Make no mistake – the workplace revolution that has swept the world during the past couple of years is not a temporary measure. While the COVID-19 pandemic may have been the impetus for many executives to finally roll out work-from-home and remote work initiatives, the enthusiasm with which employees have embraced them means there is no turning back. While some managers cling to the hope that everyone will be back in the office soon, several studies would suggest that is wishful thinking.
According to a Deloitte survey of almost 50 clients from various industries and different company sizes, more than half said their employees do not want to return to the office and prefer working from home. That is supported by studies showing that only 9% of the global workforce expect to ever fully return to the office and 53% of large organizations are planning to reduce their office footprints. From a theoretical term only a few years ago, the ‘hybrid workplace’ is now a strategic focus for companies who appreciate the need to offer employees the flexibility they desire.
For proof of the need to meet those wants, consider a survey of 1,000 workers that showed almost half will likely look for a new job if their employers do not adopt a flexible working model. Hybrid workplaces are clearly the way of the future but it is no longer enough to simply offer flexibility. The past couple of years have provided employers and employees with plenty of opportunities to discover what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the new way of working and that is why they are now not only committed to offering hybrid options but fostering healthy hybrid workplaces.
While the global pandemic may have initially seen a rush towards people working from home, hybrid workplaces of the future will predominantly see organizations combining a mix of people working from the office and remote spaces such as home environments. This offers managers and staff the potential to leverage the benefits of both, including higher productivity and increased employee satisfaction. Hybrid workplace models include:
The best organizations thrive on collaboration and creativity, as opposed to measuring productivity by who sits where and for how long. The pandemic proved workforces are capable of remaining productive regardless of whether their managers can see them at all times, with companies now keen to tap into the various benefits offered by the move towards hybrid workplace models.
It is one thing to roll out a hybrid workplace. It is another to facilitate a healthy environment when employees are divided between multiple offices, sites and homes. Let’s look at what you can do to identify issues and ensure your team and people are prioritizing their mental health in the new hybrid world.
The hybrid workplace is undoubtedly here to stay and the various models are only going to get more refined on the back of learnings such as the above. Every revolution presents challenges and unique hurdles but when it comes to the modern workplace, identifying what they are and how to clear them is the key to ensuring a happy, engaged and productive workforce.
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