The last few years have been revolutionary for the people in the workplace. To comply with the COVID-19 restriction rules, essential workers had to be at the office to perform their duties while non-essential workers worked from home. After the lockdown, offices were opened, but organizations had to adopt a new work model to keep their workers safe to ensure maximum effort was put into work processes. This new work model hybridizes the conventional “9-5” working style and remote work. On some days, workers would have to show up at work. On other days, they performed their duties from home or another workspace. Scores of companies embrace the hybrid working, and this article looks into the prospects that 2022 has for this work model.
- Inclusion: Countless people are qualified in the workplace but cannot because they are disabled, parenting, or plagued by circumstances. These people have to stay at home and forfeit possible remunerations even though they are well qualified for office roles. The hybrid working system will open a door for the workplace to employ these professionals. The Great Resignation has seen several workers leaving their jobs to pursue another cause. Hiring these people handicapped by the conventional working model before the lockdown will add more skilled talents to the workforce. As these individuals are being employed, they need to be provided with the right tools to function efficiently. The weight of recruitment and onboarding new staff virtually can be overwhelming for the HR team. Especially in times of expanding or opening a company in a new country such as Singapore. To ease the burden, you can outsource certain HR functions which help you save time and focus on other essential tasks.
- Better communication and collaboration: Hybrid working will change how team members communicate and collaborate. Before the lockdown, everyone cohabits in a work environment. You can always walk into a colleague’s office to discuss work activities. With the hybrid work model in place now, communication has taken a new shape. Employers have to organize virtual meetings, create online groups for work discussions, and assign tasks to team members. Communication platforms like Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Skype, Google Meet, etc., support these activities. Proper utilization of these platforms will foster true collaboration between workers, despite the remote nature of the job.
- Work-Life Balance: Before the lockdown, employees worked at least 40 hours weekly. This does not include the time it takes to transport themselves to and from the office. These workers battled work stress, had little time to focus on extracurricular activities, and it was challenging to create a work-life balance. However, working from home will enable workers to focus on other activities as soon as they are done with their work duties. You no longer have to worry about missing the bus or spending the extra money to get home. You wake up, resume, and close from the office in your house – how convenient! Because of the GreatResignation, companies will also encourage work-life balance. Employers will create work policies that allow staff members to care for themselves, avoid burnout, and put their best foot into the work.
- Personnel Management: Making staff members work remotely and physically will demand excellent personnel management skills. Among the workforce, there will be people who want to be at work every day, those who want to work permanently from home, and the last set of people who prefer the hybrid work model. Managers will need to understand their workers to put them in a position where they can collectively achieve maximum productivity.
- Budget Restructuring: How companies will plan their budget for 2022 and subsequent years will be different because they will need to redirect funds used for specific purposes and use them to settle new demands. For example, a company that rents its office space will have to reduce the size of its office since fewer staff are now working physically. Other expenses will stop because of the hybrid work model structure. However, these funds will be directed to new demands like creating a secure network for workers to share confidential data or providing materials (laptops, workstations, etc.) that workers will need to work remotely.
Not many organizations have it all figured out with hybrid working. Research has shown that companies can improve productivity and increase revenue by embracing this new working model. Workers will also be in the best position to be creative when they are drafted into a hybrid working scheme. This new model of work is here to stay. The nuggets above are only speculations, 2022 might exceed or fail to meet these standards, and no one knows precisely. But one thing that is cetain is that hybrid working is here to stay.