The world of office work is changing, and we’re no longer limited to location. Prior to the pandemic, working from home was a relatively new concept for many employers, but with so much uncertainty around Covid-19, it’s here to stay. But what is to become of the office? Recent studies have shown that after a year of working from home, office employees would prefer to split their time between home working and their office location creating an environment of hybrid working.
What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working allows you to split your time between locations, working from home and at the workplace. It is focussed on matching the task to location, rather than working in a static environment. Employers are recognising that some tasks are best suited to home working and others require a level of collaboration that only face-to-face working can bring. Hybrid working offers huge benefits for both employers and staff and by blending working environments they can achieve their goals and create a happier, healthier worker in the process.
Who will be hybrid working?
It is expected that most employees will engage in some kind of hybrid working over the years to come. Technology has allowed us to continue our working tasks remotely and effectively, making it an easy concept to carry on with.
What are the benefits?
Hybrid working offers many benefits, both to the employer and the employee:
For the employer:
Flexible form of working – appeals to both existing and new employees
Increased employee engagement and productivity
Opportunity to reduce facilities and estate costs
Focus on employee wellbeing
Reduced absence rates
For the employee:
Better work-life balance
Saved costs and time commuting
Higher level of motivation
Allows for better brainstorming and collaboration during office days
What are the downsides?
Hybrid working requires a level of planning in terms of a rota-based system, deciding which tasks can be performed at home, planning in regular team meetings.
There is the possibility of redundant office space that cannot be repurposed. Lower levels of workers in cities or towns may have an effect on businesses that rely on office workers such as sandwich shops, bars, restaurants and newsagents.
Tips on how to cope with hybrid working
For the employers:
Consider creating a hybrid working policy
Not only will this help management handle the transition, but it will ensure that all employees know what is expected of them during office time and working from home. Include clear actions to take if employees develop symptoms of Covid to keep everyone protected.
Schedule in regular face-to-face meetings with staff and make these a priority This is one of the major things we have all missed during the pandemic.
Ensure all employees have the home equipment they need to carry out their role ergonomically
Many employees have been making do with inadequate seating, wrist or footrests, laptop risers or screens. It’s more important than ever that employees have the right workstations. Ask employees to carry out their own DSE Assessment as they would do in the office.
Allow a period of transition
For many office workers, over a year out of the office may take a little getting used to. Allow employees to settle into their office days and be mindful that they may have concerns or anxieties about Covid safety during this time.
Make the workplace Covid safe
Prepare for the future of office work in Covid times. Add Perspex screens. Rearrange furniture to allow for social distancing and ease of movement. Sanitise and maintain a hygienic working environment. Install clear signage to help staff and visitors. Ventilate all areas regularly to ensure that everyone has access to clean air or add an air purifier to help filter out germs and viruses.
Talk to your employer about any concerns you have
Follow policies on hybrid working to know what is expected of you
Adhere to rules around Covid safety whilst in the office
Sundry Supplies are ready to help you prepare for the world of hybrid working. If you need help preparing your office space or with products to protect everyone at work then please contact our experts for more advice.
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