This article was first published in IT Chronicles
The hybrid work model was never necessary, but as they say, “the only constant is change.” When the pandemic hit with all its glory in 2019, companies knew working from the office wasn’t an option, and nobody knew what the future held. But two years down the lane, the uncertainty has significantly come down.
Companies are now better equipped to deal with unknown challenges that a 4th wave could bring in. Zoom calls have become a part of the daily routine, and coworking spaces are booming. One of the ways companies have adapted to the aftermath of COVID is hybrid work.
Offering the best of both worlds, the hybrid work model allows employees to work from the office a few days a week and spend the rest working from home.
Pre-pandemic- we spent hours in traffic, knew all the radio channels by heart, had an update on our colleagues’ lives that extended beyond the workplace, and went out for beers after a long Friday with our work pals.
Post-pandemic- we learned and unlearnt the art of muting ourselves (and others), made time for our family and friends, picked up old hobbies and learned some new, and struggled to find a work-life distinction when bedrooms became work cubicles.
Hybrid work allows organizations to marry the benefits of a pre-pandemic and post-pandemic era. It will enable employees to be treated as humans- humans who have toddlers and ailing parents that require care, humans who enjoy working from the beaches in Goa and the mountains, and humans who want to choose how much time they spend commuting to work, humans who enjoy networking physically instead of games on Zoom calls, humans who like the physical boundaries that a workplace can bring in their lives.
According to a survey, 47% of employees would likely look for a job if their employer didn’t adopt a hybrid model. The truth is that employees are equal stakeholders in the decision-making process of company work cultures. Companies can grow tremendously by listening, understanding, and implementing employees’ preferred working styles. After all, their greatest asset is their workforce.
64 percent of the respondents to a global McKinsey survey of more than 5,000 full-time employees said they would like to work from home one to four days a week.
The flexibility offered by a hybrid work is unparalleled.
According to a survey, more than half (56%) of employees believe a hybrid work model would positively impact them. They see that the top benefit of hybrid work is less time and money spent commuting (38%). Taking care of mental and physical health becomes easier, and time saved in commuting is used for long walks, hitting the gym, and even meditating.
Employees are just as efficient working from home as from the office. The added benefit is personal: they get to manage their time better. And personal satisfaction always translates into professional productivity.
Social connection is imperative for humans to survive and thrive. Hybrid allows employees to bond beyond a screen, network, and know their team beyond their email IDs.
Office spaces were built to boost productivity. Delegating tasks usually take a couple of emails, and meetings are reduced to instantaneous verbal feedback. Learning through osmosis by virtue of working with older, more seasoned employees for younger employees is an unparalleled experience: something that cannot be recreated in a completely remote setup.
While working from the office has numerous benefits, it’s also important to be mindful of its challenges. And that’s why it’s essential to find a balance. This balance allows employees to experience the flexibility of working from home when required and experiencing the beauty of the physical working space.
Any organization must be prepared to meet the challenges of hybrid work and encourage employees to realize maximum efficiency with minimal problems.
An excellent solution to this is to be tech-enabled and not tech-driven. In India, where most of us are tech-driven, it’s imperative to shift this to become tech-enabled and truly use it to simplify life.
Using no-code platforms is one of the ways companies can be tech-enabled. No-code helps drive innovation, reduce operational costs, save time, and improve productivity- something that will aid in the transition of work from home to hybrid. Organizational and structural efficiency that allows employees flexibility plays a huge role in promoting a happy work culture.
Innovation sits at the crux of flexibility. Is your employee sitting at home able to pump out the same efficiency that an employee working from the office can? The answer may be a yes or a no. But it’s essential to make the divide smaller. Advanced no-code platforms can help streamline work better.
After all, if the hybrid work model sits at the forefront of work cultures, organizations need to drive innovation among employees- from helping them take charge of workflows to providing the necessary resources and support when required.
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