Are Hybrid Workplaces the Future of Startups?


Remote work existed before the COVID-19 pandemic, but it occupied a distant corner of the workplace discourse. When stopping the spread of disease became a national priority, a whopping 95% of office workers transitioned to working remotely at least part of the time. After an extended trial period, the results are in. 97% of workers now say they prefer working remotely. Such a response would have been impossible to conceive of two years ago.

Why do so many people like remote work? The most popular answers are as follows. 79% of workers were happy to eliminate their daily commute. 73% believe remote work has allowed them to achieve a better work-life balance for themselves. 46% even increased their time spent with family. Given the overwhelming popularity, one would think businesses would maintain as much remote time in their workplace as possible. This is not the case across the board; only half of employees feel that their current employer meets their expectations. As a result, 24% of Americans plan to switch jobs as the pandemic ends. A third are even willing to take a pay cut to continue working from home.

Remote Work Doesn’t Work for All

Remote work may be relatively new for most positions, but businesses have little reason to resist the change. Having employees work from home can benefit businesses too. For each employee working at home 2 or 3 days a week, a business saves up to $11,000. Some of those savings come from lower office costs, but others arise from reduced employee absence and turnover combined with higher productivity levels. If employees are more productive in a flexible work environment, why would a manager choose to deny them that opportunity?

Unfortunately, not every single job can be taken out of the office. Just 37% of all US jobs can be done entirely at home. Hence the need for hybrid workplaces; allow employees into the office when necessary and give them the remote option the rest of the time. The exact ratio of hours spent in person versus virtually varies by both company and position. Some companies expect their leadership to work from the office while the rest of their staff stays remote. Others expect all employees to occupy office space at different times, be it on the company’s schedule or their own. Still others want to choose one work mode as default and allow the other only in times of need. The trick to hybrid work is that no one model suits every company’s needs. Only by assessing one’s business and communicating with employees can an employer know what’s right for them.

Transitioning to hybrid work presents challenges beyond the basic model. Use of office space needs to be coordinated if employees are expected to switch off use of a single space. Managers need to make sure their remote employees feel just as included as in person ones, and vice versa. This allows a better sense of collaboration to develop between employees. Building hybrid workplaces lay groundwork for the future.

Are Hybrid Workplaces The Future? -

Brian Wallace is a Columnist at Grit Daily. He is an entrepreneur, writer, and podcast host. He is the Founder and President of NowSourcing and has been featured in Forbes, TIME, and The New York Times. Brian previously wrote for Mashable and currently writes for Hacker Noon, CMSWire, Business 2 Community, and more. His Next Action podcast features entrepreneurs trying to get to the next level. Brian also hosts #LinkedInLocal events all over the country, promoting the use of LinkedIn among professionals wanting to grow their careers.

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