With Covid vaccinations now underway, countries are beginning to map out their roadmap out of lockdown. But when restrictions are lifted, how will organisations choose to return to work?
They have three choices.
- Office: Encourage everyone to return to the office and be a predominantly office-based organisation.
- Remote: Remain a fully remote company and remove the office presence.
- Hybrid: Allow employees to work remotely or in the office as and when they wish.
Embracing the new hybrid environment is fast becoming a key business decision for organizations that wish to attract and retain top talent, and early research also suggests that adopting a hybrid workforce model may yield greater returns for innovation, productivity and team collaboration.
Despite hybrid working being around for years, as a concept, few companies have operated a true hybrid model that supports employees in equal measure, regardless of their workplace and is able to maximise the benefits. So, with ‘hybrid’ looking to be the new normal for organisations, how can companies overcome the challenges and gain the benefits of hybrid?
Now that we’re away from the daily social interactions we were previously used to at work, loneliness is more of a possibility. The abrupt change to a more remote and isolated work experience has been jarring for many. Loneliness in the workplace is yet another symptom of COVID-19 employers must grapple with when addressing mental health and well-being. Loneliness arises for many reasons, from long working hours and highly competitive environments, to added external pressures and anxieties.
How can hybrid help? The good news is that hybrid work can actually benefit your mental health. Environment can enhance or detract from doing one’s best work. A network of coworking spaces like Deskpass allows teams to create an ideal work environment for their hybrid work employees, where they can interact with others, without a long, busy commute to their usual office.
The way teams communicate has shifted significantly over the past year. For many workers, there was (or perhaps still is) an adjustment period. In-person meetings were replaced with video calls and many video calls were transferred over to email. Email and other collaboration tools can be really helpful in streamlining communication, but sometimes, there is still the need for in-person meetings for creative collaboration
How can hybrid help? While collaboration tools like Zoom, Slack and Teams have come to the rescue during the pandemic, there’s still a certain chemistry and productivity that happens with in-person meetings. Through a hybrid workplace format, teams can use the office/hub for in-person collaboration, or use a service like NoCo to reserve meeting rooms in co-working spaces closer to home by the day or multiple days.
Decreased Motivation and Productivity
Most people find working from home to be challenging—especially at first. Whether you’re home alone and the house is too quiet, or you’re home with the family and the kids are out of control, you may find it’s tough to stay on task, get your work done, and feel productive.
How can hybrid help? When you’re working from home, there are certain distractions that don’t exist in an office environment. Distractions come in many forms, from barking dogs and crying babies to laundry in the dryer. Employees who live in cities may live in smaller spaces, where finding a room or even a corner of a room to work from can be tough. Working from a coworking space, as part of a hybrid work model, creates an instant separation. You wake up a little earlier, dress up a little nicer and eat a little better. Even if the whole team isn’t working together in the same space, having other people around is stimulating and provides a sense of normalcy.
Separating Work and Home Life
Working from home makes it hard to tell when work ends and life begins. When you work from home, the office is inescapable. Bedrooms are transformed into home offices. Our dining tables and kitchen countertops are now cluttered desks. The line between business time and personal time becomes blurred. Working from home might save time on one’s daily commute, yet most employees report working longer hours. Employees have been struggling with ‘unplugging’ and switching off from their working mindset when they are not leaving a physical office at the end of the day.
How can hybrid help? For many teams, switching to a hybrid work model creates a better work-life balance. In fact, achieving a healthy work-life balance is the number one reason employees seek more flexible work options such as hybrid work. Other top reasons include time and cost savings, less commute stress and more opportunities to spend with their families. With more coworking spaces popping up in the suburbs, you may only have to travel a couple minutes to be in a more productive environment.
How can NoCo help?
We make it easy to connect your team to their local workspace with one membership, one monthly invoice, and one point of contact to help you manage your hybrid workspace network. We take the work out of adapting to a hybrid workplace with convenient locations, full-time and part-time options, no long term contracts and one monthly invoice.