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Hybrid working is the new normal: How to make it work for your business

by maria
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The Covid-19 pandemic flipped our world upside down, causing a significant shift in the world of work. Businesses had to respond rapidly to the outbreak and implement a solution that would help stop the spread. This forced a vast percentage of employees into adopting a full time remote working schedule, and over a year on, many are still reaping the benefits of this new way of life.

With a better work-life balance and no commute among the benefits, 77% of people reported higher productivity levels whilst working from home.

Insights on the working environment in 2020 and 2021

In April 2020, at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, 47% of people in UK employment were working from home. Of this group, 86% stated that this was as a result of the pandemic, with more than half the population in London found to be working remotely at 57.2%. This was likely to be due to people avoiding busy public transport lines where the virus can spread easily through close contact.

There are however a number of issues to consider when implementing a remote working schedule:

  • Diminished client experience — Many businesses rely heavily on face to face customer/client interactions.
  • Increased reliance on technology — Everyone needs to be given the adequate hardware and software to do their job from any location. This has increased pressure on IT departments to resolve issues.
  • Communication issues — Contacting a member of the team who is working from home requires messaging apps like Slack, Google Hangouts or email. Often this results in delayed responses times.

According to a report from Global Workplace Analytics, it’s estimated that 25-30% of the worldwide workforce will have adopted working from home for multiple days a week by the end of 2021.

Although the abundance of benefits associated with remote working are changing the future, many found this new world of working and living increasingly isolating. This awoke a craving for time in a shared work environment and as lockdown restrictions eased, we once again saw a spike in corporate ground transportation as the offices regained life. However, this generated a new challenge for employers.

With the pandemic still wreaking havoc, organisations needed a solution should an employee test positive for COVID-19 whilst on site. Managed ground transport experts, CMAC, are offering businesses a new covid-specalist transportation service that provides peace of mind in the event of a workplace outbreak. Employees or visitors who test positive can be transferred from your workplace to their home address safely and isolated from the public.

Little did we know that socialising at work carried a little-understood benefit for our mental health — which is why we want it back. But how can we retain that jump in productivity while getting our social fix?

More and more businesses are discovering the answer: hybrid working.

What is hybrid working?

Hybrid models are at the forefront of modern working. Companies of all sizes and across a multitude of industries have been exploring the hybrid work model since the outbreak began. Whilst sometimes referred to as “blended-working”, a hybrid workplace is a combination of remote and in-office working. In a typical hybrid setting, employees are given the option to work fully remote, in the office, or split their time between the two.

The benefits of a hybrid work model for businesses:

  • Reduces rent — Office spaces can be expensive, so sharing with another business can help save on costs. With less staff members on-site, companies can operate with a smaller workspace and fewer resources.
  • Improves wellbeing — Allowing employees to adopt a hybrid work model creates more time to prioritise wellbeing. This is proven to boost morale and enhance productiveness.
  • Enhances job satisfaction 65% of employees who can work from home or in the office at will, were satisfied with their jobs and the flexibility they have when working.
  • Increases productivity — Allowing your employees to work in a space that is comfortable for them has led to a significant rise in productivity over the past year.
  • Better talent – Remote work also enables an organisation to find the best talent by looking beyond the commutable area.

Companies that are adopting hybrid working

While the transition to remote working was fast, many are only now recognising just how beneficial this new way of working really is. As working from home has become the new ‘normal’, businesses are now opting to adopt a hybrid work model for the long run.

Some of these companies include:

  • Dropbox — Remote working is to become permanent for employees. All remaining office spaces will still exist as an option, should they wish to go into the office.
  • Spotify — All employees can choose to work remotely, in the office or in a coworking space.
  • Microsoft — All employees have been offered a 50% work from home option for their week.
  • Shopify — All of their 5,000 are working from home indefinitely.
  • Facebook — Allowing 50% of their workforce to continue to work remotely.
  • CMAC Group — Employees have the opportunity to work from home or within the office environment.

How hybrid working has benefited employees

Hybrid working offers a wide range of benefits for companies and employees alike. From cost-cutting to flexibility in your work-life balance, remote working has been crucial for businesses over the past year.

As hybrid work plans are on the rise, there are several benefiting factors for employees including:

  • More flexibility — The ability to pick and choose your working hours and location has given employees the freedom many have been wanting.
  • A better work-life balance — Many employees saw the return of regular work schedules and thus an improved work-life balance.
  • Less time spent commuting — The reduction in commuting has seen people make better use of their time, now prioritising regular exercise, better sleep and more family time.
  • Money savings — Many people recorded that they were able to save money by working from home. Public transport, petrol prices and parking fees have been significantly reduced or eliminated in the past year.
  • A comfortable environment — Working in your own space with familiar surroundings provides a more relaxing setting which can ease stress and anxiety.

How to implement a hybrid work model

There are several factors to consider when trying to implement a hybrid work model in your organisation:

  • Consider your employees — Will a hybrid working model work for your employees and business? It’s a good idea to get feedback from your employees first.
  • Create clear procedures — Make the transition to hybrid working easy for your employees. If it’s set days per week in the office, make sure they’re aware which, or offer a flexible schedule so they can fit this around their needs.
  • Make communication easy — This will have a huge impact on the business. Ensure that all employees have access to the right equipment and know how to work each platform you communicate on.
  • Implement safe working conditions — Any return to the workplace must be in accordance with the most recent government guidelines. This includes understanding cleaning and hygiene techniques, social distancing guidance, risk assessments and mask wearing.
  • Communicate plans — Employees must understand everything clearly, as well as what they can expect from leadership.
  • Organise a workplace emergency evacuation plan — With many now favouring this mix of virtual and on-site working as the preferred return to work strategy, it pays to have a plan in place in the event of an emergency that will properly protect your employees.

CMAC Group provides emergency business continuity transport in the event of unavoidable incidents, such as floods, fires and terrorist attacks. CMAC provides businesses with peace of mind that if the unthinkable happens, your employees will be evacuated and relocated as quickly and as safely as possible.

The best medium

If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that flexibility is key. Opting for a split hybrid workplace model could be the best medium for your employees and business.

Allowing employees to choose what suits their needs and lifestyle best, can not only support mental health, wellbeing and help them feel appreciated, but can also significantly enhance productivity and promote business success, whilst boosting loyalty across the company.

Whether you opt to adopt a full work from home schedule, split between the office or try and get back to pre-pandemic work life, the flexibility of a hybrid work model is not to be missed.

About CMAC Group

CMAC Group are the managed transport and accommodation experts, safely moving over two million passengers per year.

Operating since 2007, CMAC provides reliable on-demand and planned solutions for travel clients such as Ryanair, Northern, TAP Portugal and Lufthansa to name but a few.

With an extensive network of approved suppliers, CMAC are poised to handle any level of scale or operational complexity.

Headquartered in Accrington, CMAC boasts global coverage for its clients and has completed overseas acquisitions to support this.

Specialising in time-critical passenger transport, CMAC Group has been instrumental in many rescue missions. Earlier this year CMAC repatriated over 3,000 stranded passengers in Spain amidst the disruption that caused Storm Filomena in January.

For more information, visit www.cmacgroup.com

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