Many leading firms are choosing a middle path between remote and in-office work.
One of the many legacies of the COVID-19 pandemic is the widespread adoption of remote work. As the world adjusts to a post-pandemic recovery period, executives and business leaders have mixed opinions about how to proceed moving forward.
Only one in five companies plans on having their workforce operate fully in-person through the end of 2021. Only 4% plan on enabling a fully remote workforce. The vast majority are implementing policies that combine in-person, fully-remote, and hybrid work.
The hybrid working model enables employees to work in-person at the office and remotely according to a formal policy. For example, employees of a certain department may need to spend two days a week in the office and log in from home for the other three days of the workweek.
This approach is becoming increasingly appealing for executives interested in finding out how to increase company productivity. It combines the flexibility of remote work with the company culture benefits of in-office work hours. Getting it right often means investing in office productivity applications and laptop productivity apps that support the hybrid model.
The Rise of Hybrid Work
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, organizations allowed hybrid work sparingly and only when necessary. Most executives believed that in-person communication was necessary to train, develop, and assess talent effectively.
This perspective began to change through the rigors and stresses of the global pandemic, but it did not go away entirely. Business leaders are beginning to question the wisdom of demanding in-person work for every position in the company. They are asking why it is important for businesses to improve productivity, and how it can be done in today’s environment.
At the same time, human resources professionals are analyzing data to answer those questions. They are using software to track employee productivity and arrive at conclusive answers. allowing leaders to find out which positions fare best under remote-friendly policies, and which ones do not.
Executives and experts are aware that every company’s approach to hybrid work is unique. It should come as no surprise that some hybrid initiatives are more successful than others.
This underscores one of the most important elements of crafting a successful hybrid work experience – crafting a well-designed hybrid work policy.
A comprehensive, high-quality hybrid work policy enables companies to maximize the benefits of hybrid work while addressing any potential pitfalls. A successful policy needs to feature several elements:
- Goals. Clearly communicate the problems that hybrid solves for employees and employers alike. This will help inform more granular decisions down the line, and help determine where the hybrid policy is working best.
- Eligibility. Not all organizations can support a 100% hybrid workforce. If you’re implementing a hybrid policy for a portion of your workforce, that policy should discuss which employees are eligible. Eligibility should be based on the ability for hybrid policy to achieve the goals you’ve already listed.
- Expectations. Hybrid work is easier to implement for salaried workers than hourly wage-earners. Your organization will need to take a structured approach to managing hourly work expectations in a hybrid environment – such as communicating overtime requests and documenting rest and meal breaks.
- Security. All forms of work carry unique security factors to take into consideration. Hybrid workers will need to know what device endpoints they can use and how they should secure those devices against unauthorized use. The policy should include a productivity tracker app that meets data privacy compliance guidelines.
The specifics of an optimal hybrid work policy will differ from company to company. When implemented correctly, these policies can help organizations improve company culture and operational efficiency.
What is Operational Efficiency?
Operational efficiency is the measurement of an organization’s ability to use resources to deliver goods and services. Organizations that can deliver high volumes of high-quality products while using fewer resources are operationally efficient.
On the other hand, organizations that consume large amounts of resources to deliver high volumes of high-quality goods are not operationally efficient. It’s not the quality or quantity of products that suffers – it’s the cost of producing and selling those goods.
However, operational efficiency goes beyond simple cost management. It also takes into account the way business processes are structured. It’s easy to think of “resources” as raw materials that manufacturers use to create finished goods, but human resources are resources too.
An organization with unstructured, ad-hoc processes will generate a lot of non-billable hours. These are employee-hours that don’t directly contribute to the success of the organization itself. Businesses that automate repeatable work, eliminate administrative load, and manage employee time wisely enjoy far lower operational costs.
Operational efficiency is a useful metric for human resources professionals trying to find out how to measure team productivity in a company-wide setting. Using software to track employee productivity is one way they accomplish this.
How Does Hybrid Work Enhance Operational Efficiency?
Improving operational efficiency is one of the primary goals of leaders and administrators in any organization. People tasked with figuring out how to increase company productivity are invested in finding out how technology has affected productivity throughout recent years.
Technology has always played a key role in improving productivity. Adopting a hybrid work policy is the next step on the path towards boosting operational efficiency and office productivity in today’s work environment.
Organizations that adopt a well-planned hybrid work policy can expect their operations to become more efficient over time. The hybrid work model offers many benefits that positively impact office productivity:
- Advance Tech-Forward Culture. Organizations need to adopt new technology to stay ahead of their competitors. Hybrid work encourages the adoption of technologies like productivity tracker app solutions, and improves valuable employee soft skills.
- Challenge Inefficient Business Structures. Adopting a hybrid work policy requires leaders and employees to assess and improve office communication. It gives both sides a chance to change some of the least efficient parts of data governance and communication in the company.
- Reduce Physical Office Footprint. Expensive office space in high-density urban settings no longer represents a necessary cost. Organizations can now use hybrid work to offset these costs and allocate capital more efficiently.
- Encourage Cloud Adoption. Hybrid employees need access to the same equipment and technologies whether in the office or at home. Cloud-native app deployments make this possible, and hybrid work policies support the move to a cloud-first environment.
- Enables Business Agility. Hybrid work policies can help organizations align autonomous employee groups towards common goals. Greater autonomy helps develop agility by putting less pressure on the top-down hierarchical business structure.
- Improve Employee Retention. Top-performing employees value the flexibility that hybrid work offers. Flexible work policies can help reduce employee churn and keep your top talent close.
- Expand Customer Support Coverage. Location-independent customer support representatives can work across timelines and borders. This breaks down some of the barriers between enterprise organizations and their most distant customers.
It’s Time to Look Beyond Remote vs. In-Office Work Policies
As business leaders start to look towards the workplace of a post-pandemic world, they are starting to question many of the assumptions earlier generations have traditionally made about work. Hybrid work policies offer an accessible middle ground between remote and in-person options, giving leaders a clear path forward.
Organizations that create a robust hybrid work policy will need to power that policy with a productivity tracker app that delivers value aligned with the hybrid work ethic. Insightful provides businesses with software to track employee productivity both in the office and remotely, making it an ideal choice for hybrid work environments. Schedule a demo of our solution today to find out how.