What Is Hybrid Work and How Is It Changing Modern Work Habits?

Female employee working hybrid from home

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For good reasons, the American Heart Association is a fan of hybrid work. One of the good things coming out of the global pandemic and the digital transformation that ensued is a flexible work schedule that involves both the home and the office.

For some, we can now work from any other location we choose. This new, flexible work option is called hybrid work.

So what is it exactly? And how can it benefit you? Keep reading to find out!

Table of contents

What Is Hybrid Work?

The hybrid work model is a mix of remote and on-site work. This means that employees can split their time between working from the office, home, or any other location they choose. Everything remains seamless between home and office thanks to the evolution of software like Office 365 and Microsoft Azure.

The great thing about this work model is that it offers employees much flexibility and freedom in choosing where and how they want to work.

How Hybrid Work Is Changing Modern Work Habits

In the past, most people worked in an office from 9-5, five days a week. However, with hybrid working, there are fewer rules on set hours or days that you have to work. This means you can create your schedule and work when and where best suits you.

Hybrid working is also changing the way we communicate with our coworkers. With more people working remotely, we increasingly rely on technology to stay connected. This includes video conferencing, instant messaging, and project management software.

We’re also relying on cloud-based software to store and share files. This means we can access our work from anywhere, at any time.

Here are some examples of different hybrid work models.

Set Schedule With Flexible Hours

This model allows employees to have set hours that they work from home, but they also have some flexibility regarding their schedules. For example, they may be required to work from 9 am-3 pm, but they can choose to start working at 8 am or take a break in the middle of the day to go for a walk.

This is great for employees who need structure in their day but also appreciate the freedom to create their schedules.

Location Flexibility

Employees have the freedom to choose where they want to work. They may work from home one day, from a coffee shop the next, and from the office the following day.

This is perfect for employees who need a change of scenery or want to work from anywhere.

Split Schedule

This model allows employees to split their time between working from home and working from an office. For example, they may work from home three days a week and from the office two days a week.

This is ideal for employees who want to take advantage of the benefits of both remote and on-site work.

Remote Team With an Office

Employees are based in an office, but they can work from home when they need to, thanks to cloud services. For example, they may work from home when family emergencies arise or they have transportation issues.

This hybrid work model is perfect for employees who want the social interaction of an office but also appreciate the flexibility of being able to work from home when needed.

Benefits of Hybrid Work for Employers

Employees aren’t the only ones benefiting from hybrid work models. There are many benefits of hybrid work for employers, including:

Increased Productivity

Employees who can work from home are often more productive than those who work in an office. This is because they have more control over their environment and can create a space conducive to concentration and productivity. This is of benefit to the employer because it results in higher-quality work.

Increased Retention

Offering hybrid work options can help to increase employee retention rates. When employees have more control over their hours, they are often happier and less likely to leave their job.

Reduced Costs

Hybrid work can help to reduce the costs associated with running an office, such as rent, utilities, and furniture. This is because fewer employees will be working in the office, and the office may be smaller.

Increased Flexibility

Employers who offer hybrid work options can be more flexible with their employees. For example, they can allow employees to work from home when they need to take care of a personal errand.

Access to a Wider Range of Employees

Hybrid work can also help employers to access a wider pool of employees. They are not limited to hiring employees who live near their office.

For example, a company based in New York City could hire an employee who lives in Los Angeles. This would give the company access to a broader range of talent and allow the employee to work from home.

More Engaged Employees

Employees who have the option to work from home are often more engaged than those who work in an office. They feel trusted and valued by their employer.

Decreased Turnover Related Expenses

Hybrid work can also help to decrease turnover-related expenses. Employees who have the option to work from home are often happier and less likely to leave their job.

Turnover is a significant expense for companies, and it can cost a company up to 150% of an employee’s salary to replace them. Hybrid work can help to reduce this expense by increasing employee retention rates.

How to Build a Hybrid Work Infrastructure

If you’re interested in implementing a hybrid work model for your company, there are a few things you need to do to get started.

First, you need to create a policy that outlines the expectations and guidelines for employees who work from home. This policy should include how often employees are expected to be in the office, what work-from-home arrangements are acceptable, and how to request time off.

Next, you must set up the infrastructure for employees to work from home. This includes ensuring that all employees have the necessary equipment and software to do their job, setting up a secure VPN, and providing access to company files and databases.

Finally, you must train your employees to use the new hybrid work infrastructure. This includes teaching them how to stay connected with their team, stay productive while working from home, and troubleshoot any problems they may have.

Cyber Security

You’re probably wondering how secure it is to grant your employees the ability to work from home or anywhere they choose. There are a number of steps you can take to protect your identity and your data, whether you’re at home or work.

One of the most important things you can do is to use a VPN or virtual private network. This will help to encrypt your data and keep it safe from prying eyes.

Identity management is another crucial step you can take to protect your data. This includes using strong passwords, two-factor authentication, and keeping your software up to date.

Two-factor authentication adds an extra layer of security by requiring you to enter a code from your phone or another device in addition to your password when accessing your accounts.

It would help if you kept your software up to date to ensure that you have the latest security patches and features. This includes your operating system, your web browser, and any plugins or extensions you use.

Finally, be sure to only access information from secure locations. Zero-trust networks are a good option for this. Zero-trust networks provide secure access to resources without requiring you to trust the network itself.

Collaboration Is Key

Collaboration is essential for any business, but it can be challenging when employees work from different locations. There are a number of tools you can use to stay connected with your team and collaborate on projects, no matter where you are.

One of the most popular collaboration tools is Microsoft Teams. Teams is a chat-based workspace that allows you to communicate with your team, share files and work on projects together. It’s available for free with a Microsoft 365 subscription.

Another popular collaboration tool is Sharepoint. Sharepoint is a cloud-based platform that allows you to create websites, store files and collaborate on projects. Having an online file server like Sharepoint makes it easy for employees to access the files they need, whether in or out of the office.

Thanks to these and hundreds of other tools available, secure access to data from home or in the office are possible with hybrid work.

Consider Adopting a Hybrid Work Model

Hybrid work is an excellent way for employers to take advantage of the benefits of both remote and on-site work. It is also a great way for employees to have more control over their work-life balance. If you are an employer, consider offering hybrid work options to your employees.

The first step is migrating to the cloud to get the tools you need to enable a remote workforce. Contact us at Nexigen to see how we can help you make the switch.

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