As early as the spring of 2021, companies that had told their employees to stay home during the pandemic were looking at ways to get them to come back. A year later, plenty of employers still haven’t decided how they want to handle the return to the office. Here is one thing they should settle right now: the hybrid employment model is here to stay. Companies hoping to remain competitive need to accept and embrace it.
Is your company ready to embrace a hybrid work model? If not, time is wasted. Perhaps your HR department is as desperate to fill empty positions as the competition. Maybe your company is suffering from the Great Resignation like so many others. Talking about it will not change things. Action will. Your company needs to get fully on board with the shift to hybrid employment.
People Want a Hybrid Model
The place to start is acknowledging that a hybrid work model is what people want. A survey done among HR leaders in 2021 indicated that roughly 60% of them were planning for their companies to embrace hybrid work within the next year or two. Their responses were based on what employees were telling them: that the hybrid model is what they want.
What is a hybrid model? It is a model that allows employees to work from a variety of locations. They come to the office when it is necessary. Otherwise, they may work from home or the corner coffee shop. They might also work as they travel. The hybrid model doesn’t dispense with the office completely. It simply relegates office work to only those times when it is absolutely necessary.
If you are not convinced that employees want a hybrid model, just Google the topic and read the latest news. You’ll find story after story reporting that employees are willing to give up a ton of other things – including salary and benefits – for the opportunity to continue working remotely.
Change the Company Culture
So, how do companies embrace the hybrid model without sending things into a tailspin? The first step is changing the company culture. The hybrid work model cannot support the typical 9-to-5 mentality. It cannot support a company culture that emphasizes meetings over production and collaboration over actually getting work done.
One of the things employees are frustrated about is how much time they waste being unproductive. During the pandemic, when they were stuck at home, they spent more time working and less time talking about work. Meetings were fewer and farther between. Collaborative efforts were more efficient because collaboration happened online. People produced more because they were not distracted by workplace busyness.
Unfortunately, our drive for teamwork and collaboration over the last two decades has produced a workplace that is terribly inefficient. A hybrid work model increases efficiency. It lets people do their work in a reasonable amount of time so that they have more time to devote to other things.
A New Employee Benefit
Dallas-based benefit brokerage BenefitMall encourages employers to think of the hybrid work model as a new employee benefit. The general agency is working with its benefits brokers to get that message out. As an employee benefit, hybrid work doesn’t cost companies a penny. Yet it does offer a substantial return in terms of employee satisfaction and happiness.
The pandemic ushered in the idea of remote work for millions of employees who had never considered it before. There is no turning the clock back now. A hybrid work model is what people want. If your company hasn’t yet embraced the idea, time is wasted.