Hybrid working is the idea for employees and employers to distribute their workforce partly inside their workplaces and across different locations. This shows that hybrid working is a model characterized by choices and flexibility. It is an idea that has been favored by a majority of people but hasn’t been executed effectively. However, since the pandemic struck, many organizations have taken the idea seriously to reduce workplace congestion and offer more flexible working conditions. However, there are some reservations about hybrid working with some people opposed to the idea. This paper assesses the benefits and challenges of the hybrid working model, offering the arguments presented to identify whether it can be an efficient model for future businesses.
Positivity and Productivity
Hybrid working enables companies and employers to build and manage organizational culture. The Covid-19 pandemic has been one of the worst crises the world has ever seen. It has led to cultural and societal shifts, especially regarding how people conduct their businesses. Thus, the pandemic allowed organizations to work with the model. According to the negotiated arrangements, employees and employers had the opportunity to telework for a specified proportion of their working hours. Organizations that offered a hybrid working environment during the pandemic witnessed high scores of effectiveness and positivity among their workforce. The model provided the best working conditions, favored by employers and employees alike.
Recently, there has been rapid growth and development of technology, availability of skills, and digitization at workplaces. Therefore, it was only suitable for organizations to focus and offer their employees human working conditions. When employees believe that the organization’s leadership is doing their best to create a more humane working environment, the overall organizational culture improves, leading to better productivity and positivity (Beno, 2021b). Employees feel that the company cares about them when they are provided with an opportunity to work from home during a specified period and in-person on specific days within the week. This arrangement ensures that employees also gain a sense of gratitude which translates to a happier and more fulfilled working environment.
However, some may argue that hybrid working may adversely affect positivity and productivity within an organization. The argument is based on teambuilding challenges brought by working most of the time remotely. This makes it difficult to maintain or form close relationships with peers and management. Employees and employers working from home conduct informal meetings and lack daily face-to-face discussions (Al-Habaibeh et al., 2021). Therefore, they do not have time to engage their colleagues and iron out some issues that may affect their positivity and organizational output. Also, working from home limits the engagement and influence of leaders and managers, meaning that some tasks might be performed below the expected standards due to a lack of supervision.
One of the most significant benefits of hybrid working is improving and enhancing competitive advantage over rivals. For example, an organization can hire competent, skilled, innovative, and qualified employees regardless of their location. It shows how the model can be effective for the human resource to acquire the best talents within a specified organizational role without sourcing from a pool of local skills (Franzen-Waschke, 2021). This can be an effective and efficient way of gaining the upper hand over competitors. The employment terms can also be based on short-term or long-term while assessing their productivity and influence within the company. It shows that businesses are headed in this direction since their primary goal and objective is to make a profit and improve their productivity over their competitors. It means that companies shortly will turn to hybrid working to enable them to source the best-talented employees.
Nonetheless, some individuals argue that hybrid working allows rival companies to gain a competitive advantage since leaders and employers are always out of touch with their employees and need a wake-up call. An employer’s trust level must be very high to allow their employees to work from home and partly in the office. It means that the employees will have a lot of responsibilities and make better decisions for themselves as individuals and their organizations (Franzen-Waschke, 2021). If they make the wrong decisions, or the hybrid working fails, other companies could take advantage of the situation and shove the organization. It could also lead to significant organizational losses if an employee working from home makes some wrong decisions.
Reduced Commuting and Saved Costs
Another benefit of hybrid working is that employees save a lot of funds that would have otherwise been used for commuting, time wasted, and other practical measures. Employees and employers spend a significant amount of time commuting from home to the workplace. That time is reduced when employees and employers work from home during specified days. Additionally, employees and employers partly working from home enable them to avoid some risks associated with driving from home (Beno, 2021a). For example, driving to work deprives employees of valuable time that they could have efficiently spent with their families, exercising, and sleeping for their well-being. Studies argue that extensive commuting is closely associated with depression, anxiety, obesity, reduced energy and productivity, poor heart health, and increased stress, irrespective of the mode or means of transport. Thus, apart from saving commuting costs, hybrid working is effective in that it provides employees and employers improve physical, emotional, and psychological health.
Those who oppose hybrid working as a future organizational arrangement argue that it would be challenging for some people to communicate or work if they don’t have access to technology. This is especially true for people living in areas with poor infrastructure. Such challenges would make it more challenging to engage each other or in the immediate availability of employees in these conditions. It would signify more individual costs for such employees to either shift to better communities with easier access to technology or address the poor quality and other issues (Al-Habaibeh et al., 2021). Therefore, this model might not suit every employee within an organization.
The Covid-19 pandemic has had considerable effects on everyone in society. Many people lost their lives while others lost their livelihoods. Before the pandemic, my siblings and I rarely had time to spend. They always came home tired. The only time we had together was the weekend when we could watch movies and do some chores together. I noticed they were always physically and psychologically exhausted. However, since the pandemic began, they were afforded more time to work from home. Since then, they have had enough time to organize their working schedule in their home office. They also had enough rest and looked more sharp and healthy. Also, I find it more appealing that their organizations allowed them to work from home during specified days because technological trends allow them as much efficiency, productivity, and innovation as offices do (Franzen-Waschke, 2021). More companies should implement hybrid working to reduce workplace burnout and enhance organizational culture. It is also evident that the working model improves employees’ and employers’ physical, emotional, and psychological health. Some people might be against the proposition, but it has proven to have more benefits than challenges and should thus be a mode of working for future companies.
Conclusion and Recommendation
The hybrid working model should be the future of businesses, and organizations should work hard to implement the proposals. In companies, efficiency and effectiveness do not depend on where employees or employers work. It depends on the results of their work. Therefore, remote working should be judged by its results. The world has witnessed significant changes in business management and technology’s influence on businesses during the past few decades. Some of the challenges facing many organizations today come from external forces requiring innovation and flexibility. For example, the Covid-19 pandemic affected everyone globally, regardless of their political, social, or economic affiliation or class. Therefore, there is a need to ensure that every organization is ready for the external and internal challenges the business world experiences. Hybrid working offers innovation, improved productivity, efficiency, and flexibility to maneuver through these challenges.
Considering the challenges businesses had while ensuring that their businesses got through the pandemic, it is evident that partly working from home would have provided better alternatives. Therefore, although many companies went through significant losses and others closed down their lines of business, hybrid working would have provided the firms with a flexible schedule for their employees and employers. Organizations and companies need to train their employees to ensure they are well-conversant with technology to work from home. This would be the first step towards ensuring they are ready to work remotely whenever their scheduled turn comes. The government and organization’s policies also need to support the model to work effectively and avoid the many challenges that might come with its implementation.
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