Hybrid work is the future of work.
Why Not Remote Work?
Initially, remote work meant a healthy work-life balance and an experience of freedom and flexibility that employees did not know their professional life could have.
Workers were smitten by the cost savings and the ability to work from anywhere.
A survey by FlexJobs reported that about 45% of workers save $5,000 per year by working remotely. Additionally, one in five people estimates annual savings of $10,000. And 29% of employees said they save at least $2,600 per year.
In India, research conducted by Awfis found that an average remote employee saves Rupees 5,000 on a monthly basis. In reality, with basic planning, it could mean a lot more.
Human Nature Reigns Supreme
A fully remote work structure is great. In theory.
However, the future always needs to account for human natureif it wants to become the present one-day.
Any and all theoretical advancements have always had to be redesigned to align with the needs and wants of human nature; whether it is the social nature of our existence or the mental make-up of our motivations.
The Internet itself was designed to be free in theory. But some parts of human nature (greed, avarice, immorality, deception, manipulation) required the internet to be reshaped and controlled significantly so that we could all continue to enjoy at least part of the initial promise of freedom.
Remote work, in the beginning, did look like the perfect work model – almost invincible.
But the human need to be in touch with other people to connect, to balance sight and presence and to have in-person conversations over just virtual ones eventually required remote work to tweak itself and settle into the hybrid work model – one that is the best of both worlds.
Remote Work Problems
Despite all the pros, remote work eventually showed signs of not being as perfect a work model as it was touted to be.
For starters, companies, employers, and supervisors complained about how working remotely hurt the collaborative spirit that their teams had earlier.
Even though the tech was ramped up, the void left behind by the absence of human touch, spontaneity and chance interactions was huge.
For employees, studies started showing that employees working from home were putting in more hours at their desks than they did when they worked from the office. Clearly, people started struggling with disconnecting from work because it was really, just in front of them, all day.
With time, fears of a mental health crisis also sprung up.
For instance, research found that 80% of workers in the United Kingdom felt that working remotely had negatively impacted their mental health.
Counter-intuitively, Microsoft’s 2022 New Future of Work Report clarified things by saying that the situation is ”complicated”.
The report found that remote work improves job satisfaction but can also make employees feel “socially isolated, guilty, and trying to overcompensate.”
Hybrid Work: The Chosen One
All of these factors combined have turned the tables in favor of hybrid work; the middle ground that resolves all these hurdles and is in a lot of ways, the best of both worlds.
Hybrid work is now emerging as the most preferred work model for employees and companies.
The same New Future of Work Report also cited various surveys and said that a majority of employees want to “work partly at home and partly in-office.”
Hybrid work cuts down on costs for companies as well. Areas such as real estate and office facilities needed significantly lower cash now, with Global Workplace Analytics’ report confirming companies can save $11,000 for every employee working remotely for half of the week.
A report by NASSCOM and Boston Consulting Group titled ‘Shaping the Future of Work in India’s Tech Industry’ confirms it. It found that 70% of employees prefer a combination of in-office and remote work.
Another global survey conducted by the technology firm HP revealed that Indian employees strongly favour hybrid work.
A section of employees also said that in-office work helps them be at the forefront and showcase their efforts and talent better to open up growth possibilities (like being considered for actually bagging raises and promotions) for themselves.
Simply put, remote work has favorably and thankfully evolved into hybrid work.
Hybrid Work delivers on the principles of flexibility, freedom, work-life integration and balance that remote work promised.