Time for a hybrid workplace? 3 advantages and 3 disadvantages

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Are you still considering if you should have a hybrid work place?

Before covid-19, it was a trend that an increasing number of employers offered flexible work places where you could work both remotely and in the office: what we call a hybrid work place. But the ordinary work place dominated: according to CPID, only 5% worked from home prior to covid-19.

There are many reasons and ‘truths’ as to why you could not let staff work more flexible. But everything changed with covid-19, and most organizations quickly found ways and solutions for being able to work remotely.

We are now starting to return to the office, but many coworkers want to continue working from home.

The question is if you as an employer should meet this request?

We sort out the advantages and disadvantages with a hybrid work place.

Here are 3 advantages with a hybrid work place:

1. Supports employee engagement

To feel freedom in being able to choose where to work from by yourself, raises employee engagement through increased autonomy (link in Swedish). The challenge can be to lose a feeling of belonging with your team, but that can be solved by meeting physically at some point in the week, and being in regular contact when working remotely.

2. Requires less office space

A hybrid work place means that you don’t need a fixed work space to all employees, and organizations can thereby reduce the need for office space.

3. Less commuting time and lower transportation costs

It is not yet totally clarified what an increased level of working remotely can mean for the environment (link in Swedish), but it can contribute to both reduced emissions and less traffic congestions. For the coworkers, there are rewards to collect in the form of reduced costs and less time spent on commuting.

3 disadvantages with a hybrid work place:

1. A hybrid work place can make us feel lonely


Not everyone likes working remotely alone. For many people, it is very important to meet and see each other physically with informal meetings and breaks. For these coworkers, the hybrid work place can mean an increased feeling of loneliness and reduced sense of belonging with their team. Here it is important to have routines for how to meet and communicate, also when working remotely.

2. The work environment might not be that good at home


We might not have the same infrastructure at home as in our office. It can mean a less comfortable office chair or desk, or we might be interrupted by pets, children who fight or require your attention. For many people, working from home also means more sedentary. You will not, for instance, walk between different conference rooms, rather just change web meeting.

3. A hybrid work place is still an experiment


We still don’t know enough about what a hybrid work place means in the long term. Will it have effects on the organization’s culture, the physical work environment, or the mental wellbeing? We have lots of research and knowledge about how to lead and act in a physical work place, but not that much about the hybrid work place.

We develop continuously: we develop as teams, leaders and coworkers, and as human beings we are good at adopting and finding new ways. See the hybrid office as part of the development of your organization. Try and learn from what works and what doesn’t work.

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