A crisis like Covid-19 often provokes unforeseen reformations. Before the pandemic, rarely would any firm agree to the majority of its employees working from home. But the unimaginable has now become routine in an unanticipated short duration. As office spaces remain empty or half-filled and home workstations bustle with video and phone calls, the workforce is going through a transformational change that might stay even after the crisis ends. (Kohli, 2020)
Welcome to the Hybrid Workplace
With the pandemic bringing humanitarian challenges, remote work has become the new normal. The workplace is increasingly becoming a hybrid of the virtual and physical setup, with a portion of the workforce working remotely while others are at the office.
As business-continuity plans get challenged and tech giants like Microsoft and Infosys advance towards hybrid workplaces and flexible work from home policies, the long term viability and implications of the change are yet to be experienced. (The New Hybrid Workplace, 2020) (Infosys to adapt a hybrid workplace model, 2020)
Some Advantages of Hybrid Workplace
Due to flexible work from home policies, employees find themselves more empowered to decide the best for themselves. According to McKinsey’s research, 80% of people questioned report that they enjoy working from home and 41% say that they are more productive than they had been before. Also, many organizations think they can access new pools of talent with fewer location constraints and adopt innovative processes to boost productivity. (Brodie Boland, 2020)
As employees save the cost of traveling to the office daily, they can relocate to the outskirts of the city with cheaper rental options. Moreover, reduced office workplace enables firms to reduce the real-estate cost of renting or leasing.
Some Disadvantages of Hybrid Workplace
- Reduced/Ineffective Collaboration
According to a survey conducted by Space Matrix, 85% of people miss face-to-face interaction, and 58% of people miss collaborating with colleagues. These numbers pose a question on the sustainability of the hybrid workplace in the long run. To some extent, people wish to get back to the physical workplace as soon as there is a return of trust or vaccination, whichever is earlier. (Post-COVID-19 Workspace: Rise of the Digital Nomad, 2020)
- Cost of creating a workstation
A dedicated workstation at home is a crucial factor in determining the productivity of an employee. Since the majority of the workforce is middle class, they might find it hard to invest in the creation of a dedicated but temporary workplace. However, this can be argued with the costs saved on traveling expenses. (Infosys to adapt a hybrid workplace model, 2020)
As the hybrid workplace model evolves, it makes one ponder whether the productivity and satisfaction experienced by people working from home is the outcome of social capital built up through countless hours of social interaction in the office before the crisis began and will there be an imbalance of inculcation of corporate culture between the ones who work from home and the ones who go to the office. (Brodie Boland, 2020)
This article was written by Shambhavi Shinde from the ProdMan Club
Kohli, R. (2020, Jan 25). Are You Ready for the New Hybrid Workplace? . Retrieved from Reworked: https://www.reworked.co/digital-workplace/are-you-ready-for-the-new-hybrid-workplace/
The New Hybrid Workplace. (2020, June). Retrieved from Magzter: https://www.magzter.com/article/Business/People-Matters/The-New-Hybrid-Workplace
Brodie Boland, A. D. (2020, June 08). Reimagining the office and work life after COVID-19. Retrieved from Mckinsey: https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/organization/our-insights/reimagining-the-office-and-work-life-after-covid-19
Post-Covid-19 Workspace: Rise of the Digital Nomad. (2020, June 13). Retrieved from HR World: https://hr.economictimes.indiatimes.com/news/workplace-4-0/post-covid-19-workspace-rise-of-the-digital-nomad/76351132
Infosys to adapt a hybrid workplace model. (2020, July 02). Retrieved from SightsIn Plus: https://sightsinplus.com/news/jobs-news/infosys-to-adapt-a-hybrid-workplace-model/
Silvermann, B. (2020, June 16). Does Working From Home Save Companies Money? By Baruch Silvermann, business.com writer | Jun 16, 2020.