Is the hybrid work model here to stay?
The business community has been a study in transition since the coronavirus pandemic hit. Companies went from an onsite office-based workforce with all employees under the same roof to a remote setup with employees scattered across the map.
As pandemic restrictions eased and companies began to assess the new landscape, the hybrid work model, where employees split their labor between home and the company office, began to emerge as a viable compromise.
Will the hybrid model become the new, permanent way that offices operate, even after the pandemic is no longer a threat and things return to normalcy? Before making a definitive judgment for your business, consider these items:
Hybrid models will grow in popularity.
A survey of CFOs revealed that 74% of the respondents expect to keep a minimum of at least 5% of employees working remotely. A report found that a well-executed hybrid model would make it easier to attract new talent, which could lead in turn to more breakthrough solutions for the company. Data also shows that productivity levels remain high when employees work off-site.
Hybrid models are not without precedent.
In pre-pandemic days, companies such as HubSpot, Twitter and Shopify offered them. In the case of HubSpot, for example, 10% of its employees worked remotely before the pandemic. Even after their offices reopen, HubSpot says that two-thirds of their employees will continue to work remotely. Starting in January 2021, HubSpot offered its workers three options, including a hybrid model that allowed them to come into the office two days a week or fewer.
Hybrid models are not for every company.
Each company must decide for themselves whether a hybrid model is in the best interests of their organization and their employees, and whether the costs—financial and otherwise—are worth it. The cost of maintaining an on-site workforce vary, of course, but some investments that might need to be made to accommodate these workers include adding more square footage for social distancing, upgrading ventilation systems, and paying more for enhanced cleaning and janitorial services.
Additionally, companies may need to rethink their floor plans and possibly replace open-space work areas with traditional private office or cubicles with removable barriers. Also, companies should check to see that their offices comply with new OSHA or local safety regulations for the coronavirus.
Cyberattacks are an ongoing concern.
A recent survey found that one-third of the respondents saw a rise in ransomware attacks via phishing emails. Companies may need to spend more on both security software and employee training. Make sure that employees meet your company's minimum standards for things like Internet connectivity.
Another concern is the number of employees who report using their own personal devices to do company business. This should be discouraged, as company assets and intellectual property are at increased risk. To combat this, consider installing a two-factor or multi-factor authentication protocol or upgrading to a virtual private network.
While it looks as if the hybrid model is here to stay, companies need to decide for themselves the best arrangement for their goals, their employees, and their bottom-lines.
Ricoh has Cloud, Security and a wide range of remote work solutions to meet your digital transformation needs. Watch the video to learn more: