The rise and rise of hybrid working
The phrase ‘hybrid working’ has only really entered most people’s consciousness in the last two years. Whilst we at enact were already exploring the possibility of remote working prior to this, and had employed our first home-workers, the global pandemic forced all companies to change the way they work.
A permanent shift?
The move to remote working had to be implemented quickly to follow social distancing restrictions, but many of the employees in our business love this benefit and don’t want to see it go completely now that restrictions have come to an end. A shift to more flexible working during the pandemic has set expectations around the possibility of working differently. Hybrid working, allowing some home working with some office working, can give the best of both worlds and allows employees a better work-life balance thanks to the flexibility that comes with it. Let’s face it, no one really wants to sit in rush hour traffic every day and many people have used that time to be with their family, get on top of domestic tasks or pursue an activity they enjoy, like a quick pre-work trip to the gym.
No “one size fits all” approach
However it’s vital to also remember, that much like in the office environment, in the home working environment it will not be a one size fits all approach that will be successful. We know that many of our employees need the social interaction and the buzz that comes from a busy completions day in the office. Some employees, perhaps those with less working experience, new to their role or having just joined the organisation, may require greater levels of initial support and communication to create engagement. Other employees may not have a suitable home office set up and so may struggle to work in their home environment, which is where we see the benefits of the hybrid model.
Keeping things flexible for the future
Hybrid working is a relatively new concept that entered the workplace during the pandemic, but according to data from the Opinions and Lifestyle Survey (OPN), most people who took up homeworking because of the pandemic plan to both work from home and in the workplace in the future. Whilst many businesses mandated a three day ‘in office’ week, at enact our starting position was only two days – largely in acknowledgment that after almost two years of being at home, we understood that it could be a wrench for people to get back in to the office. In contrast, some conveyancing firms had to move their teams back in to the office full-time, due to an ongoing reliance on paper files and the significant risk in transporting these to and from the office. Our technology allows us to be at the pinnacle of flexible working and our remote working plans and homeworking plans continue to evolve to adapt. In order to meet the needs of our business we need great employees, and to have the best employees we have to make sure we are creative and flexible when it comes to the working arrangements of our team.
So is the hybrid working model here to stay? Yes, we believe it is. At the start of the pandemic we moved to this way of working because we had to. However, over the past two years we have seen greater benefits and it has most certainly defined the modern workforce.