Are you seeking ways to work both at the office and remotely? Hybrid working is a hot trend as we seek to find ways to work effectively. More organizations are exploring a hybrid mix for work – some at the office, and some from home—creating a new normal for working.
This move towards a hybrid work environment started during the pandemic. It is now likely to continue, as is evident across the country, and around the globe.
A recent article in Harvard Business Review (HBR) examines the pros and cons of a hybrid-working environment. It explores best practices for employees and managers. New working arrangements bring new challenges: how to create a fair working environment, manage issues of power, and navigate impact of visibility. Hybrid working is new to everyone and requires new skills to be effective.
Whether you are working remotely, working in an office, or mixing it up—understanding the benefits of hybrid work can help you design the best office, explore workflow, and create the foundation to do your best work.
Create A Flexible Workspace
As a digital nomad, you know that flexibility is essential for a healthy and happy lifestyle.
You may have found ways to stay flexible while working solo, as well as collaborating with peers. Flexibility can begin by shaping the environment with fluid design, ergonomic furnishings, and options for informal conversation.
In a hybrid work environment, you’ll need to stay agile. Some colleagues will be in the same physical space. Some will be working remotely. This may change from day-to-day, or week-to-week.
This creates dimensions of complexity. How can you achieve a creative, flexible environment where everyone feels welcome Many companies are examining workspace design to encourage participation, collaboration, and creativity. As you create your workspace, consider these factors:
Encourage Informal Conversation
Make it easy for employees, staff, and senior leaders to meet up for informal discussions. An open kitchen, a garden, a team meeting room are ways to invite people to gather, discuss, and socialize.
Many organizations are seeking to expand the use of existing open space. Office pods are cozy spots to meet without formal scheduling. These pods encourage teams to gather for brainstorming and impromptu meetings. If your office has a limited number of conference rooms, an office pod encourages hassle-free informal meet ups.
Whether your teammate or boss is working remotely or onsite, encourage everyone to participate. Take a proactive approach to make sure everyone is included in meetings, launches, and project outputs.
Explore and Educate About Hybrid Working
Companies are actively looking to understand the impact of hybridity on managers, work teams, and leadership.
One key component is an uneven distribution of power and resources. For example, an employee in the office may have access to better technology, better office furniture, and better social support.
On the other hand, a remote worker may have a high-tech workspace. They may enjoy the freedom of a commute-free lifestyle, close contact with their family, and the ability to work flexible hours. Whether you are a manager or an employee working in a hybrid set up, take the time to discover the pros and cons of this new trend.
Benefits of Hybrid Working
The top benefits cited in the HBR article include:
Employees can choose when, how, and where they work. This kind of increased flexibility is attractive to many professionals.
Reduce Carbon Footprint
Working remotely reduces car pollution. Large office spaces can be reduced or eliminated, reducing the carbon footprint.
Optimize Labor Costs
Travel, insurance, and facility costs can be optimized with less reliance on a physical location.
People enjoy added flexibility. Parents may be able to spend more time with their children, manage home schooling, or care for their family members. On the other hand, the key benefits of a traditional co-located office include:
Keeping track of individuals, teams, and projects is often easier when all the participants are working in one location, and on one schedule.
It’s easier to make connections, build rapport, and strengthen trust with people you know and see on a daily basis. This helps build a stronger team.
High creativity is often linked to face-to-face collaboration. Many organizations find that teams are more creative and high performing when they work in close proximity, with frequent communication.
As you explore a hybrid-working environment, stay agile and flexible. You and your team will develop the best ways to stay connected, creative, and in touch—from wherever you are working.