Hybrid working before and after the pandemic

Bálint Erényi at February 01, 2023

The good – or bad? – old times

Numbers don’t lie. According to the American Community Survey, less than 6% of Americans were involved in hybrid working in 2019.

Following a special supplement to the Current Population Survey in the US, 48.7 million people, or about 35% of the employed workforce, reported working from home in the previous four weeks due to COVID-19 in May 2020. (CPS)

Based on a recent McKinsey study, 29% of work in the United States could be done remotely with no loss of productivity, and an additional 10% could be done remotely if necessary.

The pandemic boosted hybrid work. Suddenly, everything that could be done remotely was.

What’s ahead

Even though 2020 has been challenging for almost everyone, many employees and companies have discovered hybrid work to be a blessing. Employees and businesses alike have learned how to do effective hybrid work, and there is a strong desire on all sides for continued flexibility. The strongest effects will be for jobs that are particularly remote-friendly, but more hybrid work will almost certainly have an indirect effect on other aspects of the economy.

Do right by them by doing hybrid right

Employees and employers can find a good balance by developing the right mix of remote work and office work, thus creating the most healthy hybrid workstyle

According to the Harvard Business Review (HBR), we can study a model of how the pandemic changed everyone’s view of hybrid working by looking at Fujitsu. 

Hiroki Hiramatsu, Fujitsu’s head of human resources, realized that the 120 minutes people spent driving to work could be better spent. 

With a hybrid workplace plan, there was a million-dollar idea to be invented to make both the business and its employees more efficient. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The role and the responsibilities

When you think about hybrid work, you have to differentiate between your employees.

For instance, a strategic planner prioritizes focus. They are in charge of making business plans and gathering information about their sector. They require intense concentration and uninterrupted time, thus their work can be done almost anywhere, but maybe better from home.

Being able to organize things is crucial for the team manager. While at work, team managers can offer direction and constructive criticism more effectively and efficiently.

While it’s not clear which location would be best for either scenario, a hybrid work policy allows for some tasks to be completed anywhere while favoring home or the office for others. Benefits for businesses and their employees are combined under a hybrid work policy.

Rework what worked before 

When implementing a hybrid work environment, businesses must get innovative, especially with technology. Take Norwegian company Equinor for example, which is involved in handling gas from North Sea fields. Robotic devices were provided to replace routine plant inspections in order to give inspection engineers the ability to work remotely with the same level of accuracy.

Being fair was always right

No matter what kind of hybrid policy is created, it’s critical to uphold equity and inclusion.

If not, it may result in less productive employees, higher percentages of burnout, less teamwork, and higher turnover.

For instance, Brit Insurance revised the standard approach for applying a hybrid work policy. One employee from each of its departments and job roles was chosen at random. These staff members were divided into six-person teams to collaborate virtually over the following six months. The change would happen after they gave their working methods and capacities some thought. Thus they created the Brit Playbook, which records creative suggestions for teamwork among employee.

Even though every business is different and will have a custom hybrid plan, taking the time to learn how to develop it effectively will help minimize implementation issues.

The times we live in

Will hybrid working, home office and all other practices born by the pandemic restrictions become the ruling trend or obsolete

All we see now is that companies are taking a stand. Disney, Twitter, JPMorgan, and Goldman Sachs are loudly against letting people work from home, and are making rules accordingly.

Whereas Facebook, Amazon and Microsoft welcome and embrace this new way of working, and are much more liberal in their policies.

Who will be prove to be right? Only time will tell.

hybrid working