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Hybrid working

In a crisis, it is important to adapt quickly to new events. Organisations with hybrid business and work models will better withstand the pandemic and guarantee their existence in the future.

Hybrid working is a style of working where employees can choose from a range of settings depending on the nature of their work, combined with a workplace experience that allows them to use those spaces throughout the day. The idea is that employees will be more productive if they have the right spaces for the tasks they need to accomplish.
“ Hybrid work : A form of location-independent work in which the workplace and the composition of teams are chosen according to the task at hand. ”
What is hybrid work?
The task determines the 'where', not the other way around. In hybrid work cultures, the choice of work location is not determined by the available building, but by the type of work, the purpose of the activity, the desired degree of interaction, the efficiency of communication and the personal preferences of employees and clients.

A few days a week at the office, the remainder of the working hours spend 'elsewhere'. Remote employees still feel the need to come across colleagues in the corridors, have a chat over coffee or brainstorm together more efficiently. This is not necessarily required every working day, though. You can also read 'Is the office of the future simply a gathering place?’ for a glimpse of the office of the future for many organisations.
What is important in hybrid work?
As remote working has become a necessity over the past year, companies - some of which were sceptical about permitting remote working - have shown that it is possible to maintain productivity and communication. In the beginning, it was mostly done on an ad hoc basis. Now that a structural trend for hybrid working is becoming visible, it’s time to think about a structural design of the organisation to realise this:
BakkerElkhuizen has defined 3 pillars and corresponding elements for a well-organised Hybrid Working policy.
  1. Culture and leadership: Culture, steering, personal responsibility, coaching, collaboration and individual, concentrated work
  2. Organisation: reconsideration of processes and work locations
  3. Systems and locations: location-independent IT infrastructure and flexible workplace layout
The article 'The three pillars of hybrid work' elaborates on each of these pillars.
Advantages of hybrid working?
Hybrid working provides opportunities for both employers and employees. Working from home became a forced reality by the hand of COVID-19. In the past year, TNO and CNV conducted several surveys to find out how this shift was experienced. They reveal that it is experienced as very positive, but that a balance is desirable – dividing working hours between office and home. Hybrid work therefore offers a solution for many individuals and organisations!

More Professional Joy
Employees appreciate the fact that they can combine work with their private situation and personal needs as they see fit. Time is therefore used more effectively. Take, for example, the number of meetings that are replaced by shorter online meetings and the elimination of travel time. Studies have shown that concentration and productivity increase when working from home. In addition, hybrid work makes people feel more responsible and they experience increased self-confidence. In short, hybrid working results in more happiness at work.

Higher productivity
With hybrid working, employees are more productive and more concentrated than in the office when working, for example, in an open-plan office. There is no disruption from conversations and noise from communicating colleagues. Net working hours are therefore higher with hybrid work than with traditional forms of working.

Employees are no longer queuing up in traffic jams every morning and evening. This is good news for the environment, but also for the wallet and energy levels of the employees themselves, who finish the working day less tired. Hybrid working also has an impact on the amount of office space required and, indirectly, on energy consumption. Sustainability in hybrid working relates to both the environment and individual well-being.
The workplace in hybrid work
We therefore support the implementation of a sound 'Hybrid Working' policy with our knowledge, physical workplace solutions and our corporate health software. We identify 5 types of workplaces, which can serve as a guideline for designing a Hybrid Working strategy for the organisation.

By paying sufficient attention to the design of workstations and the health of employees, you can prevent complaints and potential long-term absence. According to the trade union CNV, almost half of all remote employees suffer from physical complaints, such as back, neck, shoulder and arm issues.

Whether you work entirely mobile, mainly at home or mainly in the office, a good workplace is essential for hybrid work. Mobile devices can be used when it is not possible or practical to set up a permanent workplace at a work location (including at home).
Does hybrid work also present challenges?
Does hybrid work also present challenges?
To make hybrid work a success, it is important to overcome a number of challenges.
  • Scheduling must be more precise, which requires a clear protocol and policy from the company.
  • Employees will have different expectations of HR/Management, which will play an important role in hybrid working. A connection must be ensured without compromising the freedoms of the hybrid working system.
  • Studies have shown that people often work longer hours at home. This can lead to disruptions in the work-life balance.

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