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As the coronavirus pandemic engulfed the globe in 2020, countless businesses across the United States found themselves compelled to shutter, some permanently, others temporarily. It was reported that a staggering 25% of Americans disclosed that they, or a member of their household, had been made redundant as a direct consequence of the pandemic.
Several years into the global health crisis, glimmers of optimism are surfacing. Life is progressively returning to its rhythm, with people getting back to their jobs or launching new career ventures. One notable positive outcome of the pandemic is the heightened attention both companies and employees have started to give to well-being and job satisfaction.
To meet the urgent need for safety, employers adapted by implementing remote and hybrid work models. Not only did this align with public health guidelines, but it also reduced the risk of viral exposure and accommodated employee preferences.
As we initiate recovery from prolonged isolation and its economic impact, a pertinent question arises: would it be wise to revert to traditional, in-person office environments?
While some may advocate for this approach, research suggests that current hybrid work models exert a positive influence on employees, and consequently, the businesses they serve. The ongoing global digital transformation further accentuates the relevance and utility of such setups.
At present, the allure of hybrid work seems far from diminishing. If you’re considering adopting a hybrid model or looking for reasons to sustain it in your workspace, the following list includes several benefits reported by those who have already incorporated this operational style:
Collaboration and development
Since hybrid work is a relatively new concept for many employees, it offers a unique opportunity to proactively improve communication. It inspires team members to understand their colleagues’ skills, initiate dialogues, and pinpoint areas for enhanced collaboration on projects aligned with company goals. Navigating this evolving landscape together can cultivate stronger relationships and superior intra-organizational communication. These practices can be smoothly incorporated into traditional work settings and continually 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 do company practices stand to evolve, but employees also have the opportunity for individual growth. As flexible work arrangements seem to shape the future of employment, individuals have the potential to enhance their time management skills and become effective team players, irrespective of the distance. They can achieve this by mastering collaboration, taking the initiative on projects, and utilizing or developing systems to ensure work execution and task completion.
Navigating the uncharted territory of hybrid work can offer a wealth of learning and development opportunities, thereby boosting employee skills, confidence, and company-specific 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.
Moreover, hybrid work necessitates detailed tracking of tasks and projects, along with communication. This could not only facilitate the completion of a larger volume of work but also potentially make task tracking more manageable and accessible for operational purposes. Such practices can boost workflow and productivity within an organization. Achieving higher productivity becomes feasible when information is readily available to team members.
Hybrid work allows employees to work when they’re at their best. By enabling individuals to operate during times and in environments that suit their productivity, they can manage their time better and produce optimal results, rather than forcing productivity in a setting or timeframe that may not be ideal 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 that 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.
Flexible work arrangements enable employees to tailor their work schedules around their personal lives, granting them the opportunity to engage in leisure activities or take breaks when necessary. This could mean indulging in sports, relaxation, or quality time with family. Home-based work permits more time to cherish moments with loved ones. Additionally, it opens up the possibility of travel. Employees are free to work where and when they’re comfortable, even if it involves traversing different states or countries or working on the move. Co-working spaces, an option that gained considerable momentum in 2021, are becoming increasingly popular among remote and hybrid workers.
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 well-being and job satisfaction.
Working from Home: Making the New Normal Work for You provides readers with a detailed strategy on how to turn working from home into a powerful career choice.