The COVID pandemic gave how we conduct business a complete overhaul as employees transformed from full-time office workers to remote, hybrid workers. The pandemic was also responsible for the rapid digital transformation that companies had to adjust to, as remote working became a reality for many employees during lockdown.
Interestingly, large companies and corporates, such as Microsoft, saw a significant increase in productivity during the first few months of lockdown. However, it seemed that this prolonged work model of working at home full time resulted in a negative state of mind that ultimately affected productivity and job satisfaction. It is for this reason that many companies are now embracing a hybrid work model.
What is a Hybrid Work Model?
The hybrid work model is a flexible work model that involves the blending of in-office and remote work. Team members can migrate between various locations depending on the type of work that they need to get done. Recent studies confirmed that 70% of people are working from home at least once a week and, according to Gartner, 48% of employees will likely work some of the time remotely post COVID-19 compared to before the pandemic.
Why is Hybrid Work Gaining Momentum?
Moving into a post-Covid working environment, a recent survey conducted by Loom, a video messaging platform, found that 90% of employees are happier with a hybrid working model rather than returning to the office full time.
Hybrid Work Benefits for Employees
Hybrid working is a people-first approach that manages the workforce to drive increased productivity and job satisfaction while addressing the major challenges of remote work, such as isolation and lack of community. Daily commuting has proven to be expensive and, in many cases, unnecessary for many employees who are happier and less stressed having this level of flexibility. The additional time saved in travel, costs and stressors have led employees to more balanced work lives with time to sleep, exercise, run errands or spend more quality time with their families. The ultimate benefit to employers has been an increased productivity rate from their employees, which is ultimately good for the business’s bottom line. In other words, employee well-being equates to greater efficiency.
Furthermore, this newfound freedom of hybrid working, results in a push from highly skilled employees who are actively seeking a more human-centred approach in their search for a work-life balance. The days of a salary being the only benefit on offer to employees are long gone, and companies will have to have to change their ideas about workspaces if they want to continue to attract skilled workers.
Coworking Benefits for Businesses
However, the hybrid work model also has significant benefits for companies. Coworking spaces are not only cost-effective but highly flexible too. This agility is linked to the flexible monthly rental of the commercial lease, which allows businesses to quickly and easily up or downscale their office size, depending on their current requirements. As an example, a company can save up to 70% of their total lease investment over five years with fully furnished office space. This includes the traditionally large rental deposits, fit-out and furnishing costs.
This “plug in and play” solution also drastically reduces the various payments to different service providers that a company would have to administer every month. This includes:
- Electricity, water, and rates
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Telephones / PABX
- Reception services
- Cleaning, maintenance, and general consumables
- Generator equipment and maintenance
- IT support
Tenants also only pay for the space that they use or need. Meeting rooms and event facilities are hired as and when required. Another benefit for corporates in a serviced office space environment, such as The Business Exchange, is them now being able to have a specifically tailored, fully fitted, and furnished solution that suits them with the newly launched ‘Tailored By TBE’ offering.
Another major hinderance during lockdown included data breaches, with organisations such as the banking sector finding that many of their employees could not work from home securely. Coworking office spaces provide a highly secure IT environment that includes an experienced IT team. Loadshedding also continues to play a role in the decreased productivity of employees working from home, especially those who are not fortunate enough to have a backup power supply. A shared office space provider will always have a generator with sufficient capacity to keep its tenants’ businesses operational.
Businesses who want to remain relevant in this modern-day way of working cannot ignore the pace of this workplace transformation. Hybrid working is here to stay.