When COVID-19 broke out, the world switched to remote work. Many companies managed to keep their productivity at a very decent level — yet without face-to-face meetings in the office, it became hard for them to maintain the corporate culture and stimulate the staff’s creativity. Once the pandemic was over, the world began to move in the direction of hybrid work. It means that some part of the collective works from the office and the other one remotely. In this article, we’ll list the key advantages of hybrid teams and outline the primary trends of this work model.
Benefits of Adoption of Hybrid Work Models
Employers that offer hybrid workplaces can reap the following advantages:
- Higher staff retention. People appreciate it when managers give them enough flexibility.
- Reduced expenses. Companies don’t need to hire offices for the remote part of the team, buy supplies for them and feed them.
- Employers get access to a larger pool of talents. They can hire outside their local markets.
Large and medium-sized companies today tend to offer hybrid but not remote work. The latter is typical only of tech firms where interpersonal communication is not too important and small startups that use this perk to attract talents.
Hybrid Work Trends
Below, we’ll outline the key trends that will be shaping hybrid work in 2023.
Managers Should Learn to Deal with Hybrid Teams
When supervising a remote team, a manager can easily run to two extremes:
- Interact with the staff so rarely that they feel abandoned
- Micromanage them, so that people lose autonomy
Managers who know how to keep the smart balance achieve two goals: boost the productivity of their teams and retain professionals. Plus, they should understand how to coordinate the activities of remote and in-house staff members.
Emphasis on Training And Development for Employees
To cater to the increasing demand, business schools begin to offer courses for managers who supervise hybrid teams. Yet employees require training as well. They want to better understand the new policies and learn to use new technologies. Training can take place both in the office and online. Those who work remotely place educational opportunities on the second position of the rating of their professional priorities, while the top position is occupied by autonomy.
Staff Needs to Convince the Management of the Benefits of Hybrid Work
If staff members want to work from home, they should fight for this right. They need to prove to managers that they’re more productive in the remote mode. That means, they should be ready to complete more tasks in a shorter time without compromising on quality.
Remote Workers Suspect That In-House Staff Gets More Privileges
Professionals who work from home think that their in-house counterparts establish closer connections with managers and can ask them for more perks. Remote workers believe that in-house staff has better access to valuable information. During videoconferences, remote team members sometimes struggle to see who is speaking or what is written on the whiteboard and are afraid to interrupt others.
To see the world from the perspective of remote team members, managers should work from home at least once per week.
There Is No One-Fits-All Approach to Compensation
An employer can pay compensation to remote staff, based on the market rates of the territories where the former live. Alternatively, they may pay equal compensation to all their staff members, regardless of their location. Some companies rely on complex formulas to calculate fair remuneration. Others don’t think about compensation for remote staff at all — and that’s sad because that would have given them a meaningful competitive edge.
There are too many tricky questions in this sphere that most employers don’t know how to handle. For instance, should they compensate health insurance to team members who work in countries with government-sponsored healthcare? Or, should a person get a raise if they relocate from a country with an affordable cost of living to a more expensive one?
Technologies for Hybrid Work Will Become More Sophisticated
To get the best results from hybrid teams, employers should provide them with modern, efficient and reliable tools. These include collaboration tools, AI-powered solutions, cloud computing, cybersecurity and analytical instruments to facilitate data-driven decisions.
The developers promptly respond to the market needs. They don’t just fix the basic pain points of companies but make a step further. For instance, they release software that lets employees timely detect burnout in their staff members and prevent it. VR and AR improve the experience of the attendees of remote meetings, thus facilitating onboarding and boosting productivity.
However, not all companies are ready to invest in advanced tech right now. Some need time to make sure they genuinely want to switch to the hybrid model. Others find the already existing solutions imperfect and wait for the next generation to hit the market.
Small Organizations Struggle to Evolve
To switch to hybrid work, an organization needs to invest in technology. For instance, it’s necessary to provide strong cybersecurity and ensure video conferencing opportunities. Not every small business can afford that.
Demands for Hybrid Workplaces Are Rising
If remote workers need to come to the office from time to time, they want this space to be modern and inspiring. Here are the key traits of a cool international hybrid workplace in 2023:
- Ease of access
- Open space
- Unique design
- Furniture that reconfigures
- Recreation and leisure amenities
A lifeless office with a generic design would fail to stimulate the staff for productive brainstorming or networking. Talents don’t like soulless premises anymore.
Business Require Less Office Space
When half of the team works from home, the employer doesn’t need to rent a large office. It’s bad news for property owners who rent out office spaces — and good news for companies who get a chance to cut down their expenses.
Architects Will Design New Homes with Remote Workers in Mind
Professionals who switch to remote work often struggle to find a good place for a home office in their house or apartment. In the future, many properties will have rooms or corners that their owners can easily convert into offices. There will be enough light and privacy. The Wi-Fi connection will be fast and reliable.
Growing Importance of Work-Life Balance
During the COVID-19 pandemic, people realized how important it’s to be healthy and lead a comfortable lifestyle. Employers should think about introducing policies that will make their staff’s lives more enjoyable. For instance, state it officially that no one is obliged to answer work-related messages on weekends unless it’s an emergency.
Younger Generations Love Hybrid Work Most
Professionals aged over 40 don’t mind working in a brick-and-mortar office full-time simply because they’re used to it.
Youngsters in their 20s and 30s, by contrast, are very picky about the atmosphere at work and the values of the organization. They won’t stay with an employer whom they don’t like and they value flexibility. If a company wants to retain young talents, it should offer them what they want.
Asynchronous Communication Will Become a Norm
The term “asynchronous” means that people who live in different time zones can’t communicate instantly. Instead, one person leaves a message to the other and waits for the response for a few hours. This communication format requires a new approach to planning, there should be less urgency.
Hybrid Work Models Will Flourish
There will be more and more hybrid staff in companies of any size. This work format is here to stay. The faster organizations adapt to it, the quicker they will start reaping its benefits.