Hybrid Working in 2024: Make the Most of Flexible Working

Simplifying workplace access for the hybrid working environment

The hybrid work model has become a norm for companies worldwide and is essential for going digital. Employees now prefer hybrid workspace as opposed to the physical office. This allows them to have a better
work-life balance. Keeping track of when these employees come and go and empowering them for success can be a bit difficult.

However, businesses can leverage technology to address these concerns. Using the Pitney Bowes Smart Access Management® (SAM) system allows you to have intuitive access management that simplifies your hybrid setup. It enables contactless sign-in options which the employees can use to log their attendance.

What is hybrid working?

To keep it short and simple, hybrid working is when the workplace offers flexibility by allowing the staff members to carry out their daily tasks from home. However, hybrid workers might be required to come to the office every now and then.

Companies have varying hybrid policies and some employees under a hybrid work model may have the freedom to decide their own work schedule. But their hybrid work schedule must be aligned with company policies. Organisations using a hybrid working setup ensure a better work-life balance and drive more productivity.

It helps create a company culture where employees are more engaged at work. This increased engagement means hybrid employees enjoy what they do. Businesses can use technological solutions that allow digital check-ins to manage employees and visitors. 

What is the difference between hybrid working and remote working? 

Most people often mistake remote and hybrid work for being the same thing. In a remote working setup, employees perform their daily tasks outside the office space. Remote workers are not required to come to the office.

A remote company culture basically means that the organisation does not have any in-office employees. However, a hybrid company culture means some employees work from the office and others from remote locations.

What are the benefits of hybrid work model for employees? 

Hybrid working models are gaining immense popularity after the pandemic. However, businesses should consider things like the use of the office space and technology before reopening based on a hybrid setup. Some of the many benefits employees have as a result of the hybrid setup include: 

Better work-life balance

Hybrid employees don’t have to come to the office on a regular basis. This allows them to save the time and resources needed to drive back and forth. Hybrid workers can then use this time for leisure activities or catching up on chores helping them maintain an optimal work-life balance.

Increased Motivation 

Hybrid workers don’t have to spend time commuting and are, therefore, less tired. This allows them to have greater levels of energy during working hours. It helps them stay motivated throughout the day and makes them more productive. 

Improved Well-being 

A hybrid work model allows employees to enjoy more free time. They can use this time to focus on their mental health and recreation activities. This allows them to tackle issues like work-induced stress and helps them improve their overall well-being. 

What are the benefits of hybrid working model for companies?

Business owners with a traditional mindset believe that hybrid working is only beneficial for employees. But, the truth is, it can also benefit companies. A hybrid working setup allows companies to have: 

Reduced absenteeism 

A hybrid working arrangement helps employees manage their personal lives better. Employee happiness increases when workers can manage their lives. These employees are less likely to be absent when compared to those working in the office full-time. Businesses can use SAM solutions to monitor the attendance of hybrid workers.

Lower operational costs

When employees work from home, they don’t require office resources. This allows businesses to cut back on office space expenses ike workstations, office space heating, internet connections and more. 

Better employee retention 

A hybrid workplace promotes flexible working among employees. This means employees working remotely are free to set their own schedules. It helps employees feel valued, increases job satisfaction, and allows companies to retain employees. 

What are the challenges of a hybrid work environment?

Companies and the hybrid workforce both have to face and have to address business continuity challenges. Some of the challenges include: 

In-person collaboration 

Certain work-related tasks require employees from different departments to collaborate with each other. In tasks where communication is necessary in-person collaboration may become a problem.

However, collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams can help address these concerns. These tools encourage collaboration by promoting employee engagement and help gather continuous feedback.

Managing hybrid teams

Managing people effectively is a severe challenge that comes with a hybrid working environment. Human resource (HR) and department managers must ensure all employees working outside the physical office environment are available as directed.

Businesses can use multiple collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams to manage their hybrid teams and on-site workers. However, choosing the right tools is essential for getting the required results. 

Creating seamless connectivity 

Creating seamless connectivity is another challenge that comes with hybrid work setups. On-site employees are connected to the internet using the same network. But, remote employees may use a personal internet connection.

This can be a major problem for businesses if the performance of these connections varies and can lead to increased security risks. To address these concerns, businesses should provide internet devices to remote workers.

What are the different types of hybrid working models? 

Hybrid working, alongside things like technological adaptation and digital invoicing, has now become a necessity for businesses worldwide. It has many advantages, like cost savings and hiring from a wider talent pool.

There are many different hybrid models businesses can implement. However, choosing the right hybrid model depends on their workplace strategy, and the model’s effectiveness depends on the company’s team-building potential.

Common hybrid work models include:

  • Fixed hybrid work model - organisations set hybrid working schedules for remote workers.
  • Office first hybrid model - a flexible working setup where team members are expected on site but can choose when to do remote work.
  • Split-week hybrid setup - companies decide when different departments will be present on-site and when they will work remotely.

Does hybrid work increase reliance on technology?

In short, yes. Hybrid work and remote work both require businesses to leverage technology. The pandemic, coupled with a need for greater productivity, makes hybrid work a feasible alternative. Businesses can use cloud-based applications to promote collaboration and make sure tasks are performed as needed.

Remote team members come and go from the on-site office frequently. Therefore, businesses need intelligent managed access solutions. This can help them ensure safety and monitor employee attendance. Before integrating these technologies for hybrid work, businesses must consult with their IT departments as it can lead to hybrid work success.

What should businesses consider before implementing a hybrid model?

Businesses, before using a hybrid work setup, need to assess whether or not a hybrid workplace is suitable for them. In some cases, the organisational culture might not be suitable for hybrid work setups, and this can limit their progress. So, before implementing a hybrid work setup, businesses should consider:

Is hybrid working good for their employees?

Businesses need to consider the type of employee they have. Some employees prefer guidance and training in person, and others may not. However, if most employees require assistance from their seniors, a hybrid environment might not be right for your business.

What technologies are needed to make the hybrid working model a success?

Businesses must consider what technological solutions can help them transition to a hybrid working setup. Some of these right tools include workplace sign-in or employee sign-in systems and hybrid workplace security systems.

In addition, businesses need to understand hybrid team members will come and go from the office frequently. A contactless visitor management system can help businesses track their timings easily.

What changes to the office will be needed?

When businesses choose to implement a hybrid working setup, they must reconsider the resource they are using. If hybrid work is a success for them, they can even abandon their office in lieu of a coworking space. However, businesses may need coworking space software or desk booking systems to ensure effective space management. 

What are some best practices for shifting to a hybrid work model?

Shifting to hybrid models might seem pretty simple, but it can be challenging as it requires major changes. To shift to a hybrid work setup successfully, you need the right people, procedures and technologies. Some best practices that will make your shift successful include:

Communicating with your employees

Your employees should be well aware of the changes being made as the decision will affect them and how their work. You should keep them in the loop and ask for their input or feedback on hybrid work policies.

Creating the right environment

Before implementing a hybrid model, you need to create the right environment. You should promote the use of technological solutions and regularly conduct team development exercises. This will improve employee collaboration and can increase productivity.

Connecting with employees

When implementing a hybrid working model, some employees will be on-site while others work remotely. It’s important to keep in contact with the team members of the hybrid workforce so they feel they’re not being left out. This will help them feel valued and will increase their morale.

How can Pitney Bowes improve your hybrid workplace?

The Pitney Bowes SAM is an effective solution that can help you transition to a hybrid working model. Managers can use it to authorise and control access for both remote and on-site workers, visitors, and contractors. It even has a sign-in system that can help manage employee attendance.

The Pitney Bowes SAM is centred on three core values:

  • Technology - provides real-time monitoring and data-driven tracking capabilities.
  • Operations - enables access management for onsite and remote workers.
  • Strategy - can be customised to meet strategic and security compliance policies.

Using this SAM solution has many benefits. Businesses can use it for managing access. It has secure cloud-based storage that ensures the protection and integrity of business information. It also helps businesses capture accurate data and make decisions based on those insights.

Final Thoughts

Hybrid work is no longer an option and is rapidly becoming necessary for businesses worldwide. A hybrid work environment benefits employees, like better work-life balance and increased motivation. It also allows companies to reduce office space costs and increase productivity.

Businesses can implement many types of a hybrid work setup. However, they must consider which is right for the culture and what technologies are needed to ensure its success. Get in touch now and learn how Pitney Bowes can help you transition to a hybrid work environment through its smart access management services.