As the world is seemingly getting back to normal after two years of the pandemic, many businesses are gearing to return to the office as well. However, in this new normal, there has been a growing shift towards the idea of the workplace.
On one hand, many now prefer to work from home or from another location at least on certain days. In fact, a recent survey revealed that 74% of respondents preferring a balance of office-based work and home-based work. On the other hand, there are businesses that will still need people to work onsite given the nature of the job they perform.
Given this situation and to avoid possible long-drawn conflict, the idea of hybrid working, which is being able to work in the office and at home or elsewhere on certain workdays, has become an attractive solution for both business leaders and employees in 2022.
How Technology is Making Hybrid Work
While employees stand to benefit more from a hybrid work arrangement, businesses stand to benefit from this arrangement as well. For instance, workplaces can replace their large, costly, traditional workspaces with more compact enclosed spaces for video conferences and hybrid spaces as well. Estimates suggest 29% of all meetings in the future will be hybrid, and this number is likely to grow as more people embrace the hybrid landscape.
In terms of productivity, there is also significant improvement as employers are able to rely not only on their people who are productive in the office but also those who tend to do better when they work remote or in the move. As a result, businesses get to thrive with all coming together and improving overall productivity in the process.
More importantly, since businesses have already invested in remote work architecture, the cost towards a full transition to hybrid will not be a huge cost. And with the investments already made and continue to be made on remote setup, the workplace becomes more flexible, which means it can adapt to any situation with little to no disruption in the work processes.
Travel time and costs are also greatly reduced in a hybrid environment. Employees no longer have to waste time and money in heavy traffic to and from the office. In fact, employees can report to work or join a meeting from anywhere in the world instantaneously, with little setup needed so they can be more productive working remotely.
A Shift in Culture
Over the last two years, people have developed different working preferences and 2022 will see a solidifying of these various workplace personas. One study notes that only about 10% of employees were want to work in the office permanently, and 16% want to work from home permanently. But the majority, at 74%, prefer a balance of home and office work. Regardless of their preferences, already many workers are already not happy with their employers’ decision to “return to normal” especially without considering their views on the matter.
There is also the matter of company culture, as some businesses are struggling on how to make every member of their team feel valued and included, as well as to keep them engaged while being based outside the workplace. All this comes in the backdrop of the rise in mental health concern, also as a result of the pandemic.
As such, 2022 will see businesses stepping up in their efforts to bring these different personas together and work to address their preferences and concerns. This itself is a challenge to accomplish, but it is something business leaders have to do in order to stave off another wave of “the great resignation” that is already hindering businesses in their efforts to recover and rebound.
Disaster and Future Ready
As businesses are entering into the post-pandemic recovery stage this 2022, businesses are looking to preserve their cashflow and resources. Fortunately, the hybrid work setup they have put into place is not a short term deal. Because of this, businesses are able to save their resources so they can focus on other important aspects of their post-pandemic recovery efforts.
It also helps that this transition has helped facilitate the digital future that is being anticipated as how business operations will be like. As such, businesses with a hybrid work setup are more ready for the future and better anticipate the changes ahead.