Is-Hybrid-Work-Model-The-Right-Approach

During a global lockdown, the world had to experiment and transition quickly to a new work arrangement, forcing many startups to redirect and redefine themselves.

Remote working and work from home policies were the outcomes. However, the nature of some organisations and industries don’t allow for complete remote work. So a balance between the two created a business model combining remote work with office work, producing what’s known as the hybrid workplace model.

What is the Hybrid Model of work, and will it work for your tech startup?

What-is-the-Hybrid-Model-of-work-and-will-it-work-for-your-tech-startup

In a hybrid model, a subset of the company might commute and work physically in the same space, while some employees work remotely. 

The hybrid model differs from all-remote. There is no single headquarters in an all-remote company, with employees free to live and work in any place and part of the world.

The benefits a Hybrid model could provide :

1. An increased focus on productivity

Traditionally, employers required the workforce to be present at the office, ensuring required hours worked and maximising efficiency. However, the focus now is to improve productivity—supporting teammates with the resources they need and scoping projects in a transparent workflow.

2. Reduced costs

The lesser the number of employees working in offices, the lesser the resources required. With fewer employees working from an office, startups get to save resources.

From rental costs to office supplies such as food, beverages, water, electricity, etc., office expenses are reduced in every aspect, while employees benefit from cutting down on commuting costs.

3. An emphasis on flexibility

Flexibility has proven to be the most powerful factor in employee encouragement, positively impacting employees and intensifying their work engagement.

Also Read:  How to Upskill Your Tech Team in the Digital Era

Greater flexibility means increased productivity, as each member can work in the environment that makes them most productive.

Another positive to hybrid work is promoting a better work/life balance, which has only got more blurry. Workers can feel less exposed to stress and burnout. Employees can feel safer without any threat to their health and feel more comfortable performing their tasks.

How to implement a Hybrid model?

1. Use your tech

While the hybrid work model is in process, employers want to ensure that the team’s transparency is maintained and everyone aligns with their daily tasks.

Companies now apply specific tech tools to manage employees and their schedules, events, tasks, and the general workflow.

Tech tools will allow a startup to engage digitally, accommodating it to connect with its employees constantly.

Project management tools have helped manage ongoing projects and record them. Offices can now note employees’ availability and scheduled tasks. Chat apps also allow employers to track each employee’s performance. In addition, collaboration apps like Google Drive and Microsoft Teams have emerged, assisting companies in adopting hybrid work.

Some companies have designated Slack channels or ask teams to work on teleconference calls to address this.

2. Customise Your Company’s Hybrid Model

While a hybrid model can give workers the flexibility they desire and maximise employee engagement and productivity, startups must take an intentional approach.

There is no one-size-fits-all arrangement for hybrid workplaces, and a startup might need to figure out what hybrid structure will serve them best.

  • Encourage employees to determine their work/life harmony, allowing them to set their work hours and workplace, as long as optimum participation in team activities and work output isn’t compromised. The hybrid work model will include a broad mix of employees—fully remote, entirely on-site, or some combination of the two. Chances are, employees will also work various schedules in different time zones.
  • Prioritise empathetic communication and listening. Look out for signs if an employee is suffering from remote work fatigue.
  • Strategise the onboarding process to ensure all the team members get an opportunity to know each other.
  • Maintain a sense of enthusiasm through virtual events or activities to keep up everyone’s spirit.
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3. Beware of Potential Hybrid Workforce Pitfalls

Hybrid work has its complications and drawbacks. The key is to look out for a ‘distance bias’ – a situation wherein hybrid employees working remotely aren’t provided with the same access to information, professional development, and recognition as on-site employees.

In a hybrid model, it’s easy to bypass remote employees, which may alienate your remote employees. Therefore, it’s crucial to focus on building an inclusive work environment.

Team members should have the same access to the technologies required, managers and the HR department. Ensure career advancement opportunities are available to all employees, irrespective of whether they’re working from the office or not.

Founders and CEOs should be extra-vigilant about company culture. An inclusive approach takes empathy and a conscious effort to manage a diverse, dispersed workforce. Hybrid workforce leaders must cultivate trust with their employees and between teams and trust their workers.

The Takeaway

The pandemic has entirely shattered the concept of nine-to-five and now focuses on meeting employees in the middle and letting them operate in ways that work best for them. A startup needs the best people, and limiting geography or specific timelines has become obsolete. Hybrid workplaces can bring more resiliency to startups by allowing good talent to work in an environment that’s productive for them.

Also Read: How to Hire Developers the Right Way and 5 Key Takeaways


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