Author: Ema Oberpfalzerova
Date of Publication: 08/10/2022
Nowadays, more than half, more precisely 51%, of employees have flexible working hours or full home offices, and this percentage is about to grow. The covid-19 pandemic was the primary reason for this increasing number, and most organisations were forced to change their traditional working in an office environment. And since it is influencing the majority of us, it is essential to focus on the impact of this new situation on employees, discover some helpful tips for improvement or examine current trends regarding this topic.
What precisely is a hybrid working?
The definition of hybrid working is 'workforce distributed partly across different locations and located partly in traditional'.
What are the statistics?
As stated above, 51% of employees have hybrid working hours.
Women are more likely to work in hybrid mode (55%) than men (47%).
46% of employees have worked from home all or most of the time, while 37% have not worked from home at all since the start of the pandemic.
41% of organisations stated that hybrid working had increased their productivity and efficiency.
43% of employees are generally more productive when they work from home or in a hybrid way.
Advantages of hybrid working
In terms of the beneficence of remote working, this article will discuss two perspectives; benefits for the organisations and for the employees.
Benefits for organisations
Increasing organisations' profitability due to employees' higher productivity and satisfaction.
Prooved lower number of sick and absent days since employees can still work from the comfort of their homes even though they do not feel entirely well.
High annual savings from cutting the costs related to the office space.
Benefits for employees
Reduction of commuting time - therefore, there are significant savings on gas and car maintenance and less traffic-related stress.
Higher autonomy and control over the work, with high schedule flexibility.
Employees can work in comfortable and familiar environments with fewer distractions. Since few people see them, they do not need to dress up, and thus they save money on dry cleaning and dress clothes.
Disadvantages of hybrid working
As well as it was with the benefits, this article will examine the two views, organisations' and employees', regarding the negative side.
Disadvantages for organisation
The inability to physically observe the employees and their performance and thus provide reliable and relatable feedback.
Negative impact on the 'social network' of the workplace - lack of community growth and also informal communication and learning.
Hybrid working policy - unfairness in resources and devices, such as printers, papers etc. - the organisation has to establish clear policies to avoid conflicts.
Disadvantages for employees
Growing levels of anxiety and stress due to lack of interaction with work peers and isolation, especially when the employees are mostly at the home office.
Blurred line between home and work environment, causing 'trapping' especially women in the dual roles of being a mother and being an employer.
The challenge of maintaining access to resources at work, leading to performance loss.
Trends in hybrid working
Due to the increase of hybrid working, the CIPD, UK professional body for HR and people development, calls for change in the law to make flexible working requests a day-one right for all employees; “Flexible working practices should be the norm - not the exception”. Some of the recent trends regarding hybrid working and its arrangements are, for instance, flex-time working, term-time working or zero-hours contracts.
Flex-time working allows employees to decide the start and ending time of their working hours and their break times. This trend has been increasing during the last decade, and is still about to grow despite the blip during the pandemic.
Another trend mentioned above was term-time working, when employees work during the school or college term. The school holidays are utilised for the unpaid leave; nevertheless, the pay might be spread over the whole year.
Finally, the last trend is zero hours contract, providing employees arrangements with an unfixed number of working hours. This trend mostly affects young employees and hospitality workers.
Tips for improvement of the hybrid working environment
Develop the work environment for open conversation about wellbeing.
Provide efficient coordination of tasks and task-related communication.
Pay extra attention to problem-solving tasks, creativity and brainstorming.
Ensure to build an organisational-belonging environment, including face-to-face time to support team cohesion.
Prevent overworking by setting boundaries and routines.
In conclusion, hybrid working is a growing trend within most organisations and companies. It has its advantages, positively affecting both employees and organisations. However, it has challenges that can negatively impact employee well-being or organisational supervision. Recent trends showed opportunities for various types of employees, which can support organisational growth. Finally, this article mentioned helpful tips for improvement of hybrid working to gain as much as possible from this new working environment.
AN UPDATE ON FLEXIBLE AND HYBRID WORKING PRACTICES. (2022). [online] Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/Images/flexible-hybrid-working-practices-report_tcm18-108941.pdf.
Bloom, N., Han, R. and Liang, J. (2022). How Hybrid Working From Home Works Out. [online] National Bureau of Economic Research. Available at: https://www.nber.org/papers/w30292.
CIPD. (n.d.). An update on flexible and hybrid working practices. [online] Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/flexible-working/flexible-hybrid-working-practices.
CIPD. (n.d.). Remote and hybrid working. [online] Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/coronavirus/hybrid-working.
CIPD. (n.d.). Trends in flexible working arrangements | Reports. [online] Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/flexible-working/trends.
CIPD (2021). Flexible working – lessons from the pandemic. [online] CIPD. Available at: https://www.cipd.co.uk/knowledge/fundamentals/relations/flexible-working/flexible-working-lessons-pandemic.
Ipsen, C., van Veldhoven, M., Kirchner, K. and Hansen, J.P. (2021). Six Key Advantages and Disadvantages of Working from Home in Europe during COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, [online] 18(4), pp.1–17. doi:10.3390/ijerph18041826.
Kurkland, N.B. and Bailey, D.E. (1999). The advantages and challenges of working here, there anywhere, and anytime. Organizational Dynamics, 28(2), pp.53–68. doi:10.1016/s0090-2616(00)80016-9.
Office for National Statistics (2022). Is Hybrid Working Here to stay? - Office for National Statistics. [online] Office for National Statistics. Available at: https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/articles/ishybridworkingheretostay/2022-05-23.
Yang, E., Kim, Y. and Hong, S. (2021). Does working from home work? Experience of working from home and the value of hybrid workplace post-COVID-19. Journal of Corporate Real Estate, ahead-of-print(ahead-of-print). doi:10.1108/jcre-04-2021-0015.