Hybrid Workplace Mode – The Future is Now

by Ricoh Malaysia08 Jun 2022

Hybrid Workplace Model: From Pandemic to Endemic

Employees who operate by hybrid workplace models can alternate between working on-site and remotely. To meet their obligations, an employee may, for instance, work on-site three days of the week and from home two days of the week. They may also choose to work split shifts or non-traditional hours. 

There are compromises to be made. A hybrid workplace model is beneficial for relieving stress and supporting a healthy work-life balance because of its flexibility. On the other hand, it increases the likelihood that employees may feel reliant on technology too much, alienated from their colleagues, and exhausted.

There are also conflicting accounts on the effects on productivity, ranging from greater to roughly the same as before the pandemic to lower than before.

Some companies wonder when hybrid models, pushed by the desire to lower COVID-19 exposure risk, will become the norm. These questions are similar to those asked about when the pandemic will become an endemic.

Most Employees Work in Some Form of Hybrid Model

In a study conducted in April 2021, human resources (HR) practitioners were asked whether they "anticipate employees to work in some form of hybrid structure coming future," and 99 percent of respondents said they did.

The work-from-home (WFH) and hybrid work models will be included in the framework. In the hybrid work model, employees are required to report to the office on a specific number of days per week and are allowed to work from home on the other days of the week.

An Expert’s Opinion about the Hybrid Work Model

In a blog post for Wired, Nicole Kobie stated: "The use of hybrid work arrangements will soon be the standard.

However, hybrid friction is not yet resolved, and although the goal in 2021 was to convince managers to give employees the freedom to choose where they work, the primary focus of 2022 will be on when we work.

This would certainly increase non-simultaneous cooperation, which will need significant effort to prevent damage to productivity caused by a misunderstanding about who is working when."

James Berry, the head of the Master of Business Administration program at University College London, forecasts: "The hybrid work model will most likely become the standard for organizations that rely heavily on knowledge workers. This implies that we will need to find out how to effectively manage in-person and remote work, balancing the days that employees come in without further reinforcing the walls that separate the teams."

Companies’ Responsibility for Establishing Hybrid Workplaces

The leaders of companies are responsible for establishing hybrid workplaces that boost the workforce's production and productivity (in-person or otherwise virtual). In addition, hybrid work should improve corporate culture, which will assist in retaining talented workers over the course of the years.

Kobie observes, "The younger generation of workers have been criticized for choosing not to participate in a cycle of breaking themselves to make their careers, but they are right — productivity and success should not require you to give up your personal life, family, or daylight hours.

The Real Workplace Wellness

Technology should allow us to work less, and astute managers will realize that "workplace wellness" has nothing to do with yoga and applications that teach mindfulness but everything to do with respecting the right of their employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance."

Before the start of the Covid-19 epidemic, we saw important alterations that led to the increased use of hybrid models. These changes occurred before the pandemic. The pandemic did little more than hasten the transition to a hybrid workplace.

There has been a growing awareness among chief executive officers (CEOs) and HR professionals of the necessity to rethink their companies in terms of the physical workplace.

The requirement for adaptability and resiliency pushed major corporations to recognize and embrace the need for more flexible employment arrangements.

Generation Z

Generation Z Embracing the Hybrid Workplace Model 

Working remotely, sometimes known as telecommuting, or its more frequent variation, work-from-home, or WFH, has become the standard operating procedure for many businesses.

Although many workers faced anxiety initially due to the new arrangement, members of Generation Z appeared to embrace it, particularly when they were allowed to pick where and how they would do their jobs.

Not everyone, including Generation Z members, wanted to work remotely all the time, which might result in feelings of loneliness and disengagement as well as problems with mental health.

The hybrid work paradigm in an "anytime, anyplace economy" decouples the workplace from the physical location and completely redefines the notion of work and productivity. This allows for greater flexibility and mobility for workers.

All in All

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In 2022 and beyond, WFH will no longer constitute the only type of hybrid workplace solution.

An employee may be able to work from various remote locations, such as the vendors' workplace, the big customers' location, or a coffee shop with a reliable Internet connection, depending on the nature of the work they do.