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When the coronavirus first swept the world in 2020, thousands of businesses in the United States had to close either permanently or temporarily. 25% of Americans reported that they or someone in their household had been laid off due to the pandemic.
Nearly two years since the onset of this global health crisis, things are beginning to look up: life is slowly returning to a semblance of normality, with people returning to their jobs, or beginning new chapters in their careers. One positive change resulting from the pandemic is that both companies and employees are placing a bigger emphasis on wellbeing and job satisfaction.
One of the ways that employers addressed the urgent need to keep their team members safe, as well as to meet health and safety protocols, was by implementing remote and hybrid work setups in order to reduce the risk of exposure to the virus and accommodate employee requests.
As the world begins to recover from its year-long isolation and the lasting effects on business and the economy, would it be a wise choice to transition back to in-person office setups?
While some might be inclined to think that it would be a good idea, research shows that existing hybrid setups have a more positive impact on employees, and ultimately the companies they work for. The world’s continuous shift to digital platforms only enhances the relevance and feasibility of these setups.
As things stand, it seems unlikely that there will be any reduction in the popularity of hybrid work in the near future. If you’re considering shifting towards a hybrid setup or looking for reasons to continue implementing it in your workspace, here are some of the positive impacts being reported by those who have embraced the practice:
Collaboration and development
Since the shift to hybrid work is mostly uncharted territory for many employees, the change is a welcome opportunity to learn to become more proactive about communication. Team members are encouraged to become more aware of the skill sets their colleagues possess, initiate meetings, and learn where they can further collaborate on projects and in reaching company goals. Navigating this relatively new setup as a team can help create bonds and better communication practices within the company. These practices can be carried over into in-person work setups and refined as teams grow.Research shows that existing hybrid setups have a more positive impact on employees, and ultimately the companies they work for. The world’s continuous shift to digital platforms only enhances the relevance and feasibility of these setups. Click To Tweet
Not only are company practices given the chance to develop, but employees are also given the chance to grow individually. Since flexible work arrangements seem to be the future of employment, people are given the chance to learn how to better manage their time, as well as how to become effective team members despite the distance. They can accomplish this by learning how to collaborate with their teammates, taking initiative when it comes to projects, and making use of or creating systems to ensure the proper execution of work and completion of tasks.
Traversing the new frontier of hybrid work can provide numerous learning and development opportunities that benefit employee skills, confidence, and company knowledge.
The pandemic saw the beginning of most hybrid and remote work setups, and in both 2020 and 2021, the United States actually saw a rise in labor productivity. While the assumption had been that working from home would be a hindrance to productivity, IT giant Accenture proves otherwise: in a survey of their employees, 83% reported that they preferred hybrid work setups as opposed to fully in-office or fully remote arrangements. It can be assumed that these workers are given the opportunity to work at the pace that they feel is appropriate for them.
Additionally, hybrid work requires meticulous tracking of tasks and projects, as well as communication. Not only will a higher volume of work be accomplished, but keeping track of tasks can potentially become easier and more accessible for operational purposes. This can contribute to the overall improvement of workflow and productivity within a company. Productivity is more achievable when information is accessible to the members of a team.
Hybrid work offers employees the chance to work when they’re in their best state — giving employees the chance to work in times and environments that are conducive for their productivity can help them take control of their time and create the best output, rather than forcing productivity in a time and space that might not be the best for them.
Aside from personal and professional growth opportunities, another way that employees are positively impacted by the hybrid setup is by being given the freedom to improve their work-life balance. Companies who seek the opinion and care about the well-being of their employees tend to do better in terms of employees’ job satisfaction. Offering the hybrid work option to employees and adjusting it to meet their needs shows a considerable effort on the part of companies to better care for their teams.
Since flexible work arrangements allow employees to structure their work schedule around whatever else might be going on in their lives, people are given the chance to seek out leisurely activities or take breaks when they might need to. Whether it be sports, relaxation, or quality time with family, being at home allows for more time to enjoy the company of their loved ones. Not only that, but travel becomes a more possible reality for them. Employees are also allowed to work when and where they’re comfortable — even if it means traveling to different states or countries, or even while on the go. An increasingly popular option for remote and hybrid workers is coworking spaces, which have been gaining considerable traction in 2021.
As the world continues to evolve post-Covid, industries will need to find new ways to adapt to the changing needs of their employees. One fact seems clear though: When individuals are afforded more autonomy, they will be inclined to contribute more to the companies they work for in terms of productivity and loyalty, at the same time as benefiting in terms of general wellbeing and job satisfaction.