“74% of U.S. companies are using or plan to implement a permanent hybrid work model.”
(Zippia, February 2023)
The workplace has undergone a significant transformation over the last decade. With technological advancements and changing attitudes towards work, employees and employers alike have started to embrace the idea of a hybrid workplace. A hybrid workplace is one that combines remote work with in-person work, providing employees with the flexibility to choose where and when they work. In this blog post, we will provide you with a complete rundown of how a hybrid workplace works.
Global consulting firm Accenture surveyed 9000 workers at the end of 2022 and reported that “83% of the employees prefer a hybrid working environment” and “65% of the employees stated that their ideal choice of working is the hybrid workplace model.”
It’s becoming clearer that employees expect to work at least part of the week from home (or remotely). This gives them greater flexibility in their lives which, in turn, leads to greater job satisfaction, higher productivity and increased employee retention. But the benefits of remote work go beyond improving the employee experience. Companies themselves benefit from lower overheads in terms of rental costs, greater output and a more mentally healthy workforce.
Hybrid work has fuelled demand for flex office and coworking spaces – as it’s the perfect solution for catering for flexible work. Many of our clients at Mindspace are multinational companies who have embraced a hybrid model of work, and use Mindspace for in-person meetings and team collaborations for anywhere between 30-90% of the week. Others are smaller companies who want to avoid empty office spaces when employees work remotely, enjoy the social benefits of a coworking space, while not compromising on their collaborative company culture.
So if you’re thinking of adopting a hybrid work model, here’s everything you need to know.
Definition of a Hybrid Workplace
A hybrid workplace is a work environment that combines remote work with in-person work. It is a flexible working model that allows employees to choose where they work, whether it’s from home, a coworking space, or the traditional office. A hybrid workplace is designed to provide employees with the best of both worlds: the freedom to work remotely and the benefits of in-person collaboration.
Advantages of a Hybrid Workplace
A hybrid workplace offers numerous advantages to both employers and employees. Here are some of the key benefits of a hybrid workplace:
- Increased Flexibility: A hybrid workplace offers employees the flexibility to choose where and when they work. This flexibility can help employees achieve a better work-life balance and improve their overall well-being.
- Improved Productivity: A hybrid workplace can also improve productivity by reducing distractions and providing employees with a more focused work environment. It can also help employees save time and reduce stress associated with commuting.
- Cost Savings: A hybrid workplace can help companies save money on office space, equipment, and other overhead costs. It can also reduce employee turnover and associated costs by improving job satisfaction and work-life balance.
- Enhanced Collaboration: A hybrid workplace can facilitate better collaboration and communication among employees by providing them with opportunities to interact and collaborate in person and remotely.
How a Hybrid Workplace Works
A hybrid workplace typically involves a combination of remote work and in-person work. Here’s how it works:
- Remote Work: In a hybrid workplace, employees can work remotely either full-time or part-time. Remote work can be done from anywhere, whether it’s from home, a coworking space, or a coffee shop. Employees are usually provided with the necessary equipment, such as laptops, to ensure they can work virtually efficiently.
- In-person Work: In a hybrid workplace, employees are also required to come into the office at least some of the time. This in-person work can involve team meetings, collaboration sessions, or individual work that requires face-to-face interaction. The office environment is designed to facilitate collaboration, communication, and productivity, with meeting rooms, breakout spaces, and other amenities.
- Flexibility: The hybrid workplace provides employees with the flexibility to choose where and when they work. This flexibility can be achieved through flexible working hours, flexible work arrangements, and the ability to work from anywhere. This flexibility helps employees achieve a better work-life balance and improve their overall well-being.
- Communication: Communication is key in a hybrid workplace. Employees must be able to communicate effectively with each other, whether they’re working remotely or in-person. The use of technology, such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and collaboration tools, can facilitate effective communication and collaboration.
- Technology: Technology is an essential component of a hybrid workplace. Companies must provide employees with the necessary technology and tools to work remotely and in-person efficiently. This technology can include laptops, video conferencing equipment, collaboration tools, and project management software.
Implementing a hybrid workplace requires setting clear expectations with employees – including work hours, deadlines and communication protocols. Additionally, it’s important to set expectations for in-office workers, such as the frequency of in-office attendance and the use of personal protective equipment.
One potential complication of going hybrid is that of security. Employers need to invest in cybersecurity solutions to ensure sensitive information doesn’t get hacked, regardless of the location of their employees.
There also needs to be greater awareness of the wellbeing of employees, particularly those who do almost exclusively remote work, with little in-person interaction. Research has shown that remote work, while reducing stress by enabling employees to cut out the commute and manage their time independently, can also lead to loneliness and isolation.
“Loneliness and isolation are the largest reported concern amongst remote workers and its effects can go further than affecting just the individual. Some symptoms of isolation include increased stress levels and bad decision making. For an employer, these are concerning characteristics for someone who has crucial responsibility. Unfortunately, being isolated also means these symptoms are difficult for employers to detect.”
Many of our members chose to establish a hybrid office at Mindspace because of the social events such as happy hours and the active community to network and collaborate with. It mitigates the loneliness of remote work and shifts creativity and collaboration up a gear. Here’s how one of our members makes friends during lunch break and Mindspace hour at our hybrid office in Philadelphia.
In the long-run, it’s going to be important for employers to regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the hybrid workplace and adapt as necessary. This includes soliciting feedback from employees, measuring productivity, and making changes to policies and procedures as needed.
One of our main objectives at Mindspace is to provide companies with a smooth landing when shifting to a hybrid model. We can tailor build the right flex office solution for you and your team – and will take all the weight off your shoulders re office design, employee wellbeing, security and technology. If you’re interested in learning how Mindspace is helping companies of all sizes go hybrid, please reach out to our team who will be happy to discuss further.