This year, long-term remote work became an unexpected reality for teams across the globe and across industries. In many ways, this shift to remote-first accelerated an already emerging trend of increased workplace flexibility. But, as organizations plan reopenings and consider reduced capacity offices, could hybrid team management and hybrid remote working be the future of the modern workplace?
Forecasts from Global Workplace Analytics predict that 25–30% of the U.S. workforce will be working from home multiple days per week by the end of 2021. Meanwhile, 53% of respondents in one Gallup poll said they planned to work from home more often than they previously did, even after restrictions are lifted. With social distancing measures and employee preferences to consider, it only stands to reason that employers will eye more flexible workplace solutions such as a hybrid office setup and staggered attendance structures.
While none of us know what will happen after the pandemic, hybrid team management may be one way that companies address the changing needs of their business and employees.
What is a hybrid team?
Traditionally, a hybrid team has been defined as a mix of co-located employees and remote workers. This term has evolved, however, to include workers who want to split their time in the office and at home during the week. Increasingly, global workers are expressing a preference for a hybrid work environment.
This desire for a hybrid office policy might be attributed to a number of factors, including changing responsibilities at home (i.e. teaching young children, taking care of relatives, lack of childcare, and increased “life admin”), levels of productivity, and even feelings of social isolation.
Where possible, employees might choose to work out of their company’s office two or three days a week while making use of their work from home setups the rest of the time. While this may not be a current option for many due to local health guidelines, this increased level of flexibility will likely be an attractive solution as restrictions ease.
How do hybrid teams benefit organizations?
Hybrid team management allows businesses to be agile, flexible, and diverse in their approach to hiring and retaining talent. Working parents, caretakers, out of towners, and even fully remote workers may be encouraged to apply for roles they may not have had access to previously.
Equally as important, hybrid team management focuses employee preferences and wellbeing in a tangible way.
Wrike Dublin Workplace Operations Manager Tabitha Moran agrees, explaining that the benefits of a flexible approach “become obvious when you consider that everyone is different and is coming from a different perspective and situation in their private life.”
“Some crave frequent social interaction with others and so a couple of days in the office having face-to-face conversations rather than via Zoom could be beneficial for their mental health and mood,” Tabitha explains. “As a member of the HR Team, I know that we care about people’s work-life balance, their job satisfaction, and their general mental health. For most, the option to have the freedom to decide what work environment will best serve them on a day-to-day basis should be beneficial.”
Hybrid office environments may also benefit employee retention efforts. Forbes notes that employee attrition can be costly, explaining that workers who are afforded greater flexibility over their work schedules tend to feelContinue reading