The old and the new are no longer trying to outdo each other – they’re working together. As we’ve moved through recent challenges, many industries have found that in the discussion of in-house vs. remote work, there’s no clear winner. And this mindset opens doors for a new realm of possibilities to combine the two. The power of the hybrid workforce lies in each company’s ability to set parameters based on what works for their business and its employees.
Here are some things to think about when you are measuring the power of the hybrid workforce.
The Hybrid Workforce and Inclusivity
One of the hybrid workforce’s biggest challenges is also one of its biggest strengths. By allowing your team to operate from the location that best suits their work-life harmony, you have the chance to also improve the inclusivity of all voices.
Professional teams have never had more ways to communicate and collaborate than they do right now. And with these myriad options, you can incorporate fresh ideas and perspectives much more frequently. There is no longer the need to try and create meeting spaces and times that will work for 90% of your team at any given time – you can create threads, chat areas, and host files or virtual events to discuss and collaborate through all stages of a project’s life cycle.
The hybrid workforce also helps quell the issues caused by proximity bias – the belief that leads us to falsely assume employees are more productive when they have to come to the office every day. Productivity varies by person, not by place. And including the flexibility to work from home when needed means you will have better meeting attendance – you won’t miss out on the perspectives of those who may need to be home with family or take care of personal tasks during the traditional workday hours.
This inclusivity is good for fostering diversity and equity, as well. Many companies have more than one location they work from – hybrid work can help pull different teams together to work on a collaborative project without uprooting some employees from their normal offices.
The power of the hybrid workforce stems from its inherent ability to bring people together, even when they don’t come from the same physical or cultural place, ensuring every team member has a voice.
Models in the Hybrid Workforce
A common reason many companies (pre-2020) didn’t want to discuss remote work with their employees is that “we can’t operate remotely.” Now that this has been heartily disproven, what does the hybrid workforce look like for remote workers? For in-house workers?
For most people, being part of a hybrid model will mean many employees will engage in more fluid weeks – some weeks they’ll work remotely on Mondays and Thursdays, other weeks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, for example. This is a more 50/50-style hybrid model.
Other hybrid models will mean that most or all of the work will be done remotely, with special events and projects requiring in-person office collaboration. Dropbox is one company that has decided to go “virtual-first”: this means all office spaces will be used for collaborative work, not solo work. It also includes a non-linear workday structure – this allows for core collaboration hours to overlap in team members’ schedules, while the rest of the workday can be dictated by the employee and their needs for that day or week.
Even if a business leans more towards a majority in-house hybrid model, many companies are still creating virtual-first solutions that can accommodate any remote worker’s needs. By hosting processes and files online as a standard practice, you can still work from anywhere, should the need arise.
Harness the Power of the Hybrid Workforce with MMITC
Meet Me In The Cloud is your partner for all things collaborative. Whether you are training new or existing team members on the latest collaboration technology, looking for adoption or migration services, or need help planning and executing a top-tier virtual event, MMITC has a team of experts ready to assist you.
Have questions? Contact us today!