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The Future of Work Is Hybrid The way work is done has greatly changed

By Shishir Jajoo

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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In 2020, many companies around the world had to transition to remote work setups. The pandemic has forced organizations to think of ways to allow employees to remain productive outside of the office. However, remote work also has its limitations, especially regarding communication and collaboration. Employees may also feel burned out as there is no separation between the responsibilities of work and home.

In addition to this lack of separation between work and life, it's become a challenge for both employers and employees to carry on work that uses fixed equipment. These types of jobs are those that operate machinery, use laboratory equipment, or transactions that need to be processed in physical stores.

Now that vaccines are being rolled out and the post-pandemic workforce is starting to return to their workplaces, companies are thinking about how to combine remote work and working in-office. They are looking for ways to reap the benefits of both set-ups, and one way is the hybrid work model, where employees are allowed to have more options about where they choose to work.

According to a study by Accenture, up to 83 per cent of employees think that a hybrid work model is currently the best option, where employees are expected to be physically present only a few days a week. The study also found that a hybrid work model caters best to employees from different generations, as each age group may prefer a different way of working.

A flexible work setup provides options to work comfortably from home while allowing time for face-to-face collaboration with colleagues as needed.

Companies that Have Shifted to Hybrid Setups

Google has announced its shift to a hybrid work model, allowing workers to spend time in the office only three days a week. Google CEO Sundar Pichai stated that Google expects around 60 per cent of its employees to be on a flexible work setup, with 20 per cent working from home, and 20 per cent physically present in new office locations.

Salesforce, the cloud-based CRM solutions provider, also announced its transition to a flexible work setup. Bryan Hyder, the company's president and CEO, said that "9-5 workday is dead". Similar to Google, some employees will remain fully remote, some will be office-based, while the majority will be under the "flex" work model, going to the office only one to three days per week for team collaboration, customer meetings, and presentations.

Another company that has announced its transition to a flexible work setup is Hubspot. Eimear Marrinan, Hubspot Director of Culture, said that their company culture is not tied to a specific location, as it is rooted in their values, people, and mission. "Culture does not need four walls to thrive," she shares. Those working from home only need to go to the office at least twice per quarter, while those under the flexible setup only need to be physically present less than twice per week.

A Solution to Help Transition to a Flexible Work Setup

A way for companies to effectively transition to a hybrid work environment is to implement the right tools so employees can remain efficient. Autonomous Inc, a US tech company provides a solution through its HybridOS products. Included in HybridOS is hardware tools to help enable focus, efficiency, and collaboration. It also provides software to allow workers to remain autonomous whether at home or inside the office. HybridOS also provides a team of experts to guide companies in their transition to a flexible work setup.

Included in the platform is an Employee Portal to help offsite employees stay healthy and focused. Workers can choose the tools they need, and Hybrid provides individual support to help employees transition. Dynamic workstations are provided for office-based workers to foster creativity, teamwork, and productivity.

Employees under hybrid set-ups are also provided with space management software to remain efficient regardless of location, as well as hybrid hardware to book and customize office spaces.

Managers and team leaders are supported through people management tools. This allows teams to easily transition to flexible work setups while allowing team leaders to keep track of employee preferences, resources, and schedules through a central platform. Space management software is also provided so that operations can be streamlined, and managerial tasks can be automated.

Companies can also become more cost-efficient through using smarter hot desks, which utilize shared resources more efficiently by syncing various booking software. Workplace analytics will help moderate traffic and workplace density by keeping track of resources used and optimizing bookings.

The hybrid work setup is here to stay. As economies begin to reopen, companies have to incorporate changes to better cater to different employee preferences. Some are more efficient when working from home. Some need physical interaction for collaboration and better communication. The solution is to provide more options to boost overall productivity.

The future of work is hybrid. Companies need to adapt, or else, they may soon be left behind.

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