Essential terms used by HR and their meanings.

Hybrid work environment

A hybrid working environment is created when organisations allow their workforce to deliver their roles with working hours split across multiple work locations, using a variety of collaborative tools and people management software.

This might include numerous different types of workplace including remote working from home, hot-desking in multiple office locations, or in specific hub locations such as a factory, warehouse or retail outlet.

What is hybrid working

Hybrid working is a kind of flexible working in which an employee's time is split working remotely from home and working in a physical workplace (such as an office) but can also refer to any mix of remote and multiple-location working.

Hybrid working offers a greater degree of flexibility for the employee to proactively manage their work-life balance and productivity. The time spent in the workplace will normally be managed to ensure that continuous face-to-face touch points and interactions are maintained with teams and other key contacts.

Remote working will usually be facilitated using collaborative working tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams, Workplace by Meta etc. The IT infrastructure will also need to be in place to allow relatively seamless transition from one location to another and to ensure security of files and data.

Hybrid working can put additional strain on team leaders and managers, as they need to continue to ensure good communication is maintained and performance is monitored effectively.

Hybrid Work Environment

Hybrid working policy examples

A broad range of approaches exists to hybrid working, with organisations of all shapes and sizes finding the benefits and pitfalls appearing often radically different from company to company.

Even the most innovative organisations have found the approach difficult to navigate with Apple and Google experiencing push back from employees and some firms attempting offset changes with significant changes to pay or other benefits.

Some traditionally office-centric organisations, such as Deliotte, have taken the opportunity to respond to positive staff feedback and performance to make hybrid working a permanent part of there structure. Recently, PWC also extended a scheme that provides a more flexible and hybridised working week for the professional services firm’s employees.

The general perception at this time is that hybrid working is certainly beneficial for employee wellbeing and that, where practicable and appropriate, organisations should seriously explore the opportunities it might offer.

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