Hybrid working has been at the forefront of many business decisions as of late, especially with companies attempting to bring their staff back into the workplace. So what exactly does it entail? The hybrid working model allows employees to work from various places, including at home, on the go, and in the office.
It began to gain momentum due to the covid-19 pandemic, which changed how the majority of businesses had to operate. The Institute of Directors (IoD) surveyed 583 business leaders in March, not including any that were already utilising working from home, finding that 63% intend to shift towards one to four days of remote working per week moving forward. Another study commissioned by the London-based startup YuLife found that 79% of people who could work from their remote locations would like to do so at least 2 days per week. It could affect in increased pressure being place upon business owners across the UK to provide hybrid working as an incentive for all employees, as long as they can carry out their duties from home.
Hybrid Working Strategies
Many businesses are utilising a hybrid work strategy, and they are creating a hybrid office to make it easier for employees in the office to communicate with their colleagues that are working remotely.
With changing trends and employee behaviours, it is understandable why the hybrid working model is gaining popularity.
Again, the biggest reason behind the working from home trend is probably the Covid-19 pandemic. To protect employees from this deadly disease, many companies had to upend their staff and rapidly adapt to working from home. This left many feeling uneasy and anxious about the future of their jobs. Although, now many people have grown accustomed to this way of working, and prefer the variety it brings.
In April 2020, when the pandemic began, 46.6% of employed people did some work at home. Within this figure, 86% only started as a response to the virus. A vast majority of business owners previously believe that if staff were given the privilege of remote working, they would ‘slack off’, and productivity would fall, which could be why there weren’t many corporations offering this as an option before. As we all know, this has since been proven wrong, with countless benefits seen by businesses that have switched over to this work style.
Why is Hybrid Working Gaining Popularity
Over the past decade, there have been significant advancements in technology, making it much easier for companies to continue operating successfully even when they are out of the office. In 2018, 88% of UK households owned a home computer compared to 72% in 2008. According to national statistics, 96% of households in Great Britain had internet access in 2020, compared to merely 57% in 2006.
There are also some remarkable developments in software that have been design to aid businesses with their day-to-day running. Microsoft teams, for example, was only develop in 2017 and is currently using by 90% of UK businesses. It is a tool that gives staff the ability to continue collaborating whilst all being in different locations, through video calls, presentations and chats functions, to name a few. With all of these tools being widely used, the concept of remote working is much more attainable for the average worker and business now than it would have been 15 years ago.
Other reasons why hybrid working is gaining more popularity
Another reason why hybrid working is gaining more popularity is because it provides employees with more choice over their schedule. The demands of workers are changing, with the younger generation especially building a reputation for themselves as people who expect more from their employers and workplace. Their main concerns appear to be more flexibility with shifts and a more significant focus on mental health support. Both of these criteria can be meet by companies who provide hybrid working as an option.
This is because incorporating remote working can help individuals better juggle their external commitments, giving them more of a work-life balance. Well organised staff may also use the time that would have usually been dedicates to their commute and lunch hour to carry out activities that they enjoy, that they may not have otherwise had time for. A survey of 4,000 UK office workers by Microsoft and YouGov found that 56% felt they were happier when they were able to work from home, which is probably why 92% of people suppose to be able to work from remote location at least once a week after the pandemic subsides, as their needs and priorities can be better met.
So, in conclusion, the majority of those who have tried hybrid working are hoping it is here to stay, while those who work for companies that have yet to give it a try are waiting for their opportunity to see if it suits them. With the ease in which this work model can be adopted, along with the employee benefits, it is very clear to see why it is such a hot topic, and it will probably continue that way till it is more commonly used.