For the past six months, many of us have been forced to work remotely—with the exception of the essential workers, of course—catapulting a whole new normal for many professions. While working from home on occasion is nothing new, working from home every day has presented many challenges for business professionals.
From childcare issues to lack of engagement from teams to mental health battles and so much more in between, COVID, in a sense, has turned our world upside down—and some professions more than others. But with change comes a sense of hopefulness, and the best leaders are the ones who can find ways to adapt to that change.
That’s why we’re seeing positive aspects to the remote work environment emerging. And as the U.S. economy continues its reopening, businesses are figuring out how to make the best of both worlds.
A hybrid model that allows teams the option for a mix of in-office and at-home days each week seems to fare better than 100% of staff doing either. I came across a good article that tackles much of this topic and thought I’d add some of my own insight to their points. Read my 3 Reasons to Build a Hybrid Workforce below.
- Creates a better balance.
Doing all or nothing of anything doesn’t usually work. We’re seeing that engagement levels among professionals is best when presented with options. Options lead to balance and that’s exactly what a hybrid model gives. Workers who have the option to go into the office and work from home can accomplish more. When in the office, they can achieve certain responsibilities such as managing their teams, meeting face-to-face (with social distancing precautions in mind), and tending to projects that are better dealt with in-person. Working from home alleviates any commute time, allows for more personal time with loved ones, and gives other perks like being able to wear your pajamas during Zoom calls. It’s the balance of getting to leverage both work models that can make managers and their teams remain positive and productive.
- Lends itself to self-care and better wellbeing.
Most individuals are the best versions of themselves when they’re healthy and happy. Who doesn’t want a team member who is more likely to be engaged and raring to go? When someone is run down or not taking care of themselves, they can fall behind on deadlines or miss work for health-related reasons. The option to work from home on certain days can give someone more time to exercise, eat healthy and get more rest. While still having days in the office can keep relationships fresh and nurtured. Everyone wins when you allow time for self-care which is what businesses are gaining from a hybrid model.
- Sparks more engagement.
Overall, what’s missing with a fully remote work environment is a true sense of engagement with your teams and colleagues. While virtual calls are sufficient to a point, nothing beats human contact with each other in person. Relationship building is a large part of corporate culture and trying to find that virtually doesn’t always work. A 100% in-office format might not be prudent for businesses at this time. Therefore, a blend of at-home and in-office schedules seems to be a nice consolation to the challenges we are all going through.
What are some other positive aspects of the blend of both work-from-home and in-office model? Comment with your experiences below!