Hybrid, remote work or flexible working hours?
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Executives, project leaders and managers in the technology and software development industries have always known that workplace culture is an ever-changing landscape and that a deep understanding of your team’s culture is necessary to be an effective leader and ensure team satisfaction.
In recent years, impacted primarily by the global pandemic and economic changes, workplace dynamics have been shaken in unprecedented ways. Many companies have been forced to initiate and adopt more remote working models as a new necessity. This was a big shift for some industries, but not necessarily for the tech industry, which was already accustomed to the work-from-home model. Two years ago, such measures were widely considered temporary and undesirable. However, recent studies have found that many employees, including managers and team leaders, actually prefer the evolving model of a hybrid workplace, empowered by growing collaborative technologies.
Related Topics: Remote, Office or Hybrid? In this way you can be sure that your decision is the right one in the long term
What is a hybrid workplace?
A hybrid workspace is essentially a model or work structure that allows employees to work either in the office or from home. Different versions have been implemented in different companies including co-working offices, distributed work or nearshore software technology and software development companies. The flexibility of this model is the most obvious advantage for employees. It allows them to partially adjust and control their schedules, which can affect every aspect of their work and job satisfaction.
Why is a hybrid workspace preferable to traditional environments?
Shifting to hybrid workspaces is beneficial for employees because their work habits and environment can better reflect their needs. A recent Future Forum Pulse notes that “flexibility now ranks second behind compensation in determining job satisfaction” and reports that location flexibility significantly affects their ability to cope with stress, their work-life balance, and their job satisfaction among the knowledge workers surveyed improved. It can also remove many frustrations and frictions between management and those with rigid working hours, such as B. the need to obtain special permits for medical appointments, the inability to pick up the child early if necessary, or delays due to traffic during commute times.
However, this shift is far from one-sided and has many benefits from a management perspective, aside from employee satisfaction. Surprisingly, over the past two years, many telecommuters have reported that their productivity has improved, and this isn’t necessarily new information. A 2015 survey of remote workers found that 77% of hybrid workers said they were more productive when working off-site, and 52% of them said they were less likely to take time off.
According to a survey by the Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, the hybrid model encourages engagement and encourages results-oriented productivity. Team members’ productivity increases when they are freed from the constraints of rigid, prescribed work schedules in an office, as the focus shifts to project deadlines and deliverables rather than the sense of being busy in the office environment. It also excludes workers who have long commutes to and from work, whether they are in major cities or other countries with less developed roads.
See also: How to Manage a Happy and Healthy Hybrid Workforce
If a hybrid model is not possible or feasible for your team, a strong worker preference for flexibility should be recognized. You want remote teams or flexible work schedules and wherever possible you will benefit by improving efficiency and employee satisfaction. For US companies, for example, the addition of remote workers by nearshore software development firms could significantly improve efficiencies and reduce overhead, while encouraging a modern hybrid work environment and the value and flexibility they can add. Nearshoring companies can often adjust time zones to join and support a hybrid team in a digital, accessible way. When implemented well, remote and hybrid workplaces create cultures that prioritize communication while providing opportunities for collaboration and community.
In the modern landscape of emerging digital workplaces, the hybrid workplace dominates the workplace culture conversation. To quote directly from the Future Forum Pulse 2021: “The traditional argument against flexibility – that the office is the place of work – is no longer relevant.” The place where work takes place now is digital and online, which is a represents powerful and positive change for companies and employees alike.
Recent news showed that Apple employees are upset about having to go back to the office, even in a hybrid way. The same article states that Google is spending over $1 billion on new office space. As pointed out in the article, the initial intent appears to be to have staff back in the office full-time. This begs the question, does Big Tech even listen to its employees? As already mentioned, I am firmly convinced that the right mix of home office and hybrid working environments is the way of the future.
See also: Sustaining a Collaborative Culture in a Hybrid and Remote World