BY Newbiz team
In-person and remote work settings are combined in hybrid working methods which is a flexible method of conducting business.
In the era before the COVID-19 pandemic, traditional office settings dominated the business landscape. Employees commuted daily to centralised offices, in-person meetings were the norm, and face-to-face collaboration was highly emphasised. Companies invested heavily in physical office spaces and infrastructure to foster a strong sense of workplace community.
However, when the pandemic hit, businesses had to pivot rapidly. Lockdowns and social isolation measures forced a sudden shift to remote work, making it the new standard. This abrupt transformation prompted companies to reevaluate their operations and explore the benefits of hybrid work arrangements.
Hybrid working emerged as a flexible solution to balance the advantages of remote work with the need for in-person collaboration. Firms invested in technology, including secure VPNs and video conferencing tools, to facilitate remote work. Employees received the necessary resources to be productive from home.
As the pandemic unfolded, businesses began to see the cost-saving benefits of hybrid work, including reduced office space expenses, enhanced employee flexibility, and access to a broader talent pool. Many companies adopted long-term hybrid work policies, allowing employees to split their time between the office and remote locations. This transition also brought changes to management styles and organisational culture. Managers had to adapt to leading distributed teams, emphasising trust and productivity over constant oversight. Online training and virtual team-building became vital for maintaining a sense of community and skill development.
Companies also reimagined office spaces, transforming them into collaboration hubs rather than traditional workstations. With flexible office layouts and reservation systems, employees could utilise office space as needed, optimising physical amenities. COVID-19 accelerated the adoption of hybrid working practices, reshaping the business landscape. The question now is not "work from home" or "in the office" but finding a middle ground that prioritises productivity and results.
Saif Gauchan, the CEO of Marco Nepal Pvt. Ltd - a company founded in 2018 specialising in digital branding, said the hybrid working approach simplifies work, altering the pattern of the working environment. People are increasingly inclined to work from home due to the changes in their working styles during the pandemic, appreciating the familiarity and tranquillity it offers for innovative thinking, he added.
When people work from home, should we even have a real office? Or should we just save our money and stay in? How do workers feel a part of a company culture, their team, and that they belong at work if firms go entirely remote? What cultural repercussions result from not having a location to gather with coworkers? It would be intriguing to explore that conundrum. Aside from culture (for now), several firms successfully implemented hybrid work to increase productivity and growth.
“The challenges in a company adopting a hybrid working model are that it can be difficult to communicate about the strategies because many employees prefer working from home rather than in an office, making it difficult for them to comprehend what exactly we are planning because it involves online communication rather than one-on-one communication,” Gauchan said. “Hybrid work has some benefits, but it also has some drawbacks.”
According to Gauchan, the decisions and priorities set ultimately determine everything. “Firstly, in order for organisations to successfully implement hybrid work, they must comprehend, accept, and cope with the complicated issues that come with it. There are technologies like space management software that can help with the changeover from a traditional to a hybrid office,” he said. “Organisations must first understand the problem and the desired outcome before diving in and putting solutions into place.”
Guachan added that hybrid models must be approached in a different way. “Every business is unique, with its own difficulties, individuals, and priorities. Two businesses in the same industry that are vying for the same types of customers may run and act entirely differently. It's hardly a "one size fits all" strategy, in all honesty,” he said, adding that hybrid working is here to stay.
He also said employers must develop a strategy, set priorities, and consider the effects the decision can have on the environment at work, the people who work there and teamwork.
“IT professionals typically have the freedom to work remotely because much of their work can be done online or through remote access to services and systems. These jobs are appropriate for hybrid working techniques, where employees split their time between working in the office and remotely,” Gauchan said. “Remote work is possible in the marketing and communications fields, particularly for jobs involving email marketing, social media administration, and content development.”
According to Gauchan, customer care personnel can frequently address questions and problems from their homes if they possess the required software and equipment.
“The flexibility and structure must be balanced in a hybrid workplace to ensure accountability and productivity. Employees should adapt their strategy to fit the expectations and policies of their employers while doing what works best for them,” he added.