If there is one good thing that the global pandemic has shown us, we can do our tasks and get the job done wherever we are, even if we do not personally clock into work in our offices. Thanks to technology, a huge portion of people have experienced added comforts in working remotely, such as a huge cut in travel time, leading to a much better working lifestyle for a website content writer, professional graphic designer, or a part of a performance marketing agency.
However, we know that all good things come to an end, and as countries worldwide start reopening their borders and normalizing everything, remote working is seemingly coming to a close. Many people are now uneasy about going back to waking up super early, commuting for several hours, and then going home and doing the same old thing.
Employers know that, and that's why they are trying to bridge the gap. Hence, the hybrid working arrangements. What is that, you might ask? This article tells you everything you should know about hybrid working arrangements, their pros and cons, and why you must choose this for your content writing agency or full service digital agency.
How Hybrid Working Arrangements Work
A hybrid work model combines in-office and remote employment on an employee's timetable. Employees can occasionally work from home or come into the office as desired. There is no one-size-fits-all hybrid strategy. Each company creates a hybrid plan based on the organization's demands and each employee's.
Basically, in this setup, employees are asked to work remotely and report in the office for either a fixed schedule (e.g., two days at home, three days in the office) or a more flexible arrangement.
Hybrid Working Arrangement Models
Even though we have mentioned that there is no one-size-fits-all hybrid model, a few models exist that companies are now using. Here are some of those.
In this hybrid working arrangement model, employees must come into the office only occasionally. There are many different ways to do this, but companies may elect to have employees face-time with each other over video calls, long host conference calls every day or week, or use web-conference software products.
Companies that usually adopt this system have a lot of distributed workers who perform tasks that someone else can do via email, web conferencing tools, or phone calls. In this arrangement, employees work remotely full time, and no one works in the office. Employees must have good internet connectivity to perform their work properly with minimal latency issues. They also need high-quality headsets to communicate well with others over Skype for Business or other video conferencing tools.
Part-Time in Office/Full Time Remote
A hybrid work arrangement that adopts this model is usually more suitable for large companies with employees scattered around the world. Employees who fall under this category must be willing to come into the office every so often, say two or three days each week. The rest of their working time is spent remote-working. Organizations may elect to have a specific day when everyone comes in, especially during big meetings where all employees must attend.
On-Demand Hybrid Work Arrangements
This model is rapidly gaining popularity because it caters to everyone's lifestyle preferences. On-demand workers are required to work on an as-needed basis with no fixed schedule or hours committed to a line of work.
The Pros and Cons of a Hybrid Working Arrangement
Hybrid working arrangements have good and bad points, as with other existing working arrangements out there.
Pros of Hybrid Working Arrangements
For one, employees have the flexibility to set their schedules. Employees benefit from being able to set their schedules. This is especially true for employees with children as they can adjust their hours according to their child's school, sports, or extracurricular activities schedule.
In addition, retired employees love this arrangement because now they can choose when they should work. It is less taxing on those with disabilities as people living with those conditions find it harder to commute and deal with office politics.
Also, employers do not have to offer sick leave. Sick leave varies across the world, but employers are required by law to give employees paid sick leave in most places. Those not exempted by law are usually required to provide a fixed number of days, say 10-12 days per year, which can easily accumulate if they do not use them for more than three consecutive years.
Employers save money in hybrid working arrangements. Employers save money on gas and real estate expenses incurred when their employees commute to the office every day or come in only on specific workdays. They also enjoy having happier employees because they get to choose how many hours they want to work each week.
Cons of Hybrid Working Arrangements
However, hybrid working arrangements have shortcomings too that must be addressed if companies are thinking of adopting it as an alternative working arrangement model.
One of those pitfalls is that no one is accountable when something happens. If you are an employer, you assign a task to an employee, who takes responsibility for the outcome, and that person does not do it?
Employers should also consider that people may make mistakes because employees can work at their own pace. Sometimes this happens when they are working from home, so employers must emphasize the importance of time management to these people.
Every workplace has its own set of challenges, and distractions are gone. However, they pose a greater problem for those working in hybrid arrangements because distractions are all around them. Employees who work from home claim that children can put a damper on their productivity and other family members barging into the room where they work without warning.
As many of us have experienced, not everyone in the office is reliable. Just because someone works in the same physical space as you do, it does not mean that they are accountable for whatever tasks you assign them to accomplish or whatever project is assigned to them, regardless of whether this is part of your job description or if it falls under your area of expertise.
Employers must also consider how time zones affect hybrid working arrangements. The time zone difference between an employee's location and company headquarters might mean that employees will only come into work during odd hours. This means that employers will have extremely limited time to get anything done, and they might be forced to open the workday late or wait until late afternoon for their employees' contributions.
Hybrid Working Arrangements Work — If You Get it Right
Now that you have seen the two sides of the coin, here's our take: we can make hybrid models work if you get things right.
It is important to understand that employees are not machines. They have needs, interests, and most of all, they want to be happy. For them, the working arrangement is merely a part of their life -- it can impact their relationships and social interactions with friends or family members who do not work for the same company as themselves.
Balancing your employees' welfare and your company's needs is a hard task, indeed, but with persistence and innovation, everything will work.