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Hybrid Working – Advantages and disadvantages

Many agree.
Hybrid Working is the future

What is hybrid working?

Hybrid working is a mix of remote working and office work within your company.
You can choose where you want to work. Not the workplace is key, but the work you do.
Some days you can, for example, work in the office because at that time your work requires it, sometimes it is not necessary and you can work from home or work in a coworking space.
Some companies also have a flexible desk allocation system. In that case, you choose the desk / room that is available when you are at the office.

In short, the new way of working.

It has many advantages, but also some disadvantages.
We will list them here.

Advantages of hybrid working

  1. It helps maintain a good work-life balance.
    If necessary, an employee can choose to work from home.
  2. It offers more freedom and flexibility.
    The employee can determine his own hours and breaks.
  3. It saves unnecessary travel time and travel costs, which in turn benefits the climate.
    Less pollution.
    More hours available to work.
  4. It gives the company the opportunity to reduce the business space, thus saving money.
  5. It increases employee efficiency.
    Studies show that employees are happy with the flexibility they have in hybrid working and the choice they can make when and where to work.
    This and the fact that an employee spends less hours in transport means increased efficiency and productivity.
  6. More security like these days during the covid pandemic.
    Due to hybrid working, the employee has a flexible workplace available. He knows how to work in virtual teams.
    In the event of a pandemic such as now with the Covid19 virus, the employee can choose to work from home.
    The employee himself is less at risk as are the other employees with whom he might come into physical contact.
    Sometimes it is not always possible to work at a remote workplace, but given that there are fewer employees in the office, it is easier to keep a distance.
  7. The employee has the option to work wherever he feels at home as long as the work can be performed properly.
    The employee can even choose to work in a natural environment or even from a holiday destination.
  8. Hybrid working gives the company access to talented candidate employees who are at a great distance from the company.
  9. Being able to detach yourself from the conformism that your supervisor and colleagues demand from you and the constant monitoring is very liberating according to studies.

Disadvantages of hybrid working

  1. You can feel alone.
    Because you will be in the office less often, you may feel lonely more often.
    This is further reinforced because your communication will only consist of communication with those people who really need you for your work.
    You will no longer see employees from other departments that you normally do not work with but still see, greet and chat with on a daily basis.
    So it’s wise to relax after work and keep meeting people
    Our Remote Disconnect service can help you with this.
  2. Contact with customers is more difficult in a hybrid work environment.
    Employees are less likely to keep in touch with customers if they work in different places and the customer will not always find it easy to reach an employee. Not all customers will understand why you are in a different location than your office (for example a table on the beach), especially if they do not have the option to work hybrid. In addition, if a customer has problems, it will on average take longer for the employee to find a solution because it will often be necessary to contact other people in your company. It will take more time to solve a problem for the customer than if all employees are in the same place.
  3. Hybrid working can more often cause technical problems and communication can be less secure than when everyone works from a central point.
    Working in different places means that you are dependent on the network where you are and the possibilities you have to communicate with all the consequences that entails.
  4. You can be disturbed at work due to circumstances that normally do not occur in the office.
    It may be that when you work at home that your children suddenly come in and want something from Mom or Dad, or that you are disturbed by an unexpected noise from the neighbors.
  5. Working from home frequently can mean that it is more difficult to distinguish between private and work.
    This can lead to extra stress and burnout.
  6. If you choose to work on location more than your colleagues, this may mean that you meet your teammates and your immediate supervisor less frequently, which in turn might affect the team cohesion.

In short, hybrid working has a great future, but it is important that your company does not forget a number of steps

  1. Discuss the pros and cons of hybrid working with all employees. It is important that your company discusses the advantages and disadvantages of hybrid working with all employees before taking the next step. In this way, employees can better empathize with what lies ahead and discuss potential problems and solutions together.
    The HR department must ensure that the needs of all employees are taken into account.
  2. Your company must centrally keep track of where employees can be reached. Other employees and supervisors must have access to this data.
    Since the employees themselves can determine the working hours and breaks, they may not be available at all times of the day.
    Discuss everything clearly with each other and also inform the customers about your new way of working.
  3. Your company must provide all employees with the means to communicate in advance.
    Even if there are technical / communication problems, the employee must know who to call to solve these problems.
  4. Your company must give you the opportunity to access certain data.
    It must make a plan to make data available to those employees who need this data. This can be done, for example, via cloud computing.
  5. Since the communication in hybrid working is mainly digital and since the networks are not always managed by the company itself, it is important that the company draws up a security policy to ensure that data move safely and securely over the internet. Aspects such as cybersecurity, antivirus software, phishing protection, anti-spyware, backup should be part of such a plan.
  6. As hybrid workers tend to work independently, it is important to discuss plans to meet at or outside the office every so often.
    At the office, for example by organizing courses and / or a meeting where everyone must be present.
    The company can also organize virtual “happy” meetings when meeting physically is impossible.
    Team building is and will remain an important aspect, even if a number of members work remotely.
  7. The success of hybrid working mainly depends on the degree of autonomy the employee has.
    The employee must be able to choose where he / she wants to work at a particular time in order to fulfill his task as well as possible.
    The company should not force the employee to go anywhere.
  8. It is important that the company makes an overview of the tasks that are most suitable for hybrid work and discusses this together with the employee before starting hybrid work.
  9. Now that direct control is no longer possible, it is important that leaders are inspired and sincere.
    Your team must trust you and you must trust the team. It is important that the company helps and guides employees and their supervisors to build that trust.
  10. Hybrid working can result in a split in terms of the feeling of being part of a team. It can also lead to inequalities in terms of performance or career path. It is important that the company and executives treat employees the same regardless of where they work. If these problems do arise, it is good to agree with remote workers to work more in the office and to encourage office workers to work a little more outside the office. Another solution could be to have groups of employees work together in a coworking space.
    In all cases, the company must prevent employees who work externally from feeling like 2nd class employees or becoming 2nd class employees.