Since the arrival of Covid 19 in our lives, the working day has changed, and since technology has come to play an important role, remote working is trending in human resources.
The pandemic has forced a number of companies to move into remote working. Since then, companies have understood and have been able to manage their operations with employees working from home.
This transition along with the changes that have come about have opened up a debate between companies deciding to move back to the office and companies deciding to move into hybrid working. All of these changes present challenges for HR Managers.
What are work-from-home models?
Hybrid working refers to the idea of going back to the office after working from home for at least one day a week but also spending some time working remotely.
A 2019 survey (Global Workplace Analytics) found that hybrid or remote work could make 83% of employees happy, 82% feel more confident, 81% improved their work efficiency and another 81% recommend companies that bring this model to other friends.
Employees and employers are asking themselves: How and when will they return to the office?
Employers, in this case HR leaders, must continue to accept that changes have occurred and must be embraced. Some leaders may have to work under both concepts of work: hybrid work and the return to the office.
Although the pandemic crisis has subsided in strength, HR leaders must remain aware of the changes and be sure to provide flexibility in deciding whether to return to the office or not as long as the crisis continues.
While many work methodologies are based on telecommuting, the U.S. Work From Home Survey found that the vast majority of people want to return to the office, albeit with critical changes. Many also want to continue to work from home at least some of the time.
Where possible, companies should create the necessary strategies to support the new ways of working.
Supporting the health of employees who work from home:
As new forms of work increase, companies must encourage good health, which leads to good labor productivity. Companies could offer their employees who work from home a good work environment that avoids occupational hazards.
Long hours of working from home promote burnout, as do the effects of sitting at home for long periods of time.
To promote a good working day, companies or human resource leaders must establish closing protocols and avoid overload.
Invest in creating optimal work-from-home set-ups for staff
Working from home entails expenses such as: electricity, internet, plus water, heating, etc. Not to mention that employees must have good work tools: monitors, cell phones, hard drive, etc.
Companies should think about the return on investment that employees must make to work from home when they are not offered the right tools. In many cases, they could negotiate with suppliers where employees can take or receive, in their cases, the work tools to have an adequate work environment or space.
Another form of support could be to provide co-working spaces close to home where workers can carry out their workday.
Build trust among workers and HR staff to managers.
Many companies have flexible work schedules, but many do not have the ability to offer workers days or hours during the week where they can work from home.
This may vary depending on the leader or team. It is important that teams have specific work assignments and that leaders can distribute work activities efficiently.
It is a key point to build trust with the employee and to know how to lead from a distance, i.e., assign jobs and employees can work from anywhere regardless of whether the work depends on the office, thus managing the efficiency of Hybrid Working.
What are the benefits of working at home?
- Less commuting
The number of workers taking their private vehicles or public transportation to and from work is increasing. Studies have shown that traffic jams increase stress, anxiety, and desperation, and thus trigger annoying employees who do not perform their duties and promote a bad working environment.
- Reduce waste in your business.
To adapt work offices is often costly and complicated. Finding suitable offices, furnishing them, and having additional staff to maintain them is very expensive. Reducing these types of expenses is possible thanks to work from home or hybrid jobs.
- Increase workplace satisfaction.
Most employees tend to feel more satisfied if they can choose how or where they work. Hybrid or home-based work, employees benefit from being able to work in an office in their own home. It is also easier for them to accommodate their responsibilities because of the flexibility offered by this form of work.