While the pandemic has hastened the growth of teleworking worldwide, another model is now emerging: hybrid work. Popular among employees, this transitional work arrangement is attracting a growing number of companies interested in seeing their teams return to work gradually. To help ensure its successful implementation, read on for a definition of hybrid work, along with some practical advice.
What is hybrid work?
Hybrid work is based on alternating between in-person and remote work. It assumes that while the office is a social environment, teleworking can improve the employees’ quality of life at work. Hybrid work is therefore about inventing a clear model that gets the best out of everyone and allows employees to work efficiently both at the office and at home.
While the explosion in telecommuting during the Covid-19 crisis demonstrated that working from home was indeed possible, the period was also fraught with difficult conditions. That’s why this new way of working is now being given more structure, with proper working methods and tools.
For companies, the problem goes beyond questions of quality of life at work. They find themselves juggling the desire to see their employees back in the office a few days a week with the caution dictated by the health situation. In this context, hybrid work can represent an attractive and long-term solution for an organisation!
Understanding what employees expect from this new model
Despite the fact that the compulsory nature of teleworking initially had a negative impact on it, the loosening of existing rules seems to have restored its appeal. At least, this is what a 2020 Malakoff Humanis study suggests: 84% of the employees surveyed said they wanted to continue working from home once the lockdown ended.
This same study also points to the source of remote workers’ satisfaction. Eighty percent of them felt that they had more flexibility and agility in managing their work. Next came increased autonomy and empowerment, work-life balance and also, quite simply, efficiency at work. This information might seem basic, but it’s actually valuable when shaping your new set-up.
Arranging effective hybrid work
Although the benefits of teleworking are generally recognised, hybrid working nevertheless requires companies to adapt in certain ways. The first question is one of training. Managing a remote/office team can prove a significant challenge for managers. Office work also needs to be reorganised, with the introduction of the flex office to establish workstations based on their uses.
At the same time, the persistence of remote working is driving the digital transformation. Led by the CIOs, this project is carried out jointly with the directors, managers and employees. It ensures information is secure when the employee is at home and facilitates work by meeting the needs of the teams.
These various subjects are real changes that need to have support. The employer is responsible for laying down a clear framework, which could take the form, for example, of a ‘telework guide’ containing the tools and best practices available to employees. Whatever the selected form, establishing the ground rules is an essential step so everyone can strike their own balance.
Five key considerations when setting up hybrid work
– Survey your employees about their expectations for remote working;
– Make sure data will be secure, no matter the location;
– Train your managers on how to manage a hybrid team;
– Offer suitable communication tools for the hybrid work models;
– Set guidelines for these new practices by establishing formal conditions.
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