As we slowly make our way back to some sense of normalcy, some people are returning to the office while others are heading home. Remote and hybrid work were necessary during lockdowns, but now they're the popular choice. Employees and their employers realized that they could be just as much - if not more productive at home. Not only is it possible for more work to be accomplished, but office space, furnishings, and equipment are all a massive expense for companies. Choosing to have employees at home, even on a part-time basis, reduces significant outlay and can simplify employee management.
One big concern for remote workers is tech issues. Having to rely so heavily on technology without the benefit of an IT department downstairs can be worrisome. That's where we come in. We're HubbleIQ, an enterprise SaaS company that provides automated tech support for remote workers.
Here we'll discuss remote and hybrid work models, the benefits of each, and distributed work.
What is a Remote Work Model?
Remote work is a way of working that lets professionals do what they do in non-traditional settings. The idea is that people don't have to work in office settings to be productive or successful.
So instead of going into the office every day, a remote employee will set up a home office or designated workspace to do projects and assignments. They may choose usual work hours or work when they feel most productive - early in the day or the evening. As long as the work is done, it usually doesn't matter. Remote employees have the freedom to carry out their work responsibilities in any way they want. They can effectively combine their work and personal lives for the benefit of both.
Some technology and equipment may be necessary to get work done at home or in other remote locations. The employer usually provides this to ensure the highest quality of work.
Remote workers can also work in co-working spaces. These are locations with ample office-style workspaces and often include office equipment like printers, copiers, wifi, and smaller necessities. These spaces offer community, networking opportunities, and an office away from the office for a regular fee.
What are The Benefits of a Remote Work Model for Employees and Employers?
The remote work model has many benefits to both the employee and the employer.
Benefits for Employees
- Renewed passion for work. Office environments can be challenging for many reasons, but working remotely can re-inspire employees and motivate them to bring new love to their work.
- Flexibility. One of the biggest reasons people choose remote work is the flexibility. They have the freedom to work in comfortable surroundings, at times of day that work for them, and can better balance work and family life. They aren't restricted to an employer's schedule, so if they have to collect their children from school, for instance, they can fit it in around work.
- Better mental and physical health. Difficult co-workers, office politics, and dominating managers can make the office a stressful place to be. Remote workers are less stressed and more motivated. Simply removing a long, daily commute positively affects employees' mental health. Lower absentee rates are also a result of employees working in a less stressed, more comfortable environment.
Benefits for Employers
- Financial savings. Companies have to pay significantly less overhead when some employees work remotely. Office space and office furniture are huge expenses, so when these can be reduced, it does good for its bottom line.
- Greater productivity. The increased flexibility and motivation of working in a more relaxed setting helps employees be more productive. They are more motivated to invest in their work and engage on a higher level.
- Better engagement. The remote work model offers opportunities for employers to engage the best talent available. This helps retention rates which represent another sizeable financial saving. Employees who work remotely report they feel happier and more valued in their work.
What is a Hybrid Work Model?
The hybrid work model is similar to remote work. Employees will work some of the week at home and the rest in the office. It is usually tailored to the employee and the work they do. Employers may have some employees who work remotely, some who work both at home and in the office, and others who work full-time from the office. Some companies may implement a more rigid ratio of time in and out of the office.
Employees who use the hybrid work model can blend work from different locations - the office, home, or traveling. It provides many of the same advantages of remote work but allows companies to have a closer connection to their employees. This might be necessary depending on the employee's role in the company.
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What are The Benefits of a Hybrid Work Model for Employees and Employers?
The hybrid work model has many of the same benefits to both the employee and the employer as the remote work model.
- Greater employee satisfaction and productivity. The newfound freedom and flexibility empower employees and cause more productivity. They feel valued and trusted in their work, in an environment better suited to their personal needs. Employees who work in a hybrid work model tend to thrive, enjoying better work-life balance.
- Better mental health. Working from home, at least sometimes, reduces a large amount of work-related stress. This gives the employee a sense of autonomy and control over their lives, which is hugely beneficial to their mental health. The flexibility employees enjoy allows them to prioritize the things that matter most to them, contributing to a happier life.
- Continual learning opportunities. Hybrid employees have a chance to improve or learn new skills in addition to their work. The employer or the employee can initiate this personal or professional development. The company benefits because the worker can produce a higher quality of work, and their job performance improves with the learning.
- Enhanced relationships and collaborations. A hybrid worker may be called upon to collaborate with other hybrid workers on projects or assignments. They can develop better organization and communication skills, along with team-building. In-person and virtual meetings provide opportunities for knowledge sharing, mentorship, and creating professional relationships.
The Five Most Common Types of Remote and Hybrid Work Models
Here are the five most common types of remote and hybrid work models.
The Office-Centric Hybrid Model
In this model, the employer requires their employees to be in the office most of the time but allows just one or two days per week for working at home. Companies choose this model so they can maintain company cohesion and teamwork. This method also allows companies to be in close contact with employees to oversee work more efficiently.
The Remote-ish (or Remote Friendly) Hybrid
A company that adopts this model may allow employees to work from home or another location a couple of days per week and have many employees who work remotely all the time. The remote work may not be as flexible as usual, and employers may attach specific guidelines. Remote employees can feel disconnected and be cut off from ready information, office perks, and promotion opportunities.
The Fully Flexible Hybrid
Employees who use this model can choose when they work from home and the office. This model may be the most desirable for employees, but it can be problematic. Employees who flee the office and work solely from home may find that the disadvantages of remote work are amplified for them. They may feel isolated and disconnected from those who work in the office regularly.
The Remote (or Virtual)-First Model
The remote-first model means that most (if not all) employees work remotely. A company that uses this model isn't just open to remote work; they actively encourage it. These companies build their entire structure around remote workers - first. While many of the downfalls of remote work won't apply here, it can be hard to feel connected.
The Hybrid Remote-Office Model
Companies that use this model offer employees a 'menu' of options. They can choose from working remotely, flexible (hybrid), or in-office. This model is more attractive to potential hires but brings the disadvantages of remote work into play.
What is Distributed Work?
Finally, distributed work may be carried out remotely involving a coordinated effort across different locations or time zones. All of the above models are distributed work. It just involves how work is done, not where.
The Bottom Line
Gone are the days of rigid work models that don't consider the whole person. Employees are more than the work they produce, and employers who realize that their companies can prosper while accommodating their employees' wellbeing are revolutionizing work. Remote and hybrid models can bring the most productivity, inspiration, and profitability to any organization.
We believe the future is digital and distributed. How about you? We provide remote automated tech support for regular people working remotely. Visit HubbleIQ to learn more.