02 . Feb . 2021

Why the Hybrid Work Model is the New Normal post-COVID-19 pandemic

by ZIOKS

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With the pandemic forcing enterprises to run entirely remote last year, the results show impressive productivity. Now that the vaccines are on the horizon, most employees still want to work from their homes and come to the office only at times for more focussed, independent work experience. As companies pivot to employee preferences, things look favorable for the rise of a collaborative, inclusive hybrid work model in the future.

In the times we are in, employers across the world are grappling to find a common ground between the safety of employees at work, as well as their growing preference for remote work. While vaccines are on their way and can mean things getting back to normal slowly, but there’s still an uncertainty given the current state of affairs. 

According to a Stanford survey, 55% of US workers want to combine working from home and office, even after COVID-19 subsides, while in the UK there is twice the number of employees who are looking to continue working from home. Such desperate times have left many companies to choose remote operation till May 2021, while others are struggling to incorporate new preferences into their work setting. 

While countries like New Zealand, Netherlands, South Korea, etc were more technologically resilient to work remotely last year amid the pandemic – the same cannot be said for the remaining countries. Then, of course, there are the verticals where remote work isn’t a possibility, including all emergency domains, healthcare, security, and other operational-based jobs. But, when it comes to the corporate companies, they’re willing to combine the distinct models of remote and on-site work into one, responsive, flexible strategy; rightfully called hybrid working. 

How Exactly Does Hybrid Work Look in Reality? 

We know what you must be thinking: Is it even practical to have such a fixer-upper work model in place, especially when so much is at stake? Well, it may seem strange at first, but the Hybrid model is inherently more inclusive and freedom-centric when implemented in the workplace. It definitely brings the best of both worlds and gives employees autonomy to work around their schedules, and decide on themselves to have accountability on their work quality; irrespective of independence. 

During the pandemic, many companies around the world decided to dedicate specific days for in-office meetings and collaborations for employees – which required physical presence; following social distancing protocols. This sat well with employees who wanted to kick off their projects and gather required data before they could resort to the refuge of their homes and began working on it; via video calls. Even for coworking spaces that went well since they can now provide their clients with exclusive tech platforms for conference calls, messaging apps, digital cloud, and so much more to keep them connected digitally as good as physically seated next to each other. This also made the professionals more comfortable in keeping their subscriptions and continue paying for their membership to get an enhanced interactive experience. 

Surveysparrow

Credits: Surveysparrow

Undoubtedly, the best part of home working is the quiet work (of course, if you have a workable environment at home, or sure do know how to make one). The office work is all about collaboration, which gets evened out without the stress of commuting and lesser involvement in office gossip. Post-pandemic, behavioral experts say that employees are more likely to choose suburban, less-crowded, closer-to-home, safe, and personal office spaces over features such as lavish cafeterias. Therefore, for companies contemplating downsizing their office space, they may try to keep the conference room and do away with cubicles. 

Management Reforms

Major global corporations like Google, Twitter, PwC are preferring agile methodology over everything else, which gives more preference to employee flexibility and workstyles. Due to the scattered workforce, the strict hierarchies of line-of-sight will run obsolete and instead, would give rise to performance-based management, based on trust and driven by purpose. 

Eventually, there will be the downfall of the irreversible time constraints, as employers would allow flexibility in work hours for employees. Why? Simply because nine months of remote work has revealed that employees can balance work and life better; as well as have significant productivity under flexible circumstances. 

Workplace Scenarios

Under a hybrid work setting, employers now would concentrate on building a stronger footprint that caters to a distributed workforce; instead of expanding in the metropolitan areas. Companies may find themselves in the heart of peoples’ engagement programs and experience; ultimately building stronger trust and deeper relationships with their customers and workforce. For having a more targeted customer engagement, companies may now look out for highly amenitized, technologically-enabled workplaces that provide maximum agility – and therefore, may also be more susceptible to third-party coworking spaces, for their flexible leases, ready-to-move-in setup. 

Collaboration and Engagement Differences

As humans, we’re social creatures and therefore would require direct, face-to-face interaction to build innovative and engaging experiences. However, since in a hybrid work setting the in-person interaction would be lesser than others, therefore it would need to be more impactful. Therefore, employees would now come to the office when there’s a bigger purpose attached to the meeting with the team, completely dedicated.

The Future is Hybrid

Rightfully said, change is the only constant, and in the last year we’ve all witnessed it in some measure when it comes to the work market. What was previously considered as the primal fear of employees in terms of lowering productivity, remote working has instead kept the organizations up and running in the face of overwhelming times. 

Today, creative hybrid office solutions are being considered by enterprises big and small across the world. Employers are open to focus more on the output generated than the input given, place, and time of work from their employees; setting new standards in the workplace operations by making it more value-based and unified. Being such a collaborative and creative coworking space in Kolkata, we at Zioks believe in building dedicated, collaborative work setups into shared, individual space.

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