According to data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), more than 80% of workers who had to work from home during the coronavirus pandemic said they planned to hybrid work. As more businesses and organisations transitioned to hybrid working, employees gained more freedom and flexibility, enabling small and large companies to reignite morale and productivity. That said, hybrid working has been around for some time, albeit at a smaller scale before COVID.
Hybrid work is a flexible work arrangement that allows employees to work both on-site and remotely from their homes or another location. This often means that a single workplace may have a mix of office-based, remote and flexible workers, depending on goals and preferences. With all the advantages of remote work plus the structure, stability, and social perks of a centralised workplace, hybrid work, as its name implies, combines the best of two systems.
Employee morale and productivity often reflect how much control and independence they have over their work schedules and working conditions. Employees who are given a reasonable amount of independence and control are usually more effective, productive and content. Research has shown that allowing workers flexibility over their work schedules can reduce employee burnout. This level of freedom helps employees feel less pressured and able to explore creativity.
With a hybrid system, workers can spend more time engaging in healthy routines like exercise rather than being stuck in traffic. Less commuting can therefore result in happier and healthier employees. The environment is cleaner too, due to the decrease in the toxicity of fumes from petrol and diesel vehicles, so it’s also a way to boost your green credentials.
Striking a work-life balance can be challenging. It makes it easier for employees to balance their personal and professional lives. Since they can build workspaces from home, employees feel more empowered and motivated to create spaces that encourage growth.
Employees are more driven and invested in achieving the aims and ambitions of the organisation when they feel that their work-life balance is maintained. Boosting morale elevates productivity because people who feel appreciated and fulfilled build the ‘ownership spirit’ and remain committed to their responsibilities. The ratio of happier employees is proportional to happier clients.
Employers find it very challenging to address the issue of mental health, but giving workers more flexibility is unquestionably a step in the right direction. Employees can choose to work from home or in a shared workspace under the hybrid work structure, giving them more flexibility so they can create a schedule that benefits their physical and mental health. It gives people the option to work from home if necessary whilst also preventing the social isolation that some full-time remote workers face. This can be especially helpful for people with depression and anxiety disorders who may occasionally find it difficult to contemplate entering a bustling office. The morale of the workforce would increase with a clear mental health report.
Every aspect of an organisation, from output to company culture and staff retention, may be impacted by employee morale. Hybrid working is here to stay. Whether you’re already transitioning to a more fluid approach with flexible working patterns or considering taking this step further down the line, your business and employees can embrace new ways of working.
At GBS Corporate Training, we have helped many businesses move to a hybrid work model over the past year. We provide training and support for teams to ensure a smooth transition. You can read about our Hybrid Team Working course, but if you need any further information or advice, please contact us here.