Currently, there is a buzz within global organisations about the concept of a hybrid workplace. Undoubtedly, COVID-19 marked a pivotal moment in which there was a surge in demand for hybrid work environments and a disruption of conventional work practises. Although lockdowns have lifted, several organisations have adopted a hybrid approach, while others continue to operate entirely remotely. However, discussions regarding the difficulties posed by a blended work setup continue to persist among workers and employers across various sectors.
To better understand the hybrid workplace, let’s define what it entails. A hybrid work model is a flexible approach that combines working from an office and at home. Despite varying levels of flexibility, they all tend to allow a certain degree of freedom in choosing how and where employees work while also granting employers the independence to formulate a weekly schedule that aligns with company regulations.
So is it good or bad? Research is the answer. The blend of on-site and remote work is generating enthusiasm in both organisations and their staff for sound reasons, yet the shift is also causing public apprehension for equally valid reasons.
Studies done by researchers at Owl Labs found that remote and hybrid employees were 22% happier than workers in an onsite office environment and stayed in their jobs for a longer time. The study also reported that remote and hybrid workers experienced less stress and improved concentration, and were more productive compared to their in-office counterparts. Working from home led to better work-life balance and was more beneficial for the physical and mental well-being of employees.
On the other hand, despite the benefits, noticeable voices like the CEO of Goldman Sachs remain sceptical about the hybrid work model’s effectiveness in “innovative, collaborative” contexts and want workers back in the office five days a week.
To help us solve the debate, research done at Prodoscore revealed that individuals who were highly productive in the office tended to continue this trend when working at home, while those who struggled in-office carried this behaviour over to their home working environment. With that said, it is important to keep in mind that the implementation of a hybrid work model by companies aims to enhance the mental well-being and work-life balance of their employees, ultimately leading to a boost in productivity and engagement and consequently promoting a more efficient operation of the business.
This leads us to a more constructive approach to assessing hybrid styles, where the focus should be put on the elements that create the conditions for a more effective hybrid workplace. According to the Harvard Business Review, whether working in person or virtually, every interaction should rely on three main elements: communication, emotional intelligence, and psychological safety.