Returning to Work: The Hybrid Model
The return to work reality is just around the corner. As the population becomes vaccinated and Covid-19 cases drop, many workers ask themselves, "what will my work situation look like?"
Before the pandemic caused a massive work-from-home movement, many companies were already discussing a hybrid working model: part-time in the office and part-time remote. Online web meeting options and flexible schedules make full-time in the office not only unnecessary but ineffective for companies trying to save on real estate.
Employees appreciate the days off from commuting and find they're more relaxed when they can skip the morning rush and spend those extra minutes with the family instead.
Now that we're 14 months into shutdowns, lockdowns and work-from-home orders, many employees are starting to miss going to an office. The flexibility that comes with working from home has been a welcome change for many, yet others feel they're working more than ever.
A study published by Bloomberg in February 2021 showed an average increase in working hours of 2.5 hours per day for employees working from home in the U.K., Canada and the U.S.
Are employees working more due to demand? Or are they having trouble drawing the line between work hours and home life? The answer is a bit of both. Some employers expect more now that their employees are no longer commuting and have more time to "work." For many employees, separating work from home has become difficult when you're doing both in the same space.
The hybrid model many companies are adopting means that employees work some days in the company office and some days at home. But, that home office has to be a productive space for this to work. This space needs to be separate from the living and family area. This could come in the form of an extra bedroom or den where a door can be closed to block out distractions or an entirely separate rentable location close to home. Employees strive to find a balance between the convenience of home and the productivity of an office. For many, "work from anywhere" rentable locations are the solution.
How this model will work long-term remains to be seen. Still, the anticipation of a more balanced approach to work and home life is exciting. The next 6-12 months will be an exciting time for employees and companies alike.