The Corona pandemic has turned the world of work upside down and led to an involuntary test of how well companies are positioned for remote work. Due to the positive results, many suspected that employees would only work remotely in the future and predicted the end of the office. However, as we also suspected last year, the current trend is that the work of the future will be hybrid. So what does hybrid work mean? And how can companies optimally position themselves for the flexible world of work?
Hybrid work refers to a time- and location-independent form of work in which employees no longer spend every day in the office, but work both in and out of the office. The home office in the home study is only one possible alternative to the office. The café around the corner, co-working spaces, the home office abroad and any other place that enables productive work can also be used for work. The same applies to working hours. The classic 9-to-5 job is giving way more and more to individual time management in the context of hybrid work.
However, there is no concrete definition of the distribution of days of presence and days with remote work. Instead, the concrete design of hybrid work will differ from company to company or even between individual departments. This is because the degree of flexibility depends on different factors, such as the role in the company and the area of responsibility.
Hybrid work combines the advantages of office work and mobile work. If the necessary conditions are created in the company, hybrid work offers numerous advantages for employees, employers and society.
For a long time, it was assumed that employees in particular would benefit from flexible working models. However, the forced home office showed that companies also benefit from the new approach.
Hybrid work also offers advantages for society as a whole. The elimination of commuting to the place of work and unnecessary business trips, which are sometimes accomplished by domestic flights, not only saves time, nerves and money, but also reduces CO2 emissions. Hybrid working thus effectively contributes to climate protection.
The possibility of remote work also increases flexibility in the choice of place of residence. Skilled workers are no longer forced to move to metropolitan regions for qualified work, which leads to a higher social mix and consequently a strengthening of rural areas.
Despite all the opportunities that hybrid working offers, it turns out that it also brings different challenges. Managers are therefore faced with the task of optimally positioning the culture and the organisation in the company for digitalisation.
Suitable processes and structures must ensure that employees are integrated into all processes regardless of where they work and have (timely) access to all information. Only in this way is optimal collaboration between distributed teams possible. At the same time, all colleagues must be empowered for digital collaboration. Because not every employee is already confident in using technology and tools.
Another challenge is maintaining the company and work culture. Already today, many employees complain that they feel less connected to their company and the vision due to permanent remote work. At the same time, team spirit decreases when colleagues only see each other via video conferences. This makes it all the more important for managers to encourage and demand communication within the company and between colleagues.
Last but not least, companies fear losing innovative power through distributed working. While standard tasks can easily be done from anywhere, regular exchanges, creative sessions or joint brainstorming sessions are indispensable for innovative ideas.
The transformation to a hybrid company is not a process over a few days or weeks. Rather, it is characterised by constant learning and regular adjustments. Nevertheless, companies should think about a successful transformation and create the necessary conditions. So what does it take to overcome the challenges of hybrid work and reap all its benefits?
First of all, decision-makers need to be clear about the role remote work should play in their own company. Is the primary goal a possible cost saving or are the employees and their individual needs the focus of hybrid work?
Based on this vision, specific roles can be defined for employees, which clearly define how many days they work remotely. Criteria for this are, for example:
Accordingly, roles can be defined for individual departments, teams or even at staff level.
Optimal equipment is necessary for successful collaboration of hybrid teams. Thanks to mobile devices such as laptops, smartphones or tablets, remote workers are empowered to be productive outside the office. Digital tools for project management and communication enable quick and easy collaboration between all participants.
In contrast, the office will serve primarily as a social meeting place in the future and must facilitate exchange between employees. As a result, office space must be redesigned. Instead of individual workstations, lounge areas and numerous meeting possibilities offer space for creative exchange. Modern office technology such as smartboards allows simultaneous collaboration with remote colleagues.
With the help of Lendis OS, you can optimally equip your employees for hybrid work. You save a lot of effort and have time for the important tasks.
Thanks to a modern technical infrastructure, everyone in the company has access to the information they need. All documents are stored in a central location and can be accessed via secure connections from anywhere in the world. Thanks to zero-touch hardware, employees are suitably equipped and ready for action in just a few minutes.
Companies that position themselves for the future of work at these different levels create the conditions for a successful transformation to a hybrid company.
Further information (external link): BCG Study - Remote Working and the Platform of the Future