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the hybrid workplace

The rise of the hybrid workplace

26 April, 2021

We can’t get enough fancy, workplace-related terms, can we? The hybrid workplace is yet another one, similar to the flexible workplace or the activity-based workplace but with some differences. Let’s sort it out!

The word hybrid means “a thing made by combining two different elements” according to Google. In the case of a hybrid workplace, this refers to employees working both from home and from the office. So, when you combine the two you get a hybrid workplace.

The hybrid workplace and the pandemic

The flexible workplace and activity-based workplace have been around for a while. The hybrid workplace, however, has its origin in the shift that occurred during the pandemic. Since the pandemic hit, working remotely has become the norm and not an exception.

Several studies have pointed out that a majority of employees want to keep their new won flexibility. This indicates that we’re facing a new transition again and this time to the hybrid workplace. A possible future could look like this:

  • The office will rarely be full since the percentage of remote workers is much higher than employees working in the office.
  • Employees will choose their location from day-to-day.
  • Work is no longer static – but fluid.

Many global businesses – Spotify, Salesforce and IBM, to name a few – have already expressed their support for the hybrid workplace. But as with most things, there are challenges worth noting.

How to make hybrid working successful

You do not get a hybrid workplace just by returning to the office, it needs to be more managed than that. As we’re starting to make our return, we need to be mindful of social distancing and we need to manage how many people can come into the office at any given time. Safety comes first, but don’t forget the soft values. Here are some points to consider:

  • Set clear expectations

    What does hybrid work mean for your organization? In times of uncertainty, it’s important to set clear expectations and guidelines. Is it okay to work remotely full time or do you want your staff to come into the office at least once a week? Do you want your employees to plan ahead, or can they come in ad-hoc?

  • Cultivate your culture

    These days, corporate culture and values are crucial. A strong brand identity can give you both higher profit and attract talent – don’t lose it! Good leaders cultivate their culture and make sure that their values shine in every decision. Set a good example for your employees and live as you learn.

  • Be mindful of harming employee gaps

    Critics of the hybrid workplace model have expressed concern about “…the risk of creating in-group and out-group dynamics in hybrid teams” with the result of distrust and conflict within teams. The essence of this fear is that employees who prefer to work from the office will be praised, in relation to workers who want to stay at home. Focus on building trust within your team and set up processes to include remote workers, most importantly – always assume good intentions.

  • Adjust your office

    When everything around the workplace changes, the inside must change as well. For example, the number of desks can probably be decreased since the office rarely will be full. If you’re new to the concept of hot desking, we advise you to check it out. By letting employees share desks you can get a better ROI of your office space.

The hybrid workplace refers to the practice of working both remotely and from the office. Quite simply, the best of both worlds.

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