The Covid-19 pandemic brought about massive changes in all aspects of our lives, including our work cultures. While organizations in the pre-pandemic world were majorly bent towards in-office working, the post-pandemic world presented them with the opportunity to try out new ways of working. Even though many companies still want to stick to their old cultures by bringing their workforce back into their physical work spaces, several are searching for the solution that’s apt for them.
In this article, we will discuss each kind of a work model in detail to help organizations articulate their decisions in a better way.
Work from Home
If there is one misconception that the pandemic helped remove, it is that working from home is unproductive. There are several reasons that prove the work from home model to be an excellent choice for organizations:
- Flexibility – Working from home offers employees the flexibility to plan their schedule according to their priorities.
- Cost-saving – The benefit of cost savings is for both employees and employers. While employees save commuting costs and additional miscellaneous expenses, employers save a significant amount by eliminating office rent and other infrastructural expenses. Employers can also leverage staff augmentation to increase their team size without incurring any significant expenses.
- Increased productivity – Contrary to popular belief, the work from home culture can boost productivity of employees by:
- Enabling them to work in a quieter environment at home
- Offering them autonomy over their breaks, thus lowering the chances of burn-out
However, there are a few pitfalls of the work-from-home culture as well:
- Absence of a “Professional Space” – The absence of a professional space in the home setting can contribute to delays in meetings and unprofessional behavior, and also be problematic for people who need to meet up with clients once in a while.
- Risk of overworking – Work from home implies an obvious risk of overworking and the lack of such boundaries can lead to burnout, anxiety and stress for employees as well as the employers.
There are several benefits of this model which push people to prefer it:
- Professional Space – The traditional office set up ensures the availability of a professional space to have meetings with clients and work with employees.
- Collaboration – An office location facilitates collaboration by:
- providing employees with a space to work on new ideas
- improving their interpersonal skills and communication skills
- It also improves collaboration between employers and employees.
- Easy Management – Management becomes easier for leaders in a physical office space. They can monitor the productivity of employees and participate in problem-solving tasks effectively.
Even though the in-office environment for working sounds amazing, there are several challenges it imposes on people:
- Expensive – In-office set-ups are expensive, especially for small businesses that are still growing. The expenses of rent, furniture, supplies, equipment, etc. can be astronomical.
- Restricted Hiring – For companies that follow the in-office work culture strictly, hiring becomes restricted to the location of the office, thus causing them to miss out on some highly qualified candidates.
- Restricted Team Growth – The growth of a team in respect to the number of members becomes restricted to the size of the office space, and breaking a lease to find a bigger space to accommodate more people incurs extra costs.
Hybrid Model of Work
The hybrid model of working is a mixture of the WFH and In-Office models of working. According to a survey by Accenture, 83% of employees prefer the hybrid model. It has been gaining a lot of traction from organizations due to its several benefits that cater to both the company and its employees:
- Flexibility – By shifting between remote work and in-office work schedules, leaders can achieve more productivity in a flexible manner. Employees can take up in-office shifts for tasks that require specific tools and get the rest done from a remote location by accessing their data from any device.
- Reduced cost of operation – The cost of operation and resources reduces when the number of employees present in the office at the same time reduce.
- Enhanced Employer Satisfaction and Employee Retention:
- Employer satisfaction is increased as s/he can schedule regular in-office meetings to keep track of the progress while enjoying the several benefits of remote working.
- Several organizations offer internet reimbursements and other incentives to employees to make their remote work easier. The freedom of choice that employees have with respect to their schedules boosts employee satisfaction and retention.
The challenges that this model may impose are inconsistency of schedules and increased employee isolation. However, they can be resolved with minimum efforts.
The hybrid model of work is the future. The pandemic has pushed employers to find the correct work-life balance, and the hybrid model is the way to go for it. However, each type of working model has its own set of pros and cons, and what’s best for your organization can only be determined after careful evaluation of your requirements.