It makes sense to think that since the pandemic, the hybrid workplace became a model adopted by many and especially by large corporations. Thus, it is very common to talk about virtual meetings, Zoom and Google Meet.
However, it was not easy to implement most of the tools to make this new reality possible. A radical change meant a large investment for companies, which added a great deal of uncertainty for most of them.
- In a hybrid workplace, there may be several offices located in any geographic location. Although companies prefer to have local employees, they consider the possibility of being able to select workers from anywhere in the world, for the benefit of greater cultural richness and exchange.
- Although the pandemic is no longer a concern, employees and employers continue to prioritize health security. Thus, remote work is still the best option as there is no need to travel by transport and no need to transit in public environments.
- In a hybrid workplace, work is done face-to-face, remotely and full remote. It is important to provide the necessary resources in all areas and to convey the idea that remote work can be as pleasant as being in an office.
What you need to know about the hybrid workplace
The new model, which speaks of the hybrid workplace, refers to the combination of on-site and remote (3). A real challenge for the employer in the pandemic era, where the real value, in addition to production, was the safety of employees.
Even so, the possibility of being able to choose days and hours, according to the preferences of each employee, became a totally transgressive scheme, but at the same time highly valued, especially from a personal point of view.
What is a hybrid workplace?
While there was a low percentage of this type of work before the pandemic, from COVID-19 onwards this system (4) was imposed by necessity. As a result, many employees were forced to be absent from their face-to-face positions for preventive reasons or, in the worst case, because they had acquired the disease.
A new model of flexible work, where there are no longer any rules or limits. Both the business and the labor sector will have to agree on how many days to work in the office and how many days to work from home. All this will force the rotation of personnel and the exchange of geographical and time zones.
What are the benefits of the hybrid workplace?
The hybrid workspace arises as a result of a disruption in the traditional work scheme. This way, the freedom to work remotely offers the employer the possibility to better manage business expenses and heavy workloads.
As a result, you feel more inclined to organize your work in the office, which translates into better performance and productivity. At the same time, by being able to optimize your schedule, the most important thing is that you will be able to enjoy your personal activities.
How do companies view a hybrid workplace?
Companies have had to reconsider this new system from the employee’s point of view, involving them in the decisions to be able to work with a certain flexibility, prioritizing not only work life but also life outside the office.
Likewise, they are also aware of the technological investment they must implement. Tools are essential, as well as training inside and outside the company. Diversity is a key factor, as the employer has the possibility of hiring employees from anywhere in the world.
What do employees prefer in relation to the hybrid workplace?
There are as many opinions as there are people. For this reason, and also depending on one’s personality and need, the changes are not for everyone. Older employees, unlike younger ones, prefer remote work because they can have control of most tasks at home.
In contrast, younger employees need close contact with their peers and are more open to relationships and the exchange of opinions. However, the idea of going to the office does not rule out the remote mode, even if it is not what they prefer best.
Best Practices for a Hybrid Workplace
Establishing a new hybrid workplace culture in the enterprise is challenging, and requires employee interaction. Those who work remotely must be engaged as much as those who work face-to-face.
The recommendation is to design this workspace taking into account the technological aspects, without neglecting the human value. Train company leaders to create equal conditions for all employees, without exception. Creating a pleasant environment where tranquillity and an environment without distractions is the key to evolving towards a hybrid workplace.
What is a hybrid workplace environment?
The ability to work in the cloud and to have a strong focus on AI is the basis for a hybrid working environment. On the other hand, with the ever-changing technology and a decentralized and growing workforce, we are forced to train all the time.
Today, there are organizations ready to assist companies in this transition to a new work model. Providing secure software, including security in videoconferencing and virtual communications, offers control over the basic tools for the modern hybrid workplace.
Some companies with the best options for adopting a hybrid workplace:
The platform investigates what an employee needs to work well and happily anywhere.
Creates flexible and intelligent workplaces, so you can easily schedule your office spaces or meeting rooms.
This communication software is designed to work without interruptions. Meetings in text format, where each member can customize their agenda and contribute to their own schedule.
What is the difference between a hybrid and a remote workplace?
A hybrid workplace can be partially or fully remote for a group within the company. We can safely say that there is no hybrid workplace without remote work. It generally includes a core group of employees, while another group moves freely and reasonably, according to the needs of the company.
Certainly, finding a balance in the group would be ideal. However, companies are considering remote work as something unique in the future, because it has been proven that not having to keep schedules or travel to an office is a symptom of less stress. The speed at which everything happens will tell us whether remote work will replace the hybrid workplace.
|Time and schedule organization||Geographic and time zone scheduling|
|Equal support and containment||Permanent support and accompaniment|
|Participatory environment||Inclusive environment|
|On-site displacement increases environmental pollution||Virtual worker benefits the environment|
How to implement a hybrid workplace?
A hybrid workplace is considered from a more economical point of view. However, reality tells us that it requires a whole structure, being the idea of “low cost” quite implausible. There are many aspects to consider, starting with training, which must start from the inside out (5).
With the pandemic, security was a fundamental issue in defining the new model. Today, the well-being of the worker is more important. The idea of having obligations, without leaving aside personal issues, turns an employee into a happy and more productive person.
The human resources area has the task of reviewing the entire process related to employees. A clear example of this is to start with the hiring conditions and benefits corresponding to each one, besides following up on the tasks to achieve good performance for the company.
It is a computer network, which is used to share information. In this way, we can improve internal communication in a collaborative environment. The bandwidth solution to achieve a high-performance connection is crucial.
Leaders will implement changes in video presentations, providing a more enjoyable and informal live participation. There is a proven increase in the use of social tools to better reach their workers.
Management should focus on training managers, especially in the use of the new technology available to unify and share the same typology at work.
Promote a learning system related to digital transformation (1). Know and train on the use and management of tools, to improve the experience on the network.
While in times of pandemic, companies did not have clear strategies to transmit security measures, now they are concentrating on trying to correctly inform about the advances in technology.
Support and containment
Something probably tells us that companies only prioritize face-to-face employees. The key to eliminating these barriers is to maintain healthy contact with the remote worker as part of the slogan.
|Process review||Hiring conditions. Follow-up and benefits|
|Intranet||IT network used to share information|
|Improved performance||Implement changes in presentation, improving participation|
|Training||Unify and share the same work typology|
|Digital development||Knowledge of the use of tools related to technological transformation|
|Communication||Transmit information related to technology and apply it in all sectors|
|Support and containment||Equality of conditions, eliminating barriers in hybrid work|
How to achieve a better hybrid workplace?
Clearly, in a hybrid workplace, two scenarios coexist. It is clear that the two have to be communicated so that there are no differences and create distances. The real challenge for the company is very clear, in terms of having to face the reality of maintaining the same level of effort towards on-site and remote employees.
The prospects that the market is opening up with the new trends in 5g and fiber optic technology (2) tell us that by 2023 around 75% of large companies will provide real-time technical matching for both in-office and out-of-office employees. We are talking about a decentralized network and an intelligently connected hybrid workplace.
In general, companies have the idea that face-to-face work is more effective because ideas and opinions are shared. This ideology is changing, as it has been proven that performance is equal or superior in virtual or remote meetings. Likewise, the new trend in companies is to adopt the care of the environment. Therefore, less travel by employees would accompany this good practice.
Some SMEs have already designed exchange platforms, which show that face-to-face and even virtual meetings are just an extra investment of time without the expected results. The change in technology gives us the possibility of adapting the most convenient model for each company. But the million-dollar question is: will the hybrid workplace continue to be the future of work?
1. Leceta, J. M. (2019, February). A RETURN TO THE INFORMATION SOCIETY: DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION AS “POSSIBLE INNOVATION” FOR SPAIN. Retrieved September 2022
2. Botella Campos, M., Ortega Tamarit, B., & Almenar Terré, V. (2021, March). Beamforming techniques for 5G/6G hybrid access optical networks in the millimeter-wave band. https://riunet.upv.es/handle/10251/174432. Retrieved September 2022
3. Rosales- Gracia, S., Gómez-López, V. M., Durán- Rodríguez, S., Salinas- Fregoso, M., & Saldaña- Cedillo, S. (2008, December). HYBRID AND FACE-TO-FACE MODALITY. COMPARISON OF TWO EDUCATIONAL MODALITIES. https://www.scielo.org.mx/scielo.php?pid=S0185-27602008000400002&script=sci_abstract. Retrieved September 2022
4. GARCÍA VIÑA, J. (2021, March). Towards a hybrid model of work delivery: smart working. http://ejcls.adapt.it/index.php/rlde_adapt/article/view/960. Retrieved September 2022
5. Osorio Gómez, L. A. (2010, January). Characteristics of hybrid learning environments: case study of a graduate program at the Universidad de los Andes. https://dialnet.unirioja.es/servlet/articulo?codigo=3119037. Retrieved September 2022