When the COVID-19 pandemic hit American shores, 95% of office workers transitioned to at least part time remote work. After months of experimenting with the new model of working, 97% now say they prefer working remotely. Eliminating commute, improving work-life balance, and increasing time with the family are just a few reasons workers have embraced remote jobs.
Remote work has the power to help businesses too. For each employee working from home 2-3 days a week, companies save $11,000. These savings come from lower office costs, reduced employee absence and turnover, and higher productivity levels. Despite these benefits, only 37% of US jobs can be done entirely from home. For businesses to capture the best of both worlds, they need to develop a hybrid model.
No two hybrid models are the same. Some businesses may encourage remote work for all and only provide office space to workers who ask for it. The opposite can also be true; a business may desire to have everyone in the office but allow remote work as needed so long as obligations are met. Other models include predetermined schedules for workers to be in office or at home, leadership working from an office while everyone else is remote, or even allowing employees to choose their location every day. Choosing the ideal model requires open communication and honesty about expectations from both management and workers. Every business will have a slightly different approach to the hybrid future of work.
Beyond choosing a structure, other challenges in the hybrid workplace remain in need of resolution. It can be hard for managers to ensure collaboration and inclusion in remote and mixed environments. Logistical challenges surrounding who is in the office when also arise; no one wants to get to the office and realize there is no space!
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