Why do employees want a hybrid model of work?
Why the Traditional 9 to 5 Model is No Longer Working for Employees?
The hybrid model is said to be an employee-first model, as it allows the employees to work in their comfort and work in the environment that they feel is the best for them. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, many offices did not appreciate employees working from home as the C-suite executives used to feel that the employees will not be productive, and their payable hours will not be justified. With the onset of the pandemic, companies globally had to find a way to make the work-from-home situation work.
Now when living with COVID is the new normal, we now know that employees see the value in a hybrid mode of working. According to a recent survey by McKinsey, three days of work from the office is helping employees strive for a perfect balance between work-life. In the latest survey by Envoy in April 2022, 77% of companies have already opted to go hybrid and 56% of those companies are allowing employees to choose when and how often they wish to come into the office.
9 am-5 pm or 7 pm-3 am; it’s on you!
In an office-first model, where employees work in-office from 9 am to 5 pm, employees feel that they are being constantly monitored. This not only affects their quality of work; but also does not bring out the best in them. A hybrid model offers employees the flexibility and freedom to work according to their clock. For example, some people show a high level of productivity during the day, while some during the evening, and the hybrid model encourages people to bring out the best in them. That is why according to a recent survey by Wakefield Research shows that almost half of employees (47%) would likely look for another job if their employer doesn’t offer a flexible working model.
Striking the balance
Finding balance is more convenient in a hybrid setup. When employees have more control over their work schedules, they are able to balance their personal lives with their professional lives without having to compromise. When employees feel they are in charge, they feel empowered; and an empowered employee is loyal to the organization and performs better. According to a survey undertaken by Slack, flexibility in the mode of working keeps employees motivated and stay at an organization for a longer duration.
Attract global talent
Working in a global company is every employee’s dream and attracting the best talent is every employer’s wish. The benefit of working remotely allows both the employee and the employer to broaden their talent pool. A competitive working environment also encourages employees to constantly stay updated with their skill set which gets subsequently acknowledged in the global market.
Increasing the profit-factor
With employees not having to travel every day to work, their interaction with the outside world has decreased, which has caused about 87% of the employees to be worried about their health and safety (according to a survey by Envoy). With a hybrid model of working, minimal human contact causes lesser infections. It even allows employees to isolate themselves in case they are unwell, without taking leaves; and helps their co-workers also stay healthy and safe.
When employees are working from home, companies can rethink their workplace strategy. The offices can work out on the office space required to support the employees. Downsizing the real estate can help the company to do cost-cutting by approximately 30%.
What is about to come next is unpredictable
In an ideal situation for the employers, the employees would have been enigmatic with the thought of coming back to the office every day. But now the employees know the perks of a hybrid model and the positive effect it overall has on their life.
Employee skillset has been an ever-evolving domain, but none of us ever thought that the way we view our workspaces will change. With the way workspaces are being perceived by employees as agile, the employer needs to open an effective two-way communication to understand the needs of the employees. Face-to-face interactions accounted for better team bonding, and understanding, but the hybrid mode puts the managers in a spot where they have to learn how to keep their teams motivated, how to show empathy, how to give their teammates space and hold them accountable.
The hit-and-trial method that the employers have learned during the pandemic on how to work virtually with their teammates has prepared them for their next challenge: a hybrid mode of work.
None of us can predict the future of workspaces in the future, but here’s how companies can adapt to the hybrid model of working:
Constantly learn the employee’s needs:
Two-way communication with the team is highly effective to understand the needs of the employees. Anonymous surveys about the manager and the company are one of the things that employers can engage with to understand the employee’s needs.
Infrastructure to support the hybrid model of working:
The hybrid model bridges the gap between the employees and provides them with space to understand how to work in a more efficient way with their team members. The hybrid model can be implemented in several ways—the team(s) can decide when they want to come to the workplace, or the manager (s) can assign days and schedule a plan for their team(s).
Building a supportive work culture:
A positive work culture helps the employer to maintain a high retention rate. Companies can engage in providing the employees with experiences—food & beverage programs, company-wide events, happy hours, and revamping the office environment.
The hybrid paradigm of work is not just an option now, it is here to stay. However, there are pros and cons to any employment paradigm. Companies must now match the requirements of their employees or risk losing top talent to competitors that do.