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What hybrid work looks like in 2024

19 Feb 2024
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Hybrid work has not always been the status quo.

If you read hybrid work in a job description 5 years ago, what would you have thought it meant?

With technological leaps in things like AI and cloud computing, the traditional work model is competing with an evolving hybrid work system. Simply put, hybrid work is a type of flexible working arrangement, where employees alternate their time between working remotely and at their employer’s designated office.

Just like businesses differ from one another, so too do types of hybrid work. On top of that, shifting technological landscapes and work culture play a role in how hybrid work has evolved. In this post we’ll dive into what hybrid work looks like in 2024, how it has changed and how technology can improve things.

We are going to cover:

What hybrid work means today

Pros and cons to hybrid work

How to make hybrid work

Future of hybrid work


What Hybrid work means today

Flexible work models have existed for decades. The earliest examples are time-based ones. Things like shift-based systems meant businesses were able to operate round the clock.

After the spread of landlines and the internet was more accessible, location-based flexible working became a viable model. However, it was only after 2020 that wide range adoption occurred across many sectors.

As a response to the pandemic, and the restrictions set on people’s movements – productivity became a key business metric. Suddenly, company performances started to diverge. Organisations that could go remote, or already had some form of hybrid work, outperformed their competitors. This led to a massive shift across industries.

Today, hybrid work includes the ability to work from office, home, or practically anywhere so long as there is a stable internet connection. For the most part, the main alternative premises to the office are people’s homes. It would be easy to assume that this only benefits employees, but that’s far from reality.


Pros and cons to hybrid work

Benefits of hybrid work affect the employer and the employee. These also merge into each other, as a happier workforce improves a company’s output.

A huge cost to employers is replacing talent. Studies by the Society for Human Resource Management, estimate it costs 6 to 9 month’s salary on average to replace an employee. This goes up to 213% for senior level roles.

So, it’s essential to retain as much top talent as possible. According to a 2023 report by the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development, 66% of organisations believe that it is important to provide flexible working as an option when advertising jobs.



  1. Flexibility and Work-Life Balance

Hybrid work offers employees the freedom to choose where they work, promoting a healthier work-life balance. This flexibility can lead to increased job satisfaction, reduced stress levels, and improved overall well-being.


  1. Enhanced Productivity

This ties into above, as improved work-life balance leads to higher levels of productivity. A 2022 study by the University of Birmingham surveyed 597 managers and found that 76.5% believe that flexible working generally increases productivity in their teams.

This makes sense because, hybrid work models allow employees to tailor their work environment to their needs.


  1. Cost Savings all round

We know bottom lines don’t lie. Employees benefit from cost savings due to reducing commuting expenses, as well as things like childcare. It also means people can move further out of the city, giving access to better housing options.

Employers can assess their office requirements and adapt accordingly. This contributes to a more sustainable and economically efficient work model.


  1. Access to a Diverse Talent Pool

With less geographical constraints, hybrid work expands the talent pool. Organisations can hire the best candidates for the role. This has the knock on effect of driving healthy levels of competitiveness within the company.

It’s not all roses and sunshine. Or at least, there are some challenges to having hybrid work policies that need to be managed.



  1. Communication challenges

If you’ve ever worked in an office, communication is always flagged as a challenge. Getting a hold of the right person, at the right time can be hard even in a shared office space. That’s amplified online. A question that could be answered in a couple of minutes in person, all of a sudden needs a calendar invite to discuss. It’s essential to set up robust comms channels & policies that don’t hinder conversation.


  1. Isolation silos and culture

It’s difficult to build a culture around a fully remote company. Employees may feel isolated and detached, so it’s important to build a cohesive atmosphere. Setting up an informal channel that’s regularly updated with fun activities, memes and news can help build rapport across teams and departments.


  1. Potential security concerns

Hybrid work relies heavily on connectivity. This opens up more risk for cyber attacks. All staff will need to be trained on the latest cyber security practices, from phishing to the risk of accessing public networks.


  1. Needs constant monitoring

Things change. It’s important to factor in how the needs of the business and employee’s may evolve over time. So any hybrid work model that is introduced needs constant updating to best suit everyone’s needs. There won’t be a one-shoe-fits-all system.

It’s about ensuring things are moving in the right direction from both a business and employee perspective.


How to make hybrid work

Despite the challenges we’ve laid out, hybrid work isn’t going anywhere. In fact, 74% of US companies are already using, or planning to implement, a permanent hybrid work model. Here’s a list of the most important considerations for a successful hybrid work model.


  1. Prioritise seamless collaboration

Digital tools are key. Businesses need to foster a collaborative, connected digital environment. Use platforms that simplify real-time communication, file sharing and project collaboration.


  1. Simplifying the transition between office and home

Invest in technology that facilitates a smooth hybrid experience. Building access management systems help streamline people’s office time. By reducing the hassle of coming to work, employees face less stress switching from home to office. This not only enhances security, but also provides valuable data for understanding office space requirements.

Desk booking software adds to flexibility. Sometimes, it’s simple things like not knowing where to sit that can turn someone off coming on-site. Using purpose-built software for this enables employees to reserve workspaces efficiently. This also helps gauge space usage. Understanding these patterns is important when it comes to making informed decisions about office space needs.


  1. Enhance workplace connectivity

Connection is essential. It’s vital to have reliable infrastructure in place to empower teams wherever they may be. Office rooms set up with conferencing equipment help to foster cohesive meetings. Easily accessible cloud infrastructure allows teams to work together from a variety of locations.

Your hybrid work policy should be informed by IT and HR. That way, things are covered from a security and connectivity aspect, whilst also considering the personal needs of employees. It’s unlikely that your IT department is going to be up to date with maternity leave policy.


  1. Upgrade the workplace experience

Getting to work isn’t always sunshine and roses. In a study by McKinsey, around 1 in 3 people said they come in to collaborate in teams and meet clients. It’s key to optimise the space for max impact. Consider catering the environment towards boosting your team’s performance and morale.

Look at things that will enhance the workplace experience. Perhaps introducing a variety of purposeful spaces such as work pods, quiet zones & multiple charging stations. Other state of the art integrations like private locker spaces & showers do wonders for those who commute on bike, or like to utilise their lunch for fitness.

There’s plenty of solutions that are quite low budget. A survey across industries consistently had good beverage options in the top 3 improvements wanted. Sometimes it’s as simple as giving a better alternative to that jar of instant coffee.


  1. Always adapt

Needs change. On a personal, departmental and business level. The pandemic was sink or swim. Industries that adapted fast saw their growth sky-rocket. It’s important to maintain that agility moving forwards and have a flexible approach. Plus, what works for one organisation won’t be a good fit for another. These points should be communicated openly and honestly with teams. Getting them to weigh in with their thoughts on the matter also avoids the archaic top-down approach.

Work on filling the gap. Find out what the ideal scenario is for employees, executives and board members. Often, there’ll be significant overlap. Where there are gaps in wants, look at solutions that plug those holes. There are technologies that provide valuable insight into metrics that will help craft an ideal hybrid work model. Whether it’s things like improved reporting, task tracking, or gaining insight on the costs associated with maintaining an office’s climate.


Future of hybrid work

Between September 2022 and January 2023, 44% of workers reported home or hybrid working and 56% reported only travelling to work in the last 7 days.

2024 saw the Employment Relations (flexible working) Bill come into effect. This piece of law gives UK employees new rights, including:

  • new requirements for employers to consult with the employee before rejecting their flexible working request
  • permission to make two statutory requests in any 12-month period
  • reduced waiting times for decisions to be made from three months to two months
  • the removal of existing requirements that the employee must explain what effect, if any, the change applied for would have on the employer and how that effect might be dealt with

Alongside the Act, the UK Government announced that workers will have the right to request flexible working from day one of a new job.

Whilst criticised by some, this Act signifies the tidal shift in our relationship with work. Once the pendulum starts to swing in a direction, it continues.

It’s never been a better time to invest in technology that connects your people together. Also keep in mind that without a company culture, it’ll be hard to foster a cohesive team spirit. Leadership teams are up against a competitive landscape for top talent. Staying agile and flexible to the needs of your team are recipes for growth. Don’t take our word for it, the Flex Index report collected revenue data across 7,500 companies and found fully flexible public companies outperformed their peers by 16% between 2020-2022.



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