The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Working: Is it Right for Your Business?
Join us as we explore the exciting benefits and potential pitfalls to watch out for when adopting hybrid working.
With the unprecedented rise of remote work seen during the COVID-19 pandemic, many organisations have realised the benefits of giving their staff greater trust and automony about where and how they work. Hybrid working* is being seriously considered as a long term strategy as opposed to a short term solution during the pandemic.
Remote working was initially rolled as an emergency response to keep organisations running as best they could during the pandemic. Now, these same organisations are considering what business as usual looks like in a post-pandemic workforce.
A vast majority of organisations are considering implementing at least some level of hybrid work as a permanent solution and are looking for robust technical desk booking and employee scheduling solutions to manage this. In this article, we revisit and discuss the pros and cons of hybrid working and examine how WiggleDesk's platform makes it easy to manage hybrid working through simple desk booking and powerful team scheduling.
*Hybrid working referred to here as the work arrangement where employees are given the flexibility to work from home and in-office depending on their personal preferences and job roles.
Pros of hybrid working:
- Improved flexibility:
Hybrid work allows employees to choose when and where they work, which can improve work-life balance and reduce stress. With WiggleDesk's platform, employees can easily book desks and manage their hybrid preferences, making it easier for them to work in a way that suits them.
- Reduced costs:
Hybrid work can reduce costs associated with maintaining an office space, such as rent, utilities, and supplies. This can lead to significant cost savings for businesses, which can be reinvested in other areas of the business. We've developed a calculator which illustrates the potential savings found in hybrid work.
- Increased productivity:
Some studies show that certain job functions can be done more productivly from home than in-office.
This affect has however been shown to differ between different workplaces and even within workplaces as experienced by different teams. It's believed that the benefits of hybrid working are best met when there is a high degree of social connectivity between employees. A recent exploration by Boston Consulting Group showed that in studies in Germany, India, and the US, their researchers found that employees who were satisfied with their social connectivity are on average 2.5 times as likely to say that their productivity is at least as high now as it was before the pandemic.
With WiggleDesk's platform, employees have the autonomy to easily book desks and manage their hybrid preferences, allowing them to work in an environment that is most conducive to their productivity. This can be set at the team level to ensure that different teams are given the best opportunities for productive work.
- Expanded talent pool:
Hybrid work allows businesses to hire employees from anywhere in the world, expanding their talent pool and bringing in diverse perspectives.
With WiggleDesk's platform, businesses can easily manage a hybrid team, regardless of their location and quickly see where their team are expected to be any given day.
- Improved employee retention:
Employees who are given the flexibility to work from home are often more satisfied with their job and are less likely to leave, this additional rentention rate has been put as high as 33%.
Cons of hybrid working (and how WiggleDesk helps!):
- Communication challenges:
Hybrid work can lead to communication challenges, as employees may not be in the same physical space.
This can be overcome with proper communication tools and training. Team collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams, Google Workplace and Facebook for Work can play vital roles in improving real time team communications.
- Difficulties in managing teams:
Managing a hybrid team can be challenging, as managers need to ensure that employees are on the same page and are working towards the same goals. Tools such as Monday.com and Asana are useful to visualise and manage workloads.
When integrating WiggleDesk with workflow management platforms, you can easilly manage your hybrid team's workload and seamlessly identify opportunities for in-person team collaboration.
- IT infrastructure requirements:
Implementing hybrid work and the organisational management of where your employees are and what real estate facilities are in use, requires a robust IT infrastructure that can support remote work.
WiggleDesk's platform is based in Western Europe and is GDPR ready and ISO27001 certified, ensuring that your data is secure and compliant.
- Reduced team cohesion:
Hybrid work can reduce team cohesion, as employees may not have the same level of interaction as they would in an office environment.
This can be overcome by fostering a strong team culture and using collaboration tools and management processes to encourage greater team bonding and pyschological safety within teams.
- Potential for isolation:
Working from home can be isolating for some employees, which can have negative effects on their mental health.
With WiggleDesk's platform, employees can reduce the cognitive distance between them, the office and importantly their fellow employees. By making it zero effort to see who is in the office any day and book a desk, this increases opportunities for in person collaboration and team bonding.
In conclusion, hybrid working has both pros and cons, but with the right tools and training, businesses can make it work for them. WiggleDesk's platform makes it easy to manage hybrid working and desk booking, allowing businesses to unlock efficiencies and maximize the use of their space. By implementing a hybrid work arrangement, businesses can improve employee satisfaction, reduce costs, and expand their talent pool.
Published March 6, 2023