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Hybrid Work and the Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules

An increasing number of businesses are coming to understand the benefits of flexible work schedules, with hybrid work having the most to offer in both benefits and flexibility. These advantages extend to both employees and employers and range from cost-saving and improved morale to reduced absenteeism and the ability for companies to become more sustainable.

Read on to find out more about hybrid work and the benefits associated with workplace flexibility, or jump to the ViewSonic workplace solutions page for further insights into the modern workplace.  

With a hybrid approach to work, the importance of being physically present in a centralized office is greatly diminished, allowing for far more flexible work schedules amongst employees. In most cases, this means some employees working on-site in the office, some employees working off-site – either from home or remotely from another location – and some employees who have the flexibility to switch between the office and working remotely, depending on tasks, deadlines, and personal needs.  

For employees, the hybrid model can function as a ‘best of both worlds’ approach to work. It provides many of the key advantages of working from home, while still offering the structure, stability, and social advantages associated with having access to a centralized office, as and when it’s needed. At the same time, the hybrid approach allows businesses to break free from many of the restrictions of the conventional office too. 

The advantages of doing so are numerous and include operational benefits, recruitment advantages, and financial savings. In this article, we explore some of the most significant benefits that are associated with adopting the hybrid work model and moving to more flexible work schedules. 

Hybrid Work and the Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules Location Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules 

When businesses adopt hybrid work models, which rely heavily on a remote-first approach, the entire concept of location is removed. By connecting to the workplace using cloud solutions, video conferencing technology, and similar tools, employees do not need to be physically present in the workplace in order to do their job – although they can be if they prefer to be, or for situations where face-to-face communication is better suited. Going further, they do not even need to be in close proximity to the office either. 

This can offer a number of benefits for both employees and employers. For instance, on days where bad weather might prevent people from getting into the office, they are still able to work from home. Likewise, if major events make it necessary to avoid the workplace – as was the case with the COVID-19 pandemic – there will be minimal disruption to operations.  

Moreover, as a Forbes article explains, the removal of geographical barriers can be extremely advantageous in terms of recruitment, allowing employers to gain access to a wider talent pool, making it easier to find qualified candidates and build a more diverse and inclusive workforce. With flexible work arrangements now amongst the top benefits sought after by job seekers, companies employing the hybrid model are better positioned to compete for top candidates.  

Morale and Mental Health Benefits 

Providing employees with the autonomy to decide where they work has the potential to drastically improve job satisfaction, morale, and mental health.  

With the ability to choose between home and the office, employees are able to better balance personal responsibilities with work objectives. Working parents, for example, can be at home when childcare is needed but have the opportunity to work in an office environment when necessary. Others may prefer to replace the morning commute on some days with an exercise routine followed by a day of highly focused work in the absence of office distractions.  

According to research by ZenBusiness, 64.4 percent of workers with the ability to work from home said their mental health had improved as a result of their working arrangement. Yet only 56.2 percent of full-time remote workers reported the same impact, indicating that flexibility is an important factor in improving mental health.  

Hybrid Work and the Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules

Absenteeism and Staff Turnover Benefits

One of the more significant benefits of remote work for businesses is the ability to greatly reduce staff absenteeism, and this also applies to hybrid workplaces, where people have the ability to work from home when it suits them. On a basic level, this occurs because people who feel unwell find it much easier to stay at home and turn on a computer than to travel into the workplace and interact with other people in person. 

Going beyond this, reductions in sick days may also be attributed to the fact that people with illnesses that spread easily – such as colds and influenza – can be kept away from the workplace, limiting the spread. Additionally, the aforementioned mental health benefits can be associated with fewer days off linked to stress, fatigue, and depression. 

Meanwhile, research from Indeed shows that 47 percent of people explore whether a company has a remote work policy before applying for a job, and 40 percent would even consider a pay cut if they could gain the ability to work from home. Findstack also reported that 74% of workers say that having the option to work remotely would make them less likely to leave a company, demonstrating the sheer demand for workplace flexibility and the pressure for companies to explore the option if they hope to retain their best staff.   

Cost and Savings Benefits

In many organizations, one of the biggest expenses is the office space itself, an expense that is compounded by additional daily operational costs such as air conditioning, electricity, and supplies. The hybrid work model offers the prospect of lowering these costs, an enticing prospect for any business with the infrastructure to go hybrid, but especially to small businesses with a restricted budget.  

On a basic level, fewer people in the office each day means lower electricity bills, fewer supplies, and a longer lifespan of office equipment through reduced usage. However, for employers looking to go further with their cost-saving strategy, the hybrid model also offers the opportunity to downsize office space for significant savings on building rental. According to Global Workplace Analytics, a typical employer can save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year. 

The hybrid model is still somewhat reliant on a centralized workplace, which will be used by a significant number of employees each day. Nevertheless, in some arrangements, this could be kept to a very small number which opens up the possibility of moving into much smaller premises, having people work in a co-working space, or renting office space on a very short-term basis, only when there is an actual need for it. 

Hybrid Work and the Benefits of Flexible Work Schedules

Ecofriendly and Sustainability Benefits 

Another major benefit associated with flexible work schedules and the hybrid work model is the ability to make a business more sustainable. This is important because research suggests that employees are more likely to take a job and stay in a job with companies that have a strong environmental agenda. Additionally, 64 percent of millennials say they would not take a job with a company that did not have a strong commitment to social responsibility. 

The most significant environmental impact made by the hybrid work model is the largely reduced amount of travel among employees. The effects of this are especially significant when employees have long commutes, which require using their own cars. In fact, according to Green Child Magazine, greenhouse gas emissions could be reduced by 54 million tons every year if employees worked out of the office for half of the week.  

Hybrid workplaces tend to have more meetings using virtual conferencing technology, again reducing travel but also other things like paper handouts. Fewer people coming into the office is also likely to reduce the carbon footprint associated with the office itself. All of this can combine to help boost a company’s green credentials and aid in positioning the organization as a forward-thinking company in the eyes of job seekers and customers.  

Final Thoughts 

Over the course of recent years, the hybrid work model has grown in popularity, and this is in no small part due to the high demand for flexible work in the modern workplace. With the necessary technology to support hybrid work now readily and cheaply available, many businesses are now discovering that they too stand to benefit from hybrid work and flexible work schedules. From a healthier, happier, more skilled and diverse workforce to reduced costs and greater sustainability, the hybrid work model is quickly emerging as a win-win system for employee and employer in organizations able to successfully make the transition.   

If you’re interested in what other flexible work arrangements are currently being used by organizations, check out 8 Types of Flexible Work Arrangements Explained. You can also visit the ViewSonic workplace solutions page for further useful insights into the modern workplace.