Is Vaccination An End To Hybrid Working?

As the Covid-19 immunization carries out across India, a feeling of ordinariness is quickly drawing nearer, as numerous businesses and representatives are anticipating getting back to the workplace as quickly as time permits.


With a work from home request set up, workplaces will gradually begin to open up, however it won’t be a common sight to see office workers heading back to the workplace whenever rules are lifted. Benefits from an improved work-life balance, realised during past and present lockdowns, means we will now see hybrid offices become mainstream. Vaccines will usher in a new normal and work culture, as employees and employers demand jobs that offer the flexibility and benefits of remote work we are now accustomed to.

The New Normal

With vaccinations ramping up across borders, businesses are starting to consider the implications on their workforce, with some companies beginning to draft controversial ‘no jab, no job’ contracts to force staff to get Covid-19 vaccinations. However, whilst vaccinations will play a significant role in getting people back into the office, it doesn’t necessarily mean the end for WFH (working from home). Whether we count it in the name of increased productivity or an improved work-life balance, a number of employees across the globe are seeing the benefits of working from home, and many aren’t even willing to give these up. Instead, they are developing a firm stance upon the fact that flexibility within the office culture should be policy now, rather than a leverage.

Supporting the viewpoint, Prabir Jha, Founder and CEO, Prabir Jha People Advisory is of the similar belief that, “Many jobs can be done equally well from anywhere. As the pandemic has now shown to everyone. The earlier classical view is dead. Flexibility is a practical response.
The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), representing human resources professionals is claiming that there has been a sudden surge in demand calling for flexible work policies, asking to make it the right to request flexible working a day-one right for all employees as well as specify in adverts that jobs can be done flexibly.

The pandemic has forced a number of industries and organisations, To make flexible working a normal norm, who once thought WFH won't be possible within their respective industries.  Hence, according to various reports, regardless of the reasonable advantages of Work from home (WFH), not every person is fit to working distantly, and employees are presently anticipating that their employers should oblige and carry out arrangements that help their necessities and guarantee their prosperity.

Rise Of Hybrid Offices
Companies are starting to recognise that our modern working culture and environment must change to accommodate varying employee needs. In response, companies are adopting policies that enable a hybrid workforce. Countless companies are now publicly committing to hybrid working policies, including Spotify, which announced that their 6,500 staff across 73 countries don’t have to return to an office five days per week once the pandemic has passed. Instead, employees will choose between two work models, the office mix, meaning they can go into one of the offices two or three days per week, or the home mix, which will allow people to drop into the office as needed, but not be based there.

Now the question arises that, with over 56 per cent of employees wanting to continue working from homes, how will the real estate or coworking space players be affected? Also, how should they strategies on attract the employees to begin working from offices? To this, Jha responds by saying that, “in the near term, the situation will stay challenging for these entities.  It will start first by assurances of physical safety and health.  Till there is greater assurance and belief, getting everyone back to work is not a risk that will be taken.”

“Flexibility in hours at work will need to be accepted to avoid the challenges of urban commutes. Finally, getting the magic of collegial working and fun at work will be a challenge to overcome.”
Talking about the concept of Hybrid offices, well, an employees’ well-being is not the only reason that is driving hybrid offices. Whether remote and hybrid working policies remain mainstream after the pandemic ends, will ultimately depend on productivity levels and ability to recruit top talent. It may be too early to tell if we are more productive working from home, however, one study from TalkTalk revealed that more than half of workers (58 per cent) have reported that they have been more productive while WFH. To the amazement of many, a recent study by the World Economic Forum found that GDP will be maximised through increased productivity if employees work from home just once or twice a week. One way this is happening is through reduced commuting times, as employees no longer need to hop on the train for their daily commute to the office.  

The benefits of remote working aren’t isolated to just employees. Companies benefit too, by saving money on office space in large cities, where rents are known for being extortionate. Lloyds bank, for example, has announced plans to reduce office space by 20 percent over the next two years. The bank made the decision following a company survey, which revealed 77 percent of Lloyds’ 68,000 employees want to work from home for three or more days a week in the future.
Hybrid Working Is The Need Of The Hour
Now, in order to accomplish the key advantages of a hybrid workforce, the key source lies in understanding how companies should implement this policy.  Organizations will need to guarantee that they are executing the right innovation that works with correspondence among representatives and groups, regardless of where they are.  Messaging services such as Slack and video conferencing software such as Zoom are just a couple of examples of how technology is now completely integrated into every facet of the average employees’ working day. Technology will play a vital tool in striking a balance between home and in-office workers.

It is clear since we won't just return to pre-pandemic work designs. Organisations and associations should provide their workers the right tools so that efficiency and communication are not compromised, regardless of where they are found. “It will longitudinally play out differently for individuals, firms and industries. Till the cookie crumbles, getting the best out of remote working will be the prevalent theme,” asserts Jha.

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