Exploring Hybrid Working
Prior to March 2020, only a handful of businesses had an alternative work from home model in place, but there is now a distinct drive towards a new Hybrid Working trend from both employees and employers.
What is Hybrid Working?
For anyone that is unaware, Hybrid Working is the latest buzzword for organisations as government restrictions lift and businesses make the move back to commercial, shared offices. Hybrid Working in its simplest form, is described as a working arrangement where employees utilise both communal office space, and a separate remote location – usually at home. The employee will typically swap and change between the locations, depending on their job requirements, and what their working schedule dictates.
Why Hybrid Working?
The coronavirus pandemic has clearly driven the need for a new working structure, and a Hybrid Working balance is more conceivable than ever before, as employees have proven many roles can be completed outside of the traditional working office environment.
The concept of Hybrid Working has divided many, with some claiming it boosts business productivity and offers a stronger work-life balance and those opposed to it missing the social and in-person aspects of an office environment.
Many organisations already utilising a Hybrid Working model have said that the positives far outweigh the negatives and that their new working routine provides:
A better work-life balance
Flexibility is a key reason employees are seeking this new working model, benefiting from a flexible work arrangement where employees have more control over their schedules. Many have even reported increased productivity, showing better concentration levels and focus in a home location.
Fewer sick days
Having fewer people in the workplace at the same time lowers the chances of sickness circulating – a positive step for both employees and employers, resulting in fewer sick days and lost productivity.
Reduced office costs
In a new Hybrid Working environment, some organisations will be able to utilise hot desks to reduce office space and costings.
Cloud technology and a flexible office presence mean that the world becomes a much smaller place and organisations can hire from a much larger, global talent pool. This makes reaching candidates with specific skill sets much simpler and may provide businesses with an additional competitive edge against the competition.
Streamlining communication through technology
Communication remains one of the biggest concerns for businesses working remotely, or considering a permanent Hybrid Working structure – organisations opting for such a model must invest in remote collaboration to succeed.
Investment in cloud-based technologies, including Microsoft 365 has enabled businesses of all sizes to stay in constant contact, with platforms including, but not limited to Microsoft Teams, enhanced with Microsoft Teams calling facilities.
Although software as a service (SaaS) technologies are dramatically improving the effectiveness of remote and Hybrid Working, organisations must also consider the little-known legislative implications and risks that come from using this technology. As, for example, Microsoft doesn’t provide a comprehensive backup of 365 data, and in the event of an incident, all business files and resources could become irretrievable, with no compensation. Explore Microsoft 365 backup here.
The future of the modern workplace
What does the future of the modern workplace hold? A recent study from the office of national statistics analysed the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic on business and employee attitudes to working practices. The report claims that the percentage of people working at home increased by an average of 37% overall in 2020.
Of businesses that did not permanently close due to the pandemic, 24% stated they intended to increase the use of home working within their organisation. Organisations within the information and communications industry were amongst the highest proportions.
Whatever side of the fence you fall on, whether you are for or against Hybrid Working, to celebrate, or to make the transition back into the office a little easier, virtualDCS is giving one business the chance to win lunch/high tea on us.
To enter, simply head over to our Hybrid Working competition page, or contact the team if you’d like support or advice around implementing a new Hybrid Working model in your organisation.