Remote working became something we all enjoyed for a few years. CEOs were probably never entirely comfortable with their staff working out of sight, but with the pandemic, they had to endure it.
A recent survey confirms that as much as two-thirds of CEOs want their staff back in the office full-time. This action will be a big blow to staff working full time or most of the week from their home office.
Would it be a progressive or regressive move? We believe a hybrid work model achieves the best of both worlds for employers and employees.
Why A Hybrid Model Is Better
A hybrid work model, where employees split their time between working in the office and working remotely (such as from home), can offer a progressive work-life balance with several benefits to employers and employees.
While some employers argue productivity has dropped since remote working. Employees often report higher productivity when working remotely and due to fewer distractions and a more comfortable environment.
How do businesses measure productivity?
Businesses use various methods to gauge employee productivity, and the specific metrics can vary based on the nature of the work and industry. There is no one standard way to probably measure worker productivity. Intuition plays a role as much as the following metrics.
- Output Metrics: These include quantitative measures of the work produced, such as the number of units produced, lines of code written, reports generated, or tasks completed.
- Quality of Work: Businesses may assess the quality of employees’ work through error rates, customer satisfaction scores, or the number of defects in a product.
- Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Companies often establish KPIs that align with their strategic goals. These could include sales targets, project completion deadlines, or customer acquisition goals.
- Time Tracking: Some businesses monitor employees’ time on specific tasks to understand how efficiently they are working.
- Feedback and Performance Reviews: Regular performance evaluations and feedback sessions provide insight into an employee’s strengths, weaknesses, and areas for improvement.
- Project Milestones: Meeting milestones and deadlines is a crucial measure of productivity for project-based work.
There is an App for that
Suppose businesses are using these ways to measure staff productivity. In that case, they will know there is software and apps to adequately capture the key data that confirms how productive staff are irrespective of their place of work.
Management does not need to have ‘eyes-on’ staff to know if they are being productive. Employers can leverage technology to facilitate collaboration and communication among remote and in-office teams, improving efficiency. Collaboration software includes:
- Video conferencing – think how Zoom has changed how organizations hold meetings
- Private and group messaging – Slack
- Project management software – SAP
- Workflow management tools – Monday.com
Remote working productivity challenges
However, we can not ignore the productivity challenges of remote working. Some employees may struggle with communication and collaboration in a remote environment, which can impact productivity, especially for tasks that require close coordination.
Home environments can be filled with distractions, potentially affecting focus and productivity. Additionally, workers may experience feelings of isolation, which is a mental health challenge and it’s likely to impact motivation, and productivity.
Plus, non-IT competent staff are also likely to experience technology-related issues, such as internet connectivity problems or inadequate home office setups, which can hinder productivity.
The good news is working from home can be restricted to a day or two a week with the hybrid work model.
2. Staff Attraction, Retention, Satisfaction
A hybrid work model can make your company more attractive to potential employees. Improving employee well-being by reducing commuting time and providing greater flexibility to manage personal and family needs can be the difference between accepting a role or not.
Furthermore, hybrid work contributes to higher employee retention rates as workers appreciate the flexibility and work-life balance.
Did you know there is less absenteeism with happy staff? Less sick days taken results in more hours worked.
A hybrid model can enable employers to tap into global talent pools without needing relocation, fostering a diverse and skilled workforce. This helps startups and small businesses benefit from hiring offshore workers on a remote working model.
3. Environmental Sustainability
One of the most significant environmental benefits of a hybrid work model is the reduction in commuting. With employees working remotely part of the time, there is less need for daily commutes, leading to lower carbon emissions from vehicles.
Operating large office buildings requires a considerable amount of energy for lighting, heating, cooling, and other facilities. A hybrid model, with fewer people in the office on any given day, can result in energy savings as fewer resources are needed to maintain the workspace.
Customers want to buy from greener businesses and as such they look for business sustainability.
Increasing vehicles on the road, and using more energy in the workplace is not sending the right message to the consumer. A hybrid model is a sustainability practice that can be communicated in marketing and sales campaigns.
While a hybrid model makes companies more agile and adaptable, responding to changing market conditions and employee preferences, many businesses just want their staff back in the office – full stop.
When weighing up which model is better, it’s evident there is no one-size-fits-all answer to full-time in the office versus the hybrid work model.
The ideal work model depends on the organisation’s specific circumstances, the nature of the work, and the employer and employees’ preferences.