With the focus on mental healthin the workplace firmly being in the spotlight for so many years and in a post-pandemic world there is a greater sense of importance being placed on remote and hybrid working. The benefits of remote working in terms of mental health are entirely dependent on the person in question. There's been a greater surge in applicants for remote work because of the obvious work-life balance benefits. But what about hybrid working? Hybrid working is something that many people can benefit from, but it can also benefit businesses. When it comes to unlocking the best of both worlds, why is hybrid working the optimal solution?
The word “well-being” can often be overused, but in terms of employee well-being, hybrid working offers a distinct advantage. We are at a point where many people now have gone back to the way things were pre-pandemic, which means that due to overbearing line managers, they feel they have to push through, and this means turning up to the office feeling worse for wear, which doesn't just mean they're not as productive, but they are also potentially passing on the illness to other workers.
Many workers fear the consequences of taking sick leave. But, of course, there is a greater ability to work at home even if they're not feeling 100%. There's also the potential to get an online doctor's notefrom online doctors, which also means greater connectivity. For some reason, many businesses think that remote working is a hassle. But this is why we have to look at the bigger picture and those more impactful results arising from working at home. Being at home for most people allows enhanced recovery, which ultimately makes for more productive and efficient workers.
Lots of businesses are focused on finances and are pushing for people to return to the office because they're paying rent on buildings. However, if a company needs to meet its sustainability goals, this potentially offsets some of those problems because they are paying out for a building that is contributing to a greater carbon footprint. Hybrid working arrangements naturally reduce this impact and contribute to sustainability.
Because there's greater access to a talent pool, a company can recruit people from diverse geographical locations. This brings fresh perspectives and skills, but it also means that, post-pandemic, the employees are becoming far more picky with their roles and are valuing flexibility. Businesses that provide greater options are more likely to retain those skilled and experienced workers.
There is a common misconception that remote-only companies are struggling to retain talent because younger workers are becoming more choosy with what they want as they don't want the same things that Millennials or Generation X wanted, such as standard perks. But although businesses believe that hiring younger workers means potentially hiring less skilled individuals, we've got to think long-term and recognize that if we give employees what they want, they will stay the course.
Productivity is a double-edged sword for a modern company. Employees are not necessarily more productive in a remote-only environment or an office-only environment but are more productive when they have the autonomy to choosewhere they should work. Hybrid working means employees can work where they are most productive.
Many people have pressures at home which can have an impact on their ability to perform effectively in their job. Hybrid working ensures employees can pick and choose how to work to best benefit the business and themselves.
Of course, as businesses are embracing more hybrid models, this results in a reduction in overheads in terms of office space maintenance and utilities. However, an office space also means that there is a great potential for collaboration among workers. While many organizations might argue that remote tools are more useful here, now businesses are choosing to go remote only as a major selling point to hire the right talent.
Those people who were doing it pre-pandemic completely believe in remote working and offer that. However, we must remember that hybrid working provides countless benefits because of that human interaction. Employees may need to bounce off another employee, which can be tougher in a remote work setup.
To achieve a work-life balance is a major challenge for employees and employers. The conventional nine-to-five leaves very little room for people's personal lives, especially when we factor in the commute. Hybrid working is the key to allowing people greater control over their schedules. One of the more compelling aspects of hybrid working is the fact that employees and employers can enjoy the benefits of both office and remote work flexibility and choose the most suitable environment depending on the task.
Arguably the best approach is to understand what sort of work requires the right environment. Concentration and focus-oriented tasks are better utilized at home for most people because of the tranquil environment on offer. But they can also be the benefit of having dynamic conversations and collaborations in person with brainstorming ideas that are equivalent to a team huddle where ultimately everybody breaks and heads off to do their own thing.
The work landscape is still evolving, and as we are in a different world post-COVID, it's clear to see that hybrid working is one of the best formulas to benefit both sides of the equation. The benefits are compelling, and while some may initially resist the idea of the hybrid approach, especially if they are used to remote working, there is certainly a greater blend of flexibility and productivity available, and this means that benefits to the business and employers can provide a thriving and optimal solution for the sake of balanced work.