The Future of Work is Hybrid and Employee-Centric

Following the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, remote work was introduced as the new normal. As we become hopeful for a return to a sense of normalcy, it is evident remote work is here to stay. The future of work was redefined, and the revelations from the past year prove both employers and employees can (and should) leverage remote and hybrid work models in their companies.

The Role of the Office is Forever Changed

One of the most important takeaways from nearly a year of remote work is employers are now reimagining the way work is conducted. According to PwC’s US Remote Work Survey, less than one in five executives want to return to the office as it was pre-pandemic. They are acknowledging that work is no longer synonymous with a typical office environment.

Previously, work was thought of somewhere you go. Now, it’s time for companies to make distinctions between what work is and where work is performed. Many organizations discovered that the majority of their employees could perform their roles remotely. This enables not just a work-from-home model, rather a work-from-anywhere model. In this form, employees are empowered to work from a safe, productive location of their choice while continuing to positively impact their organization.

Of course, this does not mean it’s the end of the road for the typical office, as it can still play a significant role in an organization. However, it can be reframed compared to what many of us are used to. The office can now be reimagined as a centralized collaborative hub, primarily used for teamwork and culture building. It no longer must be the location of all work performed, and its role can become more fluid in the organization.

Shifting to an Employee-Centric Focus

One of the most significant challenges employers are now facing is deciding how to construct their hybrid model. They are grappling with the optimum split between in-person and remote work. Unfortunately, there is no “right” answer to this decision. The best balance will be specific to your organization’s needs, and your employees’ opinions.

PwC reports a disconnect between employers’ expectations and employee preferences concerning the return to the office. Accordingly, 55% of employees would prefer to work remotely at least 3 days per week. However, 68% of executives believe employees should work in the office at least 3 days per week. This evinces the importance of understanding the unique needs of your organization, and managing the best balance between differing expectations. 

As an employer, it is more critical than ever to collect feedback from your employees concerning their opinions about returning to the office. Now that employees have a taste of remote work, and its associated flexibility, a hybrid model may provide them a better work-life balance, less commuting, or more safety. Especially with the continued pandemic, employers should gauge comfort levels and accessibility to the office before implementing a strict policy. 

Optimizing the Hybrid Model with VForce

Once your organization has a plan for balancing remote and in-person work, managers must ensure their employees are fully enabled and empowered to perform in this flexible model. This may entail investments into virtual collaboration and additional management training.

VForce focuses on the three most important aspects to ensure your company leverages the benefits of remote and hybrid models. With leadership development, culture analytics, and remote tools, your organization will be fully prepared to excel in the future of work. Our team works with your organization to identify your unique needs, and provides data-driven solutions to maximize your workforce potential. Contact us today for a free consultation!