The hybrid working debate continues
Since 2020, there have been countless articles, research, and views when it comes to office vs hybrid working. As the office world moved to working from home during the pandemic, there was the continuous debate of those for and those against.
When the hybrid working model was introduced as businesses eased back into office life, this could have appeared as a best of both worlds’ scenario – depending on how it is looked at.
However, as time has progressed, our preferences have naturally changed as a result and very much been based on age and experience.
As mentioned in a previous blog piece young employees are keen for interaction and collaboration, meaning a hybrid approach allows for that balance. Whilst employers who have been in the office environment for the last 5+ years may prefer a more hybrid approach, it has been noted that the new generation of workforce, Gen Z, prefer to be in the office.
As more research is conducted in this area, more understanding comes with it for both sides. When we look at job quality, it “improved most in those occupations that had become more likely to involved working from home at least one day a week.”
Office or hybrid working?
If we look at a businesses who work under a hybrid model, there is the aspect of allowing employees to have more of a work/life balance, reduce the cost of commuting (especially during a cost-of-living crisis) and help reduce adding to the pollution levels with travelling in by car.
As highlighted in an article around working from home permanently, people are starting to put their mental health/wellbeing first and health before that of employers. Meaning these kind of models could also help with talent retention and attracting new talent.
To look at the ‘fully in office’ model, which now seems a strange way of life in today’s world, there could be some benefits that have been forgotten about.
For example, according to new research by WFH Research, evidence shows that ‘workers who come into the office spend 25% more time on activities that promote their careers than those who are remote.’
In-person could also support more with networking amongst colleagues than that of remote models. All these a daily occurrence pre-2020, but now may be a distant thought ahead of a more work-life balance.
But should this be the case? As we have adapted, one argument could be that these should also adapt.
We are still adapting, just as we always have
This long-debated topic can have a multiple of different outcomes and opinions. Depending on who you survey will depend on the outcome, but also current topics in the world could influence these.
So, should we still be searching for the right answer, or should we be looking to give employees more flexibility and working to strike the right balance that benefits both the business and the employees?
Three years on and it is safe to say things are certainly not what they once were in the office world. However, has office life ever stayed the same? There was a time where hybrid or remote working was only dream, and equal opportunity in the workplace was frowned on, not aspired to.
As we progress, challenge and research, so does how we work as a society. Maybe this is more a changing of time that will be reflected on 20 years from now as a ‘imagine what it was like being in an office 5 days a week?’.
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