Employees hope for hybrid working arrangements

Gemma O'Connor

April 06 2021

Sigmar recently released the findings of their study on the future of work post-COVID-19.

They found that just 34% of employees expect to return to the office full time and that two-thirds will see “permanent changes in their work practices.” 

The survey’s findings suggest that a major shift in the way we work is on the way ─ a shift your business might benefit from.

Is hybrid working the way forward?

Sigmar’s survey found that 44% of the Irish workforce are hoping to work between the office and home, e.g., hybrid. 92% of that group are also looking to work three or fewer days in the office.

This presents a range of HR challenges for businesses. Among the challenges, employers must reassess office space requirements and decide how to manage a remote workforce. 

What is a hybrid work model?

A hybrid work model allows staff to divide their time between working remotely and in the office. To optimise results, it’s crucial that you assess how best this model can be implemented and overseen. The key question is whether it will be possible to maintain a satisfactory level of productivity.

One indicator of productivity you can rely on, should it apply to your business, is how well your employees have adapted to remote working. An arrangement that has grown in popularity over the past 12 months, you’ll already have a good idea of how well your employees work from home.

That said, you’ll still need to identify the roles best suited to hybrid working in the long term. In doing so, consider restructuring workloads, employee engagement, and managing workflows. A full review of existing policies in the areas of homeworking will also be necessary if it hasn’t already been undertaken.

Look for employee feedback

When devising your hybrid working plan, you’ll need to identify which employees wish to work from home. The Sigmar survey suggests that a third of workers do intend to return to the office full time. For some staff, such as those who live alone, heading into the office adds a social aspect to their day that they don’t want to forfeit. Others may simply have no suitable space at home for a workspace. Whatever the reason, it’s important to ask your employees their opinion before you implement hybrid work.

Free Download: Health & Safety checklist for employees working from home

Hybrid opportunities

COVID-19 restrictions forced businesses to think on their feet about on how they could continue operating successfully. That led to swift changes, such as employees making the switch to remote working. And it may also lead to significant changes down the line, perhaps even the lowering of overheads by renting a smaller office space.

Having a hybrid working model in place might also attract new talent and help to retain existing employees. Furthermore, businesses can broaden their search geographically when carrying out their talent search. In certain circumstances, qualified candidates from around the country could conceivably be eligible for recruitment.

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