In today's digital age, many companies have shifted to a hybrid workforce model that combines office and remote work. While this approach offers many benefits, such as greater flexibility and lower overhead costs, it also presents some challenges for employee collaboration.
Fortunately, technology can provide solutions to such obstacles and enable seamless teamwork regardless of location. Let's take a look at some common myths about hybrid work and learn how technology can effectively foster collaboration in hybrid work environments.
- In a hybrid work environment, employees operate both on-site and remotely. This allows companies to collaborate more flexibly, but it also presents challenges.
- Myths such as employees not wanting to work in the office or that hybrid work scheduling creates additional workload for team leaders aren't always true.
- Technology, especially hybrid work scheduling tools, are designed to help organizations manage their hybrid workforces, overcome challenges and dispel myths.
Myth #1: Employees Don’t Want to Work in the Office
Your employees may not want to return to the office full time – and that's fine. A recent Harvard Business School study compared the productivity of 600 employees and found that productivity increased during remote work and continued to increase with each step toward a full work-from-anywhere policy.
It also found that productivity increased by 4.4% when employees moved from limited work-from-home to a location of their choice - whether it was the office or a co-working space they enjoyed going to. Based on these results, the productivity gain could add $1.3 billion in value to the U.S. economy annually.
Just because your employees don't want to be in the office doesn't mean they don't want to work together! When Microsoft surveyed 20,000 employees in 11 countries, 84% of respondents said they'd be motivated to return to the office to socialize, connect and collaborate.
But even if some employees still prefer to work from home or live too far from the office to commute, you can help them develop a stronger sense of teamwork. Here's how you can use technology to facilitate collaboration between employees, regardless of where they work:
- Invest in communication tools: The right communication tools make it easier for employees to stay in touch and collaborate on projects, regardless of location.
- Use project management software: Project management software allows you to keep track of deadlines, assigned tasks and progress reports – all important elements for effective collaboration.
- Encourage video conferencing: This is a great way to bring employees together for virtual meetings and brainstorming sessions. It is also useful for conversations between managers and employees.
Offices are slowly but surely transforming into collaboration-focused spaces, but not everyone can be present every day. However, if you invest in the right technology, you can create a collaborative environment that works for your hybrid workforce, no matter where they are.
Myth #2: Hybrid Work Schedule Means That Everybody Works in the Office Two or Three Days a Week
Actually... this couldn't be further from the truth! There, we said it. The hybrid work schedule is simply a compromise between working in the office and working from home, and it can mean all sorts of things.
While some hybrid work schedule patterns have become more popular than others, ultimately they are meant to give workers the best of both worlds: the flexibility to work from home when needed, and the ability to be in the office when face-to-face collaboration would be more helpful.
In addition, this type of schedule can be beneficial for both employers and employees. Employers have the advantage of their employees being in the office part of the week, while employees have the advantage of sometimes being able to work from home. This can encourage collaboration and increase productivity.
When considering implementing a hybrid work schedule, there are a few things you should keep in mind. For example, make sure your employees are okay with working from home part of the time and that you are flexible and accommodating if their hours need to change.
Myth #3: Hybrid Work Is a Mix of Onsite and Remote Work, so Organizations That Have Experienced Both Will Adapt Easily
Yes and no. Experience is no guarantee of success with hybrid work environments, because there are so many things to consider – from getting the employee buy-in to workspace design to technology and security issues.
However, companies that have experience with both may find the transition to a hybrid work environment easier. That's because they are familiar with the pros and cons of both ways of working, as well as the technology required for on-site and off-site employees to collaborate.
Of course, this is no guarantee of long-term success, but getting started might indeed be easier! There's a lot to be said here, and if you're interested in the topic, you can learn more in our ultimate guide to hybrid working – do check it out!
Myth #4: Hybrid Work Scheduling Means Extra Workload for Team Leads and Office Managers
We'd say this is a hard no. After the pandemic, many organizations have moved to a hybrid work model, where employees work part remotely and part in the office, and have quickly learned how to effectively manage a hybrid workforce. It comes down to a few things, really:
- It all starts with clear communication about expectations and schedules. Team leaders and office managers should meet with each employee individually to discuss their work schedule and how it fits with the rest of the team. On that note, it is also important to be flexible. Employees may need to adjust their schedules as their personal circumstances change.
- There are ways to get people to do their own scheduling! Take the example of Jigsaw Insurance: by using YAROOMS, the company went from manager-led scheduling to autonomous employee scheduling. By giving each employee the freedom to book their preferred workstation, lost management time was significantly reduced. You can see the numbers for yourself!
- Managers should implement systems and processes that facilitate collaboration among all employees. They can use project management software to assign tasks and track progress, or set up video conferencing for regular team meetings, and ensure remote workers always have access to the same tools and systems as those in the office (e.g., corporate email accounts and shared drive folders).
This is how team leaders and office managers can effectively manage a hybrid workforce and keep everyone on track to meet company goals. To put it in numbers, Jigsaw Insurance can now save the time of one team leader FTE – that’s the equivalent of £21,000 to £23,000 per year! We wouldn’t call that ‘extra workload’…
Myth #5: Large Companies Struggle With Hybrid Work Scheduling More Than Small or Midsize Organizations
Many large companies still rely on an outdated work model where everyone is in the office during set hours. This doesn't work for today's workforce, which is more mobile and flexible than ever before. As a result, large companies find it difficult to attract and retain top talent, while small and medium-sized companies are able to offer a more attractive work-life balance.
Large companies have a point, of course. They have more employees, more workspaces, and more business rules. Throw in hybrid work and, obviously, it becomes impossible for them to manage things manually – but that's exactly why hybrid work scheduling technology is key to their success in today's world.
To stay competitive, large companies must embrace the hybrid workforce model and use technology to their advantage. In doing so, they can create a more flexible and collaborative environment that is attractive to today's workers.
Take the example of Saipem, an advanced technological and engineering platform that made a major office move. The move was also a step toward optimization, and to make the most of the new space, Saipem decided to adopt the hybrid work model.
The company relied on YAROOMS to ensure that employees could always reserve a workstation in the office at any time, manage seating arrangements between different departments, and get much-needed visibility into this complex organization. All without having to accommodate all 4000 employees at once!
Myth #6: Hybrid Work Is Not the Most Sustainable Choice for Environmentally-Conscious Companies
Hybrid work is actually a sustainable choice for businesses because it cuts down on commuting and energy consumption in the office. Employees who work from home part of the time can reduce their environmental footprint by not commuting, driving less, and not being in the office.
But hybrid work isn't just good for the environment, it's good for business too. Companies that offer hybrid work arrangements find that their employees are happier and more productive. That's because employees who can work flexibly are less stressed and have a better work-life balance.
Remote workers, for example, often struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness. This can lead to mental health issues and lower productivity. On the other hand, employees who work on-site can be resentful of their colleagues who work remotely all the time, leading to tension and conflict within the team.
So if you're looking for a sustainable business model that benefits both the environment and your bottom line, hybrid working is the way to go! You can even adopt sustainable hybrid workplace technology that integrates both the hybrid work model and sustainability into a seamless workplace experience.
For example, YAROOMS' carbon dashboard and workplace emissions tracking tools enable organizations to meet their net CO2 goals. Managers can now easily and accurately measure CO2 emissions while organizing the work of their teams, whether they work in the office or elsewhere.
By implementing sustainable technology for hybrid workplaces, companies can overcome the challenges of the hybrid work model while reducing their carbon footprint – all in an efficient and cost-conscious manner. Read more here.
YAROOMS Hybrid Work Planning
The way we work is changing. The traditional 9-5 office job is no longer the only option, and more and more employees are working remotely or from home. This change was accelerated by the pandemic, but the trend was already underway before that.
However, this new way of working doesn't mean that collaboration and teamwork are no longer possible. With the right technology in place, hybrid workforce collaboration can be just as effective as it was in the office.
Our hybrid work planning tool is designed to help organizations manage hybrid workforces. With YAROOMS, employees can easily find and book available meeting rooms or desks, whether they work in the office or remotely. The software is tailored to support the main requirements of hybrid working, such as:
- Defining planning targets or work from home thresholds
- Aligning scheduling with occupancy parameters
- Ensuring planning visibility to everyone in the organization
- Maintaining employee autonomy to schedule their own time, resources, and space in the office
We know that choosing a hybrid work scheduling tool is no small feat, but we're here to help you identify your needs and navigate the sea of options – because we believe it's one of the most important decisions you'll make for your business.
A hybrid work schedule is a great option for businesses that want to give their employees more flexibility, but still need them to be available during certain business hours or at certain locations. It is also a good option for employees who can better balance their work commitments with their personal lives this way.