During the COVID-19 pandemic, many businesses were forced to shift to remote work to keep their employees safe and to comply with lockdown restrictions. With many employees having experienced greater flexibility and work-life balance during this time, it is no wonder that few wish to return to the traditional 9-to-5 workday in a physical office setting. This sudden shift between working models has led to the development and preference amongst many Australians to a ‘Hybrid Working Model’.
Hybrid working combines remote work with office-based work. It allows employees to schedule and balance their work efforts between home or any other location of their choosing, while still having the option to come into the office when needed. This new model offers countless benefits for both employees and employers.
Since the hybrid working model allows employees to manage their own schedules, it affords greater flexibility and control over work and personal commitments, increasing employee satisfaction and work life balance. This is particularly true for employees that have long commutes who can replace wasted driving hours with productive personal and work efforts. It is worth noting that this also reduces the carbon footprint of businesses as few people are commuting to work and therefore reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
The model also offers unique opportunities for employers to tap into a wider talent pool. Businesses can now tap into a diverse range of employee skill sets and experience levels, as they are no longer constrained by geographical limitations within hiring.
There hybrid model varies between businesses as it is tailored to individual employer and employee needs, however there are 5 common versions:
- Remote Dominant – Working remotely is the primary place of work. It is an employee’s choice to work from the office when desired or needed.
- Office Dominant – The office is the primary place of work. Very few employees work remotely, and most leadership roles are required to remain in the office.
- Assigned Days – The employer and employee determine routine ‘set’ days that the employee works remotely and ‘set’ days for the office.
- Weekly Blocks – Employees can choose to work remotely for several weeks and then alternate, spending an equal amount of time working from the office as they do remotely.
- Office Occasionally – Working remotely is the primary place of work. The employer will specify a specific day (weekly, bi-weekly or monthly) in which the employee MUST work from the office.
In a competitive and changing world of work, businesses should recognise that work is ‘what we do’ not ‘where we do it from’, and create spaces that enable people to thrive regardless of location.
It is no easy task to make the hybrid transition and the AHR Team can help your business with this. We can tell you what you need to do, we can give you the tools and show you how to do it, and/or we can do it for you. Prior to initiating the hybrid working model, we advise that you review and develop remote working policies and procedures ensuring that these are inclusive of specific communication policies, adjust employee agreements to reflect changes, and conduct WHS reviews of each remote workplace. If you need any assistance or advice, please call the AHR Team on 1800 577 515 and we will help to solve your workplace problems.