The world will never be the same again; that is a fact. People have evolved and adapted to the “new normal” to continue with their studies, work, and daily life under new conditions.
Some of the biggest changes that have taken place are within the workplace, particularly now that many of us are no longer working from an office full time. During the global pandemic, a large number of companies have discovered the benefits of hybrid workspaces; in fact, 68% of global organizations are planning to experiment with hybrid work on an ongoing basis. This way, employees can have the freedom to work remotely or from the office – or a mix of both – thus facilitating maintaining social distancing requirements, saving costs, and promoting a balance between personal life and professional life.
What are the key benefits of hybrid workplaces?
While many creatives already work remotely, this change represents a significant shift for creative teams where face-to-face collaboration has traditionally been key to running successfully aligned projects.
However, having a hybrid work setup can allow for more creative ideas to flow by enabling your people to work across different environments with different stimulants to generate concepts.
Let’s take a look at some of the other overall benefits of hybrid workplaces...
The era of COVID-19 has created a lot of awareness about how we physically communicate with others, from a simple greeting to the distance we keep with our colleagues. Cubicle desk spaces where personal space may not have previously been respected have become obsolete to make way for bigger, open collaborative spaces where teams can share ideas and work together safely without putting their health at risk.
92% of millennials identify flexibility as a top priority when job hunting. People need ways of working that can be adapted to their needs and where they can have stronger control over their own time. Hybrid workplaces allow companies to improve the quality of life for their people on a large scale and drive better work satisfaction and productivity at the same time.
By having the flexibility of being able to give employees the ease of working from anywhere, employers open up the possibility of employing a more diverse workforce. When you don’t restrict hiring to those who can commute, you enable opportunities for people either with different abilities, people who live in places where daily transportation is complicated, or for those whom working 9 to 5 in an office is not a viable option for different reasons.
Having a hybrid work scheme allows great savings for both companies and employees. There are significant reductions in expenses for office space, essential services, transportation, food and much more, which drives healthier finances for companies and those they hire.
How are companies creating hybrid work environments?
When it comes to hybrid workplaces, there are no rules. It completely depends on each company’s culture and preferences, therefore, there’s a wide field of possibilities to adopt this new approach to work.
Communication is a crucial consideration when adopting a hybrid work model; offering different ways of communicating and multiple communication channels for your employees, customers, suppliers and leaders will be the first thing that you should think about.
Today we have the technology and the tools to make it possible; everyone must be comfortable that ideas will be heard without waiting too much longer than is customary in an office where you can share opinions face to face.
Some of the main tools that can facilitate effective communication include:
- Slack: An excellent tool for turning those casual office conversations into a virtual community.
- 15Five: This is a platform where employees can have a simple and positive dialogue with their leaders to receive feedback and align on objectives.
- Zoom: Zoom became the most used video call tool thanks to the pandemic and showed how easy it is to stay in touch with your work team without the requirement to be tech-savvy.
Collaboration & Creativity
One of the main concerns with the hybrid work model is how teams can maintain consistent collaboration across projects where different departments are involved in the process. However, thanks to technology it’s totally possible to share ideas, feedback, documents and more in real-time, which facilitates that collaborative work.
There are many tools out there that allow creative teams to get their projects done, with speed, remotely, whether you need project management tools, cloud storage or creative libraries, here’s some options:
- Asana: Review plans and roadmaps, check progress on projects, and discuss work, all in the one place. With Asana as your work manager, you’ll stay on top of everything your creative team’s doing.
- Envato Elements: This creative subscription includes everything you need to get creative projects done; bring your ideas to life with professional digital assets, templates and more. Elements features a subscription option for enterprise teams, offering unlimited creative assets for organizations, agencies and teams of six or more.
- Google Drive: Store, share, and collaborate on files and folders from any mobile device, tablet, or computer
- Monday: Work Without Limits. Easily build, run, and scale your dream workflows on one platform including various views from gantt charts to calendars.
There is a risk of losing a company's culture in a hybrid model. However, there are many ways to keep everyone on the same page and maintain a connected and motivated team. Many companies have transferred all their communication to a digital format such as newsletters, hosted massive virtual events or combined activities and announcements across the digital world and the physical world, such as holiday gifts delivered just in time for a virtual celebratory event.
As you can imagine, much of what’s required to migrate to a hybrid model involves having the technology that can support your requirements, from the tools we already mentioned to computer equipment powerful enough for video calls, webinars and much more.
It is essential to consider the welfare of your people and the security of your technology when it comes to transporting equipment back and forth between home and the office. It may be better to have back-ups in the office, or provide monitors for employees to take home permanently to ensure safety and flexibility.
How to get started?
The final objective is that all collaborators are on the same team, whether they’re working remotely or in the office. They need to feel like they are part of the same organization.
As we mentioned before, there are no rules or scripts, but you have to consider the feedback from your people to understand their needs better and make sure no one feels left out. The key is to encourage everyone to participate in this new hybrid work system to ensure its sustainability and success.