Best of both for employers and employees
By Ben Smith, HR Advisor at Datel, 8th September 2021
Since the start of the pandemic, businesses up and down the country have had to adapt their ways of working. For many, this has meant closing office spaces and operating remotely.
And whilst the recent easing of restrictions has led to many businesses getting ‘back-to normal’, others are less keen to do so. Some are remaining completely remote-based, and others – including us here at Datel – are opting for a hybrid approach. But, what exactly do we mean by hybrid working, and what are the benefits?
Hybrid working, also known as blended working, is a flexible model that refers to employees’ location. Rather than being permanently based either in an office or at home, hybrid working allows employees to choose the right environment for them to deliver their best.
Despite the common misconception that hybrid working is a result of the pandemic, it’s actually been around for a while. In fact, here at Datel many of our employees were already embracing this kind of flexibility before our temporary office closure at the beginning of 2020. And with the success of homeworking over the past 18-months, we’re delighted that hybrid-working will again be available for our employees going forward.
There’s many benefits to the hybrid working model, for both employers and employees:
We can’t talk about the perks of hybrid working without mentioning work/life balance as #1. The concept of work/life balance is the recognition that individuals have priorities outside of their professional lives, such as raising a family or enjoying a hobby, and maintaining a healthy work/life balance is important for an employee’s wellbeing. Here’s a handful of ways in which hybrid working can improve work/life balance:
- Commute time: Not commuting daily to the workplace undoubtedly improves an employee’s work/life balance, as they’re effectively swapping travel-to-work time for personal time. Instead of sitting in the car or on public transport, employees can use this new-found time to do the school run, pick up a good book, or in my case get to the gym before work. Whatever it is, gaining some extra ‘me time’ is always a bonus (and let’s not forget, as well as saving on time, less commuting also saves money and reduces our carbon footprint).
- Life admin: It goes without saying that being home-based just eases some of our everyday life admin stresses. Being at home means that you’re able to accept home deliveries more easily, be present if you have people carrying out work in your home, or even stick the washing out on a sunny day. The biggest stress will be deciding what to make for lunch!
- Family: Being home-based can also reduce the reliance on childcare. And whilst this isn’t a benefit that will apply to everyone, homeworking for many parents can significantly reduce time spent worrying about childcare arrangements. Similar can be said for pet care, as being at home gives pet owners the flexibility to walk their dogs at lunch time or let their cats out through the day, for example. I know that my Bulldog, Brenda, enjoys having me around at home whilst I like not having to book her in with the local doggy day care as often.
A second benefit of hybrid working is that it gives employees the opportunity to maximise productivity. Both working from home and working from an office have their benefits, and so blended working allows employees to enjoy the best of both worlds.
With homeworking, employees can maximise their productivity without the distractions from the office, and when working from the office, employees can benefit from face-to-face collaborations and in-person meetings. Hybrid working means that employees can schedule collaborative meetings and projects for office days, and keep their at-home days for individual work that requires a quieter space – win/win!
Less geographical location limits
Remote working gives employers the opportunity to hire talent from a wider location range, and likewise it gives employees the chance to work for a broader range of companies. Though hybrid working does require some office-time, commuting less frequently still encourages candidates to look further afield than they typically would do for an office-centric role. For example, a candidate may not wish to travel more than 20 miles for a job that requires an office presence 5 days a week, but they may consider traveling up to 30 miles if they’re only commuting once a week, or even 50 miles perhaps if only commuting once a month.
Additionally, employers having access to talent from a broader location pool provides the company with a greater opportunity to embrace diversity and inclusion. As well as hiring people from different socioeconomic backgrounds, reducing mandatory office time provides greater opportunities for those with disabilities and/or who struggle with office environments. Here’s some more info on how remote working supports diversity and inclusion.
With so many benefits for both employers and employees, it’s clear to see why the business world is taking a step back from office-centricity.
If you’d like to work for a company where you can take advantage of some of the benefits of hybrid working, why not join our team? Check out our current vacancies here – and remember we welcome candidates from all over the UK.
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