Is the Hybrid Work Model the Future of Work?

Is the Hybrid Work Model the Future of Work?

Due to the pandemic, many companies worldwide have had to transition to remote work set-ups quickly. Organizations have been forced to figure out ways to keep their employees productive while out of the office, and many, if not most, have managed to do so with the help of a wide assortment of remote-work software solutions.

That said, running a remote office also has its limitations, especially when it comes to collaboration and communication. Employees are also more likely to burn out as work responsibilities and personal life are not clearly separated.

Needless to say, work dependent on fixed equipment, such as machinery or laboratory instruments, can’t really be done from home, so both employees and employers in these types of organizations have suffered. A New York web design company likely would not have struggled as much as a restaurant or hotel.

What Do the Employees Think?

At the time of writing, vaccines are being rolled out globally, and the workforce is slowly beginning to return to the office post-pandemic. However, many companies are considering a combination of working in-office and remotely, as they have now been introduced to each approach’s benefits and disadvantages.

One way to reap the benefits of both set-ups is through the hybrid work model, whereby the employees are given the option to come to the office on an as-needed basis.

As it turns out, as many as 83% of employees consider the hybrid work model as the best option at the moment. The report linked above also found that this model caters best to a wide range of generations, as each age group may prefer to work in a different setting.

Since employees are only required to be physically present for a few days a week, or even not at all as long as they produce the expected results, this flexible work set-up gives everyone the chance to work in the environment they find most comfortable, as well as allowing time for face-to-face collaboration with co-workers when necessary.

How Can Technology Facilitate the Transition?

The idea of the hybrid workplace is to enable some people to continue working remotely while letting others return to the office or even alternate between the two.

Furthermore, the design of the post-pandemic office will need to focus heavily on hygiene and safety, so we can expect some radical changes in that respect.

However, just as technology was the vital cog in the economic machine during the unprecedented physical restrictions we faced last year, it will also be the driving force behind a transition to our hybrid future.

Here are a few things that businesses and employees can expect to improve through AI and IoT technology.

Increased Safety

IoT sensors can limit occupancy in an office building by counting the number of people present. They can also identify and point out which desks are used most frequently and may therefore need sanitization.

Artificial intelligence can then be used to analyze this data and maximize worker safety in an office space. It can also implement social distancing measures and reduce contact by analyzing building floor plans.

Even aid visitor safety can be improved by tech through contactless entry, which could be used to eliminate surface touch and health declarations that can be both obtained and stored digitally. Finally, any possible infections can be contained through contact tracing.

Improved Employee Efficiency

Optimizing an office space could be a daunting task for businesses whose employees are offered the option to work remotely, on-site, or both. The practice of allocating rooms and desks per need, known as “hot-desking,” is bound to become more common with teams adopting more flexible work schedules.

Thankfully, this can all be automated through AI-driven solutions, as self-service workplace apps will allow workers to customize their workplace based on requirements, booking meeting rooms and desks when they need them.

This process could also help companies find underutilized space, which they could repurpose or offload, depending on their goals. AI could help break down the potential costs and profits involved in each decision.

Enhanced Collaboration and Productivity

With a distributed workforce comes the great responsibility of ensuring transparency.

Teams can record information related to their bookings and schedules in one place through an enterprise app.

This leads to improved collaboration among co-workers, allowing back-and-forth employees to plan out their schedules and make the best of the time they do end up spending in the office.

Is the Future Hybrid?

The modern office is all about productivity. However, last year’s pandemic led to a fundamental shift in the way businesses operate, and safety quickly took precedence over productivity.

In a few short weeks, organizations worldwide closed their offices to protect their employees. Cabins and cubicles became bedrooms and kitchen tables, and face-to-face meetings became Zoom calls.

But, after almost two years, we can safely say that the business world’s greatest experiment in working from home has been a success.

That said, even though offices are reopening and the world seemingly returning to normal, the end of the pandemic is a long way away. Much of the world is still unvaccinated, and much of the workforce will continue to work from home in the foreseeable future, if not permanently.

Hybrid workforce models offer increased workforce protection and accommodate both the digital and the physical world, and will come to define the workplace after the pandemic.

Companies are adopting increasingly innovative solutions to bring their employees into the hybrid era more smoothly.

Dropbox, for example, offers its employees stipends they can use to subscribe to co-working spaces if they don’t find working from home to be an option.

GitLab encourages its employees to use Google Hangouts and slack for spontaneous and informal conversations and spend a few hours each week on coffee breaks.

These and other examples serve to show that the business world has shifted dramatically due to the pandemic and will likely never be the same again, but that could be a good thing.

Wrapping Up

Before COVID-19, most people were aware that the digital transformation was coming. However, it was easy to think that the change would not happen for many years yet. This myth has now been dispelled, and the business world is divided into two spheres — the digital and the physical.

Companies that choose to reopen their offices will need to find a balance between the two spheres, and those that invest proactively during the transition are likely to come out on top when the tide turns.

The digital transformation of business is upon us, and the time to act is now.

Tech Today Trends

Shiva Ram is a SEO Copywriter, Content Creator and he is specialized in Digital Marketing. He had the interest to write content related to technology, Business, Apps, Digital Marketing and many more.

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