Hybrid work has become a necessary factor of the post-pandemic world, but that’s not bad news for companies. According to surveys analyzed by Gallup, most businesses found that their hybrid workers are more productive and, crucially, more engaged.
Workers splitting time between office and home are more likely to enjoy their employee experience, and contribute further to the goals of the business. This isn’t something that has magically occurred; there are a few key factors in the hybrid working story that have made these workers as effective as they are. It starts inside the home-based office.
One of the most interesting factors surrounding the return to offices has been the recrafting of office spaces. As the New York Times outlines, many workers have been found to dislike or even resent their office spaces. Indeed, many businesses are now embarking on wide-scale changes to make their office spaces more appealing. Pushing back against the mid-00s trend of open spaces, one key factor has been private areas for productivity. The home office, when well constructed, doesn’t have to be huge. Indeed, the most important factor is that the home office is put together carefully, conscientiously, and with the individual productivity of the worker in mind. A home working space can be designed exactly to specification, and that’s one big reason why hybrid workers are so effective – they can get lots done at home, and work on engagement in the office.
Breaking up the day
Hybrid work is in demand because of its flexibility. According to USA Today, 50 percent of workers would take a paycut to retain some remote work. Figures reported by the SHRM indicate that hybrid workers work longer hours than their in-office counterparts – and do so, in many cases, willingly and happily. The key is in breaking up the day. When working from home, small breaks can be taken and enjoyed to their fullest. The TV can be switched to catch the news, high quality food can be taken from the fridge, and good, hot coffee made. This is in contrast to the rushed nature of in-office work, and the many hours lost to commuting.
Staying switched on
All of this shows how remote working is beneficial for workers – why, then, is hybrid better than purely remote? The answer comes in engagement. According to CNBC, workers love having a flexible hybrid schedule. This enables them to prioritize meetings according to when in-person interactions would benefit, enables them to bring their own staff into office for important chats, and provides a change of scenery – one of the biggest pitfalls of remote working is the monotony of staying home. Enabling employees to stay switched on is the key.
Hybrid working can therefore be considered a mix of mostly remote work with the ability to meet in-person on demand. This provides workers with the flexibility and security they need. With happier and healthier workers, productivity will only continue to rise.