As the dust settles from COVID-19 and the world returns to normality, one of the most significant long-term impacts that the pandemic has had is the job market’s shift from the typical 5 days a week working model to either a hybrid or fully remote approach. Businesses were forced to move fully online in order for employees to continue working. However, whilst the threat of COVID has lessened, the new working model has stuck.
Our recent LinkedIn poll asking our network their working model preferences found that 78% would not consider going back to the office 5 days a week, 70% would not go back due to increased flexibility and work-life balance, and 48% percent of people equally voting for either fully remote or hybrid working. Overall, flexibility in working hours and office attendance will become a core element of human resource offerings, with companies being judged on the benefits they provide for working parents, those that live out of the city and no longer want to commute, and people that work better in their own space.
Advantages of Hybrid Working
- Increased flexibility: Hybrid working allows employees to have more control over their work-life balance, providing them with the autonomy to work from home when they need to, such as when they have a doctor’s appointment or when they need to take care of their children. This has provided working parents and carers the opportunity to manage their work and personal lives without fear of repercussion.
- Cost savings: the ability to work from home either part-time or fully remotely has meant that employees can save money on costs associated with working in an office, such as buying lunch every day or travel expenses.
- Improved productivity: Studies have shown that employees who work from home part-time are often more productive than those who work in the office full-time. This could be due to fewer distractions, more comfortable working environments, or less time wasted on commuting.
- Reduced stress: Commuting to work every day can be stressful, especially during rush hour traffic. By working from home, employees can reduce their stress levels and improve their overall well-being, which in turn will have a positive impact on their productivity and quality of work.
Challenges of Hybrid Working
- Lack of social interaction: Working from home can be isolating and it can lead to a lack of social interaction with colleagues, particularly for new employees who have yet to build relationships with their colleagues. For example, an inclusive and detailed onboarding process for new hires is a terrific way to welcome a new employee into your business, as well as improve employee retention. Inclusive work culture is one example of reducing employee turnover by ensuring each employee feels valued and appreciated, something which can be challenging to practice fully remotely.
- Difficulty with communication: Communication can be more challenging when employees are working remotely, particularly when it comes to collaboration and teamwork. Whilst technology provides us with the ability to have online meetings, it goes without saying that having in-person meetings delivers a more personal element that virtual calls cannot provide.
- Technology issues: Technical issues can arise when working from home, such as internet connectivity problems, which can affect productivity and increase stress levels.
- Blurred lines between work and personal life: With hybrid working, it can be difficult to maintain a clear separation between work and personal life. This can lead to employees feeling like they are always “on” and never truly able to switch off.
Whilst there are both positives and negatives for hybrid working, it will inevitably become the norm, as the majority of workers are shifting their priorities towards jobs that offer flexibility and work-life balance.
LMRE; ‘A Job Seeker’s Market: What do our Candidates look for in a Job Offer’ 26th October 2022.