In April of 2021, a report by Accenture found that 63% of high-growth companies had hybrid workforce models and that 83% of workers preferred a hybrid model. You may have heard impressive statistics like these, or you may have simply heard of the term “hybrid workforce model.” But what is a hybrid workforce model, and why are so many people interested in it?
A hybrid workforce model is any workforce model that includes a combination of in-person employees who work at an office and remote employees who work from home. This model also includes workforces where some or all of the employees split their time between working in an office and working remotely, utilising a hybrid work schedule. In other words, a hybrid workforce model is a combination of traditional and remote work models.
So, why are so many companies and workers interested in this hybrid model? Why don’t we take a look at some of the benefits of a hybrid workforce model?
- Increased Productivity
This first point may sound counterintuitive. After all, if a few employees are allowed to work remotely, won’t they be less motivated than the employees who are in the office? How can a business ensure employees aren’t being distracted if the employees are working from home, where no one is monitoring them?
Well, surprisingly, a survey from Forbes found that 56% of the C-Suite executives surveyed said that remote work and a remote economy were positive for their business. The same survey found that 83% of those surveyed said they believed the changes their businesses made as the businesses shifted to remote work would become permanent. What would produce this result?
Well, in a hybrid workforce model, employees can choose which environment makes them the most productive. No one is trapped in an environment that they don’t prefer. It makes sense that this would improve productivity, because no single work environment is comfortable for everyone. As we know from COVID, some people enjoy working from home, while other people find working at home unbearable.
A Forbes article about their survey supports this. The article attributes the increased productivity in remote workers to “not commuting, minimized workplace distractions and more freedom to work during the hours that are best for each individual.”
- Hire Talent from Everywhere
This benefit is easier to understand, but it has a dramatic impact on the way a company operates. Companies that adopt the hybrid workforce model can hire employees from anywhere in the world, not just locals or talent willing to move where the company’s office is.
This is because many employees are willing to work remotely over the internet. Most companies today have no reason to limit themselves to employees who are living nearby. This fact is especially true for white-collar jobs that most large companies need such as accounting and software development. Those jobs can be just as easy to do remotely as they are in person.
A hybrid workforce model allows local employees and remote employees to each do the work they’re best suited to, which is better for the company overall.
- Reduced overhead cost and carbon footprint
In addition to the improvements in productivity and flexibility, a hybrid workforce model not only reduces costs, but also decreases the company’s carbon footprint. This change may not be as foundational as the other changes discussed here, but it’s still an important consideration for companies thinking about switching to a hybrid model.
Because remote workers in a hybrid workforce don’t regularly need to use the office building, less money is needed to pay for these workers’ equipment and office space. Additionally, because there is less foot traffic and less use of equipment such as coffee and fax machines, the company equipment lasts longer and doesn’t need to be replaced as frequently.
The concept of starting a company with a hybrid business model or transitioning an existing company to that model may be daunting, but as we’ve gone over, there are many benefits to the hybrid model that take advantage of the best aspects of traditional and remote work environments.
A hybrid workforce model increases productivity by allowing employees to make decisions about their work. It allows a company to hire employees from around the globe, and it reduces costs and environmental impact.