Before COVID-19, the biggest problems in a workplace were resources, new technologies & their advancement, and growing trade links. But post-pandemic, the importance of the physical dimension of work increased. This introduced the Hybrid Workplace environment.
A Hybrid Workplace or a Hybrid Office is a flexible workplace model in which the employees can work from the office, from a remote location (work from home – WFH), or a combination of both. This hybrid model is up to the employees, as it depends on where they find themselves the most productive. Thus, the key takeaways of a hybrid workplace are flexibility & support. And this is the new trend in the working environment, post-pandemic.
Today’s hybrid workplace has three key differences from the previous type of work environment:
1. Days in the office & at home (WFH) are not scheduled beforehand and are decided according to the needs.
2. The balance of in-office & WFH employees has shifted. The number of employees working from home is more than the number of employees working from the office.
3. This shift is considered to be fluid, shifting in real-time.
Thus, the pandemic and post-pandemic hybrid workplaces are much more flexible than the workplace before 2020. Working from home has become the new norm, as the decision to go to the office or not has become more of a choice. Nowadays, only when an emergency situation arises or if there is an important meeting or a presentation, will one put in the effort to visit the office.
Apart from the adoption of hybrid workplace & workforce, we can also note the technological advancement in these last few years. India has seen a surge of new technologies, as well as the advancement of the 5G spectrum, which enables workspaces at any place. Additionally, meetings can be conducted with employees working all across the world with the help of powered laptops and headsets. So, we are swiftly shifting to a hybrid workspace model, where employees prefer working from home.
According to a survey , 66% of employees are worried about their health and safety when it comes to working from the office. Fewer people in the workplace will reduce the chances of infection. Additionally, companies need RTPCR reports or proof of vaccination from employees coming into the workplace. And since people have the option to work from home (WFH) under hybrid work models, they choose it without hesitation.
The new working environment has had many impacts on employees. And the impacts in the hybrid workplace environment are mostly positive. Some of these positive impacts are:
1. Better Work-life Balance: Flexibility is the main reason why employees prefer the hybrid work model. Finding balance is easier in this work arrangement. As the employees have more control of their work schedules, they can free up time to take care of other things — whether it’s running an errand, cooking, or picking up kids from school.
2. Save on real estate expenses: In a hybrid work setup, fewer people work from the office. So, the companies don’t need to invest significantly in real estate. It is also said that by rethinking the workspace strategy, a company can lower real estate costs by 30 percent.
3. Hire Talent across The Globe: In this new trend, A company can hire an employee from anywhere across the globe. Having access to a wider talent pool means that the company can hire people with specialized skills with one click.
4. Cost Savings. Companies that are enacting a hybrid workforce model can save money. Because they don’t have to rent office spaces that much or at all.
5. Reduce Exposure from Virus: As there will be fewer people working from the office, and most of them will be working from home, this will reduce employees’ exposure to COVID-19, Omicron, or other deadly viruses.
The new trends in the working environment we earlier saw as an alternative style of work. But, as more employees prefer the flexibility and support it provides, it has become even more popular. And since it has positive impacts, employers, therefore, want to readapt to this work culture, to get the better of the health crisis. Hence, this is the work environment of the future, which is not only boosting productivity but also ensures that the employees feel protected and healthy.