Hybrid working has become a huge topic of conversation over the past few years; thanks to the pandemic, working from home is no longer an alien concept. Despite the world learning to live with COVID-19, it’s unlikely hybrid working will be going away any time soon.
The past two years have truly revolutionised the workplace and the meaning of having a work-life balance. For decades, going to work meant waking up bleary-eyed in the dark and jumping straight into the action with a hectic morning commute. The pandemic forced many companies to embrace working from home. It’s shown employees that there is a better way of working that looks after their mental health whilst still allowing them to be productive.
2020 didn’t only change the minds of employees. For many, going to the office was part of their daily ritual, and there was no sign of that changing drastically. Something big needed to happen for businesses to begin adopting a hybrid approach. Lockdown restrictions and working from home guidance showed companies that remote working boosted productivity and curbed burnout, with notable improvement in mental health. Having more staff working from home also meant employers could save money or perhaps relocate to smaller premises with cheaper rent and energy bills.
As lockdown restrictions eased, there was no urgent rush to get all staff back to the office. Hybrid working continued and was a driving force behind staff retention. There are so many people that don’t feel they fit into the traditional model of work in an office eight hours a day, five days per week. For some, working from home is much kinder to their mental health despite the fact that they’re doing the same work. The job is the same, but the environment feels less pressured.
We all want to work in a place we feel comfortable — it’s one of the best ways to boost productivity, even if it’s only part of the week. When an employer shows that they are flexible and care about their employee’s well-being, they attract new staff members and help retain existing employees.
It’s also very easy to find out an employee’s preferred working style — just ask them. You then have the added benefit of making the employee feel valued. For a lot of businesses, there were struggles while working from home. Meetings on Zoom with lots of unstable internet connections proved challenging to say the least, and being on other sides of a screen changed the way collaboration worked. Still, this unique situation has allowed hybrid working to shine in many ways. Both employers and employees experience the benefits of working from home while still having a place to visit when face-to-face meetings are necessary or to enable collaborative working in real-time.
The internet has revolutionised so many parts of society, and now it’s impacted upon the way we work too. After over a year of working from home, there are too many benefits to ignore for the sake of what’s always been the “done thing”. The flexibility of hybrid working for both employer and employee means that it is here to stay for 2022 and beyond.