What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working is an operating style that combines both remote and on-site work. It allows employees to have more flexibility in their employment schedule and location while still having access to the office when necessary. This operating style has become more popular as businesses try to balance the benefits of both remote and on-site work.
Hybrid working can provide several benefits to businesses and employees. For companies, it can reduce office space, transportation and equipment costs. For employees, combination working can offer more flexibility in their work schedule and location, allowing them to balance their work and personal life better.
Types of hybrid models
There are many types of popular hybrid working models that companies have used that suit both the business and its employees. Here are a few models to consider when designing the best employment style for everyone.
The rotation model: is an effective way to balance remote and on-site work. It allows employees to work from home for a set number of days in the week and come into the office on specific days.
For example, employees might work from home for three days and come into the office for two days. It helps ensure that colleagues maintain a connection with their team and the office while still having the flexibility to work from home.
The flexibility model: allows teams to choose whether they want to work from home or the office. This model provides employees maximum flexibility to work in the environment that suits them best, whether the home office or the traditional office. This model is particularly effective for businesses with those who work across different time zones or have varying schedules.
The core hours model: requires employees to work specific hours in the office and allows them to work remotely for the rest of the time. So employees may be required to work from 9-3 in the office and can work remotely before or after those hours. This model ensures that a core team is present in the office during specific hours while still allowing employees the flexibility to work remotely.
Why is hybrid work trending?
In 2020, businesses were forced to adapt to the remote work model. Through this, they have realised the benefits of working from home, such as increased productivity and reduced costs. As a result, many businesses are now considering implementing a hybrid work model, which allows them to maintain some of the benefits of off-site work while also providing teams with the option to work in the office when necessary.
Hybrid working isn't just beneficial for businesses, but employees have seen the plus sides too. Many studies have shown that workers have discovered the positives of working remotely. For example, a study conducted by Ergotron found that 88% of employees agree that the flexibility to work from home increased job satisfaction and 56% cited mental health improvements, better work-life balance and more physical activity.
Is your business ready for hybrid working?
Before implementing a hybrid work style, you must consider several factors to ensure the transition is successful. By carefully considering the following elements and taking appropriate measures, your company can successfully incorporate a hybrid work model that benefits both teams and the organisation as a whole.
- Do you have clear policies in place? You must ensure your employees know the expectations in a hybrid work environment. This includes policies around work hours, communication protocols and productivity requirements.
- Do you have an effective communication system? When teams are working remotely, communication is key. You need to ensure that your employees have access to the tools to communicate effectively, whether by email, video conferencing, or instant messaging. This is something we will explore later in this blog.
- Do your employees have the right technology? To work remotely, your workers will need access to a reliable internet connection and any hardware or software required to perform their job. Which, again, we'll explore later in this blog.
- Are you prepared legally for hybrid working? Legal considerations around data privacy, security, and employee rights must be addressed before implementing a different work style.
How to prepare for a hybrid workplace with technology?
To effectively manage a hybrid workplace, businesses need to provide their employees with the right technology, tools and infrastructure. Let's explore some essential tools companies should consider implementing to prepare for a successful transition.
VoIP can help businesses transition to a hybrid working model by providing a flexible and reliable communication solution. With VoIP, teams can make and receive phone calls from anywhere with an internet connection, which means they can work from home or while travelling without relying on a traditional phone line. This allows workers to communicate seamlessly with customers, clients and colleagues, regardless of location.
VoIP also provides additional features that can enhance productivity and collaboration. For instance, call routing can ensure that incoming calls are directed to the appropriate person or department, even if they're working remotely. Call recording can help with quality assurance and training, and voicemail can confirm that critical messages are received and responded to promptly.
Collaboration and instant messaging tools
Collaboration tools enable employees to communicate with each other regardless of their location, making it easier to work together in real time. They can be used to share files, assign tasks and collaborate on projects, making them crucial for maintaining productivity in a remote work environment.
Businesses can use many different collaboration tools to help facilitate a hybrid work environment. Slack and Microsoft Teams, for example, allow for video and audio conferencing, file sharing, and real-time collaboration. By leveraging these collaboration tools, businesses can better support their employees in a hybrid work environment and confirm they have the necessary resources to remain productive and successful while working from home or on the go.
Data and reporting
Data and reporting tools can provide insight into employee productivity, project progress and overall business performance. Programmes such as Trello and Asana can generate reports that provide valuable insights into team performance, including how much time is spent on specific tasks and which team members are the most productive. This data can be used to optimise workflows and improve productivity.
Businesses can also use reporting tools to monitor key performance indicators relevant to their industry. This can help managers identify trends, make informed decisions and measure the success of their hybrid work strategy.
Request management tools
Request management tools can be highly beneficial as they enable businesses to manage tasks efficiently. These tools can provide an organised and centralised way of handling submissions and ensure that everything runs smoothly while teams are working in multiple locations.
Document management tools can be a vital aspect of a hybrid workplace, where employees may not have access to the same physical resources as they would in an office. Services like Dropbox or Google Drive can help employees quickly access and share documents from anywhere. These tools can also be used to ensure that everyone has access to the latest version of essential files and provide version control, commenting and editing capabilities.
Digital training and online employee learning tools
As hybrid work becomes more prevalent, businesses need to ensure that their teams have access to training and development opportunities. Online learning platforms can provide employees with various courses and growth modules that they can complete at their own pace. This can be particularly beneficial for remote workers who may not have access to in-person training or development opportunities.
Online learning platforms can also enhance collaboration and knowledge-sharing among employees. By providing access to a centralised repository of information and resources, companies can confirm their workers can access the latest updates and best practices. This can help teams stay informed about changes in their industry or company policies and facilitate knowledge-sharing among team members.
Want to get started with hybrid working? T2k is here to help
Hybrid working is becoming increasingly popular as businesses adapt to the changing work environment. With the right technology and tools, companies can successfully transition to a hybrid working model and reap the benefits of increased productivity, improved work-life balance and reduced costs.
At T2k, we understand the importance of preparing for a hybrid workplace with technology, and we are here to help businesses navigate this transition. Our team of experts can assist with the implementation of the necessary tools and provide ongoing support to ensure a seamless transition. Contact us today to learn how we can help your business thrive in a combined work environment.
Frequently Asked Questions
List of must-have tools for hybrid working companies
As we move towards a hybrid working model that blends remote and in-office work, several tools are essential for ensuring smooth collaboration, communication and productivity. Here are some must-have tools for a hybrid working company:
Is hybrid working here to stay?
Hybrid working will likely continue to be a popular work model for many organisations, as it benefits employees and employers and has become more normalised in recent times. However, the specific implementation of hybrid work may vary by industry, company culture and individual preferences.
How can employers ensure the success of hybrid working?
Employers can ensure the success of hybrid working by establishing a clear hybrid work policy, providing necessary technology (such as VoIP) and resources, encouraging open communication and fostering a culture of trust and accountability.