The Great Resignation began in early 2021 and is an ongoing trend in the working world. After Covid-19, employees continued to redefine their priorities, and in turn, companies and businesses had to reevaluate previously standard protocols. The great debate of whether to return to the office and how often, if at all, has stretched across sectors, from tech to marketing to manufacturing. While some companies went completely remote and others returned to a pre-2020 state of going into the office daily, many businesses are experimenting with a hybrid approach.
The hybrid work schedule takes many forms. Whether it’s requiring that employees come in certain days of the week, 10 days a month, or spend allotted “flex” days at home and come in regularly, the hybrid model can help your colleagues transition out of 100% remote work and into a schedule that prioritizes efficiency, flexibility, and wellbeing for both employee and employer.
How does the hybrid model work and is it successful at retaining strong employees? A study by the Achievers Workforce Institute found that work-life balance was at the very top of employees' priority list when it came to assessing their job satisfaction. Work-life balance ranked above compensation and recognition and 54% of workers said they would consider quitting their current job if they could retain some flexibility in their schedule and the location where they worked post-pandemic.
And the numbers reflect what employees are prioritizing in surveys: businesses have a 12% reduction in turnover on average when their employees can do some of their work remotely. Not only do these businesses save thousands of dollars in training and onboarding costs, but they also save on property, maintenance, and supply costs.
While this sounds like an easy choice, there are factors that make some employers anxious to embrace continued remote work, even in a part-time, hybrid structure. You might point out that a pre-Covid working model allows for all members of a team to be together every day in the office, which can build strong relationships. Or you might mention that the in-office strategy also allows for a more direct approach to monitoring employee productivity. Employees can even feel anxious or alienated to arrive at a hybrid office space that is relatively empty.
However, consider the flip sides to those “issues”: hybrid employees can still form strong interpersonal connections and even schedule specific days for the entire team to be in the office (i.e., everyone comes in on Thursdays). This simple strategy also avoids team members from feeling isolated when they come to the office and in turn, creates a stronger team feeling that transfers to remote working days. As for concerns about measuring productivity, a hybrid working model is a great way to build two-way trust with your employees and leave behind the practice of “looking over shoulders”. Schedule weekly check-ins or ask for feedback from employees in order to monitor engagement away from the office.
So, as we approach the New Year, consider how the option to work a hybrid schedule might help your employees feel valued and in turn, encourage loyalty, trust, and hard work.
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