The future of working appears to look a lot different than it did just a few years ago. The COVID-19 pandemic may have given the global workforce a sneak preview of what could become the norm in the future.
That could be to put more emphasis on working from home. Currently, about 18.8% of the Austrian workforce works fully from home, according to Statistik Austria. This is important to a majority of those people, as about 32% of them said they would quit their job if remote work was not an option.
With new ways of working here, there is a discussion about how many of the old ways to keep and how many of the new ways to bring in.
There are some employees that do miss that time in the office and do not mind getting out of the house to go to work. Some bosses may even feel that it is easier to communicate and develop chemistry with their employees in the office.
So, as a business, how do you satisfy both needs? What is the best solution for everybody?
Here are three things that hybrid work has taught us and how products surrounding it can benefit your company.
1. Mental Health of Employees
One thing that hybrid work has taught us is what certain employees value when it comes to their work life. Obviously, different employees prioritize some needs over others. Some want more social interactions in order to feel part of something, while others require a space to be alone, in order to recharge their batteries and be proactive in upcoming team work environments.
Hybrid work has helped address some mental health issues on both sides. It seems to combine the best of both worlds under the same work model.
Pros of Working From Home
The main pro of working from home is that employees surveyed reveal that this option gives them a much better work-life balance compared to always working in the office.
About 64% of employees in this survey believe it is easier to balance work and home life by working from home. This is compared to just 20% of people saying it is about the same and 16% of people saying it is harder to balance the two.
This is how a product like Flexidesk can help these types of workers. It allows them to check in to a desk as needed rather than being forced to travel to the office every single day.
Pros of Working in the Office
Of course, there are other employees that do not like working from home all of the time. One of the big reasons cited for this is alienation. It could especially be impactful on young people and single people because for some people, work can be the main place that they socialize with other people.
According to the same survey as above, about 60% of employees feel less connected to their co-workers when they are working from home. This is compared to 36% of people feeling like they have the same connection, and just 4% of employees claim to have more connection to their co-workers.
So, how does this address mental health for these employees? Providing a flexible option for employees to physically go to an office together can provide an opportunity to build chemistry. It can also provide an opportunity for employees to become friends and better acquainted with their co-workers.
Some humans still feel the pressing need to socialize with other people and make new friends. Having at least some sort of option for employees to do that on their terms can be a big boost to mental health and morale.
2. What Jobs Can Be Done Remotely
The next thing that hybrid work has taught us is what jobs can be done remotely. Before COVID, a large percentage of people worked in a physical location, regardless of what their job title was.
Since the pandemic started, it has allowed companies and employees to discover what types of jobs could realistically be done remotely. You can argue that it was a forced trial run to see what employees could adapt and what employees could not adapt.
Of course, this can slightly vary based on the employee's priorities that were described above. However, there seems to be a clear difference in what types of jobs can be done remotely.
So, what type of jobs are more likely to be done remotely? The answer is anything that you would consider to be a white-collar job. About 72% of white-collar workers were working remotely last year. At one point in 2020, this was as high as 83%.
Why are so many white-collar employees working remotely? Because it is possible.
Imagine someone like a software engineer, an investor, or a real estate agent. Most of their work can be done using a laptop, using the internet and apps, or using texting and video calls in the case of a real estate agent.
These people are not going to need a permanent office space. If they happen to need one once in a while, they can use Flexidesk's services to book one if something comes up. For those that own their own business or are self-employed, this can potentially save a lot of money on office space.
Now, let's get to the other side of the spectrum. Blue-collar jobs are ones that need to be done on location and are much less likely to have remote work available.
Compared to 72% of white-collar workers, only 14% of blue-collar workers were working remotely last year. That number never reached 20% throughout the pandemic.
Truthfully, there are just some jobs that are more difficult to pull off remotely because they rely on physical tools or human interaction. These jobs include healthcare, sales, construction, service, maintenance, and more.
You may have employees in your company that fall into this category, but the majority of your staff do not need to be in an office all of the time. In this situation, you could benefit from flexible desk booking to prioritize the employees that really need to be in a physical location.
3. Equal Collaboration of Employees
One reason why some employees may hesitate at the idea of remote work is that they may be afraid of not being recognized if they are not there in person.
An example could be if they have the same position as a co-worker with nearly equal results. However, one employee is in person becoming friendly with their boss while you are sitting at home focusing on your work but lacking that face-to-face time with the boss.
Well, hybrid working has shown bosses how to handle both types of employees, and it has given those that feel the need to communicate with their co-workers and bosses another option while working their way.
Video Call Meetings
For those that like to work from home, one thing that bosses have tried to do more often is use video call meetings. When it comes to the remote side of work, this allows the boss to get their point across and then the employees a chance to respond with any questions or concerns.
It can put everyone on the same footing during these meetings, with a chance to speak before potentially meeting in person to go over the rest of the details.
While the above is a good start, some teams need to meet in-person to finish a project that they started together or to have clear communication for a very important presentation.
However, you could be a team that only has to meet once a week, once a month, or even once every couple of months. For this situation, a flexible desk plan can help you.
As discussed above, it allows you to not have to commit to office space but, at the same time, provide temporary office space for a team to collaborate on a plan. This can mean booking a room that has enough desks for the entire team to communicate, or even booking an entire room for your team.
You have options with this feature, and it can help all team members feel like their voices are being heard.
→ Discover New Ways of Working
Hybrid work has certainly helped a lot of employees and businesses discover new ways of working. Whether you are an employee that wants time at home but also some social interaction or a business that wants to increase employee morale and cut costs on office space, hybrid work can be beneficial for you.
If your job or business is heading in that direction, it is time to adapt to the new ways of work and get on board with flexible desks.
Are you ready to get started? Message us with any questions you might have today.