The COVID-19 pandemic compelled all of us to change the way we work by confining us to work from home. However, the situation is improving now, and more and more employers are shifting to a hybrid model of working rather than making it compulsory to work from the office altogether.
According to a recent survey conducted by job site TeamLease Services, as many as 77% of the companies in India are ready to provide a hybrid work model to their employees.
There are various reasons which are compelling employers to adopt this ‘new normal’ and futuristic work style. The primary reason is cost savings. Allowing employees to work from home on a few days of the week and from the office on the rest helps us save costs which we would have incurred for taking a larger workspace.
Moreover, it also helps save the conveyance cost. The hybrid model of working also pumps up the productivity and motivation levels of employees, favourably affecting our business.
So, how should we modify our work-from-home policies to help our employees adopt a hybrid work model? Let’s find out!
What is a hybrid model of working?
As the name suggests, the hybrid work model is a working setup under which an employee gets to work both from the office and their home, as per their convenience and company policies. It is a working model which allows us as employers to enjoy the benefits of both work setups - work from the office and work from home.
There could be two types of hybrid work models namely the flexible hybrid work model and the fixed hybrid work model. Under the first model, the employees get to choose the days when they want to work from home and from the office. Whereas, under the second model, we as employers make these decisions.
Considering the changing preferences of employees, it is essential that we soon adopt a hybrid work model to keep our business operations both effective and efficient.
How many days a week do employees prefer working from the office?
Knowing how many days a week our employees prefer to work from home and from the office is an important insight which can help us build sustainable hybrid work models. As per a recent LinkedIn survey, 32% of people prefer to work from home for at least 3 days a week and approximately 19% prefer to complete their work from the office for at least 3 days a week.
Ways to modify WFH policies for a hybrid work Model
As employers, we can adopt the following strategies in order to make a shift from a complete work from home to a hybrid work model under which employees get to choose to work from anywhere, be it office or home.
Ask employees to work from the office at least once a week
We can begin the shift of our employees from a complete work from home model to a hybrid model by asking them to come to the office at least a day or two a week. In order to keep the operational and fixed costs downsized, we must call different teams on separate days, so that the cost of arranging for seating space and other office facilities remains controlled.
Clearly define working hours
In order to ensure completion of all tasks and achievement of organisational goals, we need our employees to work for a certain number of hours, so we need to clearly define the working hours. We can keep either flexible timings with a fixed number of hours to be clocked in or targets to be achieved.
Or we can have fixed working hours if the nature of the business requires that. We must ensure that in the hybrid model of working, the employees are able to work from anywhere comfortably and happily.
Provide the right technology to employees
The entire idea of remote working has been possible due to technological advancements. If we wish to facilitate our employees to work from anywhere we must equip them with the right tools and software, be it for marking their attendance, connecting with their colleagues, or completing the assigned work in an efficient manner.
Plan team-building activities
No matter where we work, at home or office, we remain social beings who have needs for interactions and social gatherings. We can plan for team-building activities both online and offline.
The online ones can be executed via video calls on Google Meet or Skype and the physical catch-ups can be planned in the office or off-site. Such activities do the work of fresh air in rejuvenating the energy and motivation levels of employees.
Provide spaces for employees to voice their concerns
When we work remotely, we are often not able to understand the concerns and requests of our employees exactly the way that they want due to virtual barriers. This could be detrimental in the long term for the business as it can demotivate the employees, cause high attrition rates and lead to a non-cordial work environment.
Thus, as employers, we must allow our employees to reach out to their managers and senior leadership via comfortable and safe spaces, be it a video call or face-to-face interaction, the way they want it. They must also be allowed to flag their concerns anonymously. Such practices give rise to rich work culture and high employee retention rates.
The hybrid model of working is being touted as the future of work. Many global big companies including Apple, Microsoft, Spotify, and LinkedIn have already adopted it, while many are on the verge of its adoption. As employers, we must make a switch to this new form of working and allow our employees to work from anywhere to enjoy the wide array of benefits offered by it.
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