Hybrid work refers to a flexible model of working that allows employees to work from various locations and often includes remote work. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, more and more companies are embracing hybrid working models. According to the Accenture Future of Work Study 2021, 83% of workers prefer a hybrid work model. While there may be a number of challenges, there are also plenty of benefits to hybrid work. Here are seven ways that hybrid work can benefit your company and your team.
Recommended reading: 42 Expert Tips for Hybrid Work
The 7 Benefits of Hybrid Work
It saves money
For companies, one of the most obvious benefits of hybrid work is it allows them to reduce costs. The reduced need for physical space allows companies to rent out smaller office spaces, use co-working spaces, or even just hire out conference rooms when it is necessary. Companies also typically spend less money on running costs such as electricity and water, as well as sundry expenses like coffee and meals.
Hybrid and remote work also benefit employees financially as they spend less money commuting. People are also less tempted to buy that extra cappuccino or sandwich at their local cafe, meaning they are spending less money on a day-to-day basis and can choose to cook a wholesome meal at home instead. With the rising costs of fuel and living, these are very compelling reasons to stay at home!
An increase in efficiency
While productivity and efficiency are interdependent, they are not the same thing. Productivity is the amount of work produced by an individual or team, while efficacy refers to the resources we used to produce that work.
One of the biggest benefits of hybrid work is that people can be more efficient, especially when it comes to time. If you work from home, you cut back on the time it takes to commute to work. Furthermore, it allows you to manage your work around times that suit you and when you are most productive. You can choose your peak hours around when you want to complete your more complex tasks.
A better work-life balance
Most people think that hybrid work promotes a better work-life balance but this is not necessarily true. Digital exhaustion and working after hours has become a reality for people in hybrid and remote work environments. In a case study by Harvard Business Review, Microsoft reported that weekly time in team meetings doubled, and the average person sends 42% more instant messages after hours.
To overcome this digital overload and create a better work-life balance, we need good leadership. Hybrid work can promote a better work-life balance if leaders have put the right structures, rules of engagement, and priorities in place. For example, leaders need to focus on managing the flow of work (not people), building autonomy and trust in teams, and leading based on context, which is different for every team. If leaders can create a good working environment, it empowers people to make good decisions and increase their job satisfaction.
Improved health outcomes
The rise of hybrid work in the previous few years is a direct result of health concerns. Communicable diseases are spread through people, and working from home prevents outbreaks of disease in the office.
When working from home, people feel more relaxed and comfortable in a familiar environment. Plus, they do not have to deal with the stresses of a daily commute, like traffic jams or being in close proximity to people on a train. Instead, people can use this time to walk or engage in an activity to help them into the right frame of mind before their day begins. If employees unplug after work hours, they can have more time in the evening to cook and get to bed earlier. All these factors have a significant impact on our physical health and help us to reduce stress.
An increase in Employee Happiness
According to the 2021 State of Mental Health in America, the prevalence of mental health conditions continues to rise. In fact, an estimated 12 billion working days are lost every year to depression and anxiety. And working from home seems to make people happier.
A study by Tracking Happiness, showed that the ability to work from home increased happiness by 20%,and this is especially true for millennials, who make up a large portion of today’s workforce. A side-effect of working in a hybrid or remote setting is that it offers people more flexibility and freedom to better integrate their personal and professional lives. And if people can spend more time exercising, meditating, travelling, or working on their relationships outside of work, it can result in higher levels of happiness.
A reduced carbon footprint
As employees spend fewer days commuting, there’s a corresponding drop in emissions. A study by Forbes shows that the average commuting time in the UK is 1 hour and 38 minutes, much of which will be spent in a car, and the average petrol car in the UK produces around 180g of CO2 per kilometer. In the United States, larger vehicles produce an average of 650g of CO2 per kilometer. You can see how this all adds up, and reducing commuting can have a very positive impact on the environment. Offices are also using less electricity and water, meaning that they are reducing their carbon footprint too.
However, there are other factors to consider when working remotely. Hybrid work has led to a surge in video calls that emit greenhouse gasses. And while companies may be reducing their carbon footprints with fewer people in office, individuals can end up using a lot of energy to create the ideal working conditions at home by using their air conditioners, heating, or cooking appliances. Working from home has a lot of potential to reduce the carbon footprint, but a lot of responsibility still lies on both individuals and companies to do their part.
A wider talent pool
It is becoming clear that companies that want to attract talent need to offer people more flexibility and freedom to work where they want. Remote and hybrid jobs are attracting seven times more applicants than in-person roles.
Hybrid work also enables companies to find the right person for the job that does not depend on their location but rather their skillset. More accessible workplaces also reduce barriers for those with health issues and disabilities, resulting in more diverse and more inclusive workplaces. This makes it possible to find and accommodate the best possible talent for the role. Digital transformations have also helped with this move as people can connect with each other from around the world and use a wide range of virtual tools to work together and collaborate.
Need help establishing effective hybrid work arrangements?
There are a lot of benefits to hybrid work, and a lot of people are favoring this way of working for many of the reasons that we have mentioned. If you or any of your teams need help with how to make hybrid work more enjoyable and productive, please get in touch at [email protected] or read our 42 expert tips for hybrid and remote work.