The ‘Great Office Culture’, which many of our fathers and mothers made their careers in came to a dramatic halt during CoVID19. Recently, The CoVID-19 pandemic has dramatically transformed the way people work. Most of us had to work from home during the pandemic and with CoVID dying down, some companies have chosen to maintain the working from home model. Slowly but surely people are returning to offices full time or on a flexible basis. Due to the changes we’ve had to adapt to a new work model has emerged The Hybrid Work Model!
The Hybrid Work Model is what allows employees to work from home but also from the office. It’s up to the individual company to decide how often they’ll need to come into the office, if at all. In this blog we will analyse the PROs and CONs of the Hybrid Work. Given, I have been experiencing ‘Hybrid Work’ for last 2 years, like most of you, I have been privy to many stories which point out its positives and negatives. This blog will be inculcating those aspects as well.
Pros of a hybrid workplace
Happier & Productive Employees – The biggest benefit of a hybrid workplace is happier employees. Since the Covid hit, many employees have been working from home and are loving it. Apart from the freedom of plan your own schedule (till a certain point), not having to commute is undoubtedly seeing as the top WFH benefit. My sisters and aunts have complained about missing out of their growing kids as they had to work, with this model a large educated section is able to economic growth while delivering the homely duties. Many of my sisters who are working in the IT industry have been much happier than before. Similarly, many marketing and sales agents have been able to deliver substantial results as hybrid work helps them to move between meetings efficiently. All such stories have a direct impact on their productivity, productivity has been showing upward trends in all arenas of business. It found that WFH employees were much more likely to work a full day every day compared to people who came into the office.
Saves Money & Time – According to recent research, remote workers save on average $4,000 annually. The primary savings come in the form of not having to commute to work daily. My colleagues who have been staying and working in cities like Bengaluru and Gurugram, they admit with no commute they are able to save almost 4hrs daily which can be repurposed to self-learning or even hobbies. A shift to a hybrid work model also helps employers reduce cost in various ways like for example: savings in electricity bills and the reduction in cleaning services. Many firms have reduced their office space requirements due to the flexi-work arrangements. It helps the business to reduce cost and invest the money in growth of the business. Apparently, a hybrid work model can be much more cost-effective and time-effective for both the worker and the employer.
However, hybrid working is not only rainbows and unicorns and has its disadvantages…
Cons of a hybrid workplace
Employee Burnout – Left unchecked and with little or no supervision, a hybrid work model can slowly lead to employee burnout. This is because it’s very difficult to set boundaries when you’re working from home. In the earlier model, the transit between work & home used to provide that clear cut boundary between work & home. With WFH arrangement, that boundary has been reduced to absolutely nothing. The temptation to work late into the night and wake up at 10 am or even 11 am always there, disrupting your sleep schedule and compromising your health. If you have other family members present in the house during the day, distraction is also an ever-constant factor. Many times, I have been taking work calls, doing some house work and also tending to my child. Eventually, work starts to pile up as you try to balance work and home life, leading to burnout. Which means that working from home could actually become more stressful for workers in certain situation.
Increased Employee Isolation – The sense of isolation is undoubted one of the most common complaints. At the office, there’s always someone to chat with, tell jokes or catch up on the latest office gossip and nights out. Issues pertaining to ‘Mental Health’ where not that profound before as they have increasingly become. Earlier, even a cup of coffee with few friends used to work like therapy. Personally speaking, you are just staring at a wall in home while working and that does not help in lightening your environ, in case if something stressful is going on at work. As social animals, frequent mental stimulation and interaction are essential for our overall well-being. According to a report, remote workers shown sign of loneliness, that could potentially lead to mental health issues such as depression.
As you can see hybrid work model simply isn’t for all types of businesses. A hybrid work model combines the best of Working from Home and at the office to create an environment that can satisfy both employers and their workers.
In conclusion, my suggestion to everyone who is reading would be find your own balance and don’t depend on others to find it for you. Flexibility to certain extent is very good, but not at the cost of feeling burnout and isolated. If you are going through it, you should probably raise it for resolution. Solutions can be found if problem statement is clearly articulated.