large organizations where field managers were allowed to perform field tasks without being present in the office. However, the resurgence of the pandemic has triggered the need for adopting a new work model that not only benefits the employees but also organizations. As a result, there is a hubbub among corporates to implement a hybrid work model. Employers are reinventing their strategies to ensure a highly productive environment during the period of employee resilience.
Despite the prolonged period of remote working, organizations feel anxious about implementing the hybrid work model for the long run. There is no one size fits all approach in the adoption of a permanent mix of on-site and remote working. Organizations need to analyze their needs and have standard operating processes in place to attain pandemic-style productivity gains.
Knowing the viability
The hybrid work model provides extreme flexibility to employees that further helps them in balancing their personal and professional lives. When employees work from where they feel productive, it reflects in their performance, thereby maintaining a healthy employer and employee relationship. Having said that, organizations need to set down the purpose and a strategy of creating an efficient on-site and remote working mix for employees.
To ensure the sustainability of the hybrid work model, organizations first need to figure out the model’s viability in terms of technology. The remote working employees need to be well-equipped with tools and infrastructure for seamless working. Thus, organizations should analyze the technological requirements of the employees before jumping into the flexible working world.
The hybrid work model creates a completely different environment for employees as well as employers. Implementation of this work model should start with the thought of keeping the employee culture in mind. Since employees are also humans, they need to feel motivated and inspired during their tenure with the organization. While working remotely, it is quite possible for employees to lose the connection or bond with the team members they used to have over coffee or social evenings. Thus, the organizations must keep their culture intact while providing a mix of on-site and remote working to employees.
Unlocking the ways to redesign roles and structure
Having a mix of on-site and remote working requires HR leaders to play an extensive role in redefining the roles that are viable in a remote setting. Most managers realize the need to oversee employees to ensure the quality of work. This can only be possible when organizations take full charge of the new work opportunity to re-evaluate roles and organizational structures.
Usually, the organizational design and roles were built on the fact that people will work together in a physical workplace. This will provide an opportunity to interact with each other while having complete coordination and support in work. But to embrace a hybrid work model, organizations need to redefine their traditional roles and structure to make a virtually centralized support system. For instance, having a prompt portal, app, or conferencing tool with greater accessibility for both on-site and remote employees.
Furthermore, HR leaders must think about increasing employee autonomy. Investing in a high-tech infrastructure that solves all basic to complex issues of remote communication can undoubtedly create a better hybrid work environment. This also adds better collaboration opportunities and workflows at the workplace. In addition to this, it will also make the employees feel empowered to manage their own responsibilities and contribute individually to the project goals.
Creating a win-win
The hybrid work model creates a win-win situation for employers and employees. It is highly effective in saving huge operational costs while having fewer employees working on-site. Besides this, when the workforce capitalizes on work flexibility, they feel more boosted, productive and engaged. If implemented properly, the idea of a hybrid work model seems promising and sustainable for the future.