As a dynamic digital marketing agency, we've experienced firsthand the benefits of embracing a hybrid work approach. Here, we explore how this model has transformed our team, allowing us to leverage the best of both remote and in-office work environments.
From increased productivity and better work-life balance to fostering creativity and collaboration, we explore 10 ways a hybrid work model boosts our productivity.
Okay, we all love a good water-cooler chat. We also love a communal coffee break. But when it’s 12pm and all we’ve done is look out the office window at all the cute dogs walking past, we know it’s time to rethink our (not so productive) office setup.
One of the major advantages of a hybrid work model is the reduction in distractions like these. When working remotely or in a quieter office environment, you’ll likely find employees can focus better on tasks without constant interruptions.
Whether it's avoiding noisy colleagues, minimising office chit-chat, or declining that third overly-long coffee break of the morning, the ability to create a distraction-free zone leads to increased productivity.
Personalised Work Environments
This goes hand-in-hand with tip number one, but it’s worth speaking to separately. Working in a shared office can be a fantastic way to build company culture and relationships, but it doesn’t come without sacrifices.
For example, some people thrive in a calm setting where they can concentrate without background noise. Others prefer a little buzz of chatter and movement to keep them energised. Not all staff members are going to appreciate chaotic levels of Beyonce to hype them up before a client call, though, just as others may go a bit stir-crazy with only the hum of the air conditioner to listen to.
In a hybrid work model, employees obviously have the option to work from home on certain days. This provides them with the opportunity to create a personalised office space that suits their needs.
By allowing employees to choose their preferred work location, the hybrid model ensures that everyone has the chance to be in an environment that promotes productivity.
Time Saved on Commuting
This is possibly our team’s favourite aspect to a hybrid workplace. Precious time once wasted on long train trips battling early morning and late afternoon crowds is now spent getting work done, which means (you guessed it) a HUGE increase in productivity.
Commuting can also be an incredibly draining aspect of traditional office work, and much of your employees’ energy is likely funneled into this annoying office lifestyle caveat.
With a hybrid work model, your team can save valuable time by eliminating or reducing their daily commute. This time can then be redirected towards work-related tasks, allowing for increased productivity.
Additionally, a shorter or non-existent commute contributes to improved work-life balance, which in turn boosts overall job satisfaction and commitment. Talk about a win-win situation.
Access to a Wider Talent Pool
At Talk, we have employees from all over the world, from Australia to Brazil to Portugal to the UK. This isn’t out of necessity; it’s because we can.
When a company adopts a hybrid work model, they open up the opportunity to hire talent from anywhere, regardless of geographical location. This means that you can tap into a much larger pool of skilled professionals.
With a diverse team of talented individuals, also known as ‘the best in the biz’, businesses can leverage a wide range of perspectives, ideas, and expertise. By harnessing the power of a diverse workforce, productivity and innovation are likely to flourish.
Efficiency in Digital Work Platforms
What may once have been deemed a downfall to remote or hybrid work models, digital platforms and programs are now the norm for workplaces whether they’re in a shared space or at home.
Digital tools like Monday.com, Slack, Teams and Trello are excellent at facilitating collaboration, communication, and project management. These platforms enable seamless sharing of files, real-time collaboration, and instant communication, eliminating the need for constant in-person meetings.
By leveraging these digital work solutions, teams can work more efficiently, access information easily, and streamline their workflows, resulting in increased productivity.
Better Mental Health Means Higher Productivity
It’s no secret that mental health plays a crucial role in productivity. While fully remote work can lead to a decline in mental health for some, the same has also been found for full-time office workers.
The happy mental health medium? A hybrid work model. Hybrid work lifestyles allow employees to have a better work-life balance, reducing stress and burnout.
A survey conducted by FlexJobs found that 97% of respondents believe that having a more flexible job would have a ‘huge’ or ‘positive’ impact on their quality of life. The survey also found that work-life balance and commute-related stress were two of the top factors that make people want a job with flexible options.
With the flexibility to work from home, employees can take breaks when needed, engage in self-care activities, and create a healthier work routine that suits their needs. This leads to improved mental wellbeing and, consequently, higher productivity levels.
Flexibility Means Life Won’t Disrupt Workflow
Life is unpredictable. Unexpected situations can sometimes arise, and they often cut into office hours.
We know all too well the urgency surrounding a dog who’s just found the chocolate stash, a relative requiring medical help, or a sudden power outage (what to do with food in the fridge?).
Chances are, most workplaces will provide leniency in these instances, but there’s still the hassle of packing up your belongings, alerting HR and travelling from the office to take care of things.
A hybrid work model allows the flexibility to handle personal matters without workflow being significantly disrupted.
Further, many companies are employing flexible work hours in addition to hybrid models, meaning team members can work outside of the standard 9-5 if required. Need to leave work to pick up a sick child? No need to take leave or use up your lunch break – simply make up the time at home later on.
Whether it's attending a family event or taking care of personal responsibilities, the ability to adapt and find a balance ensures that work can still progress smoothly.
Extra Effort Goes into Work Culture Initiatives
Ever attended a virtual murder mystery party? What about an online escape room? These are just some examples of the never-ending fun to be had with remote work culture experiences.
Sparked by the necessities of lockdown, online team building experiences are now commonplace among many companies. With employees continuing to work remotely part of the time, extra effort is invariably put into organising effective team-building activities and creating a sense of camaraderie.
What once looked like simple after-work drinks or the odd office morning tea birthday gathering, work culture initiatives have expanded leaps and bounds since hybrid and remote work models gained popularity.
At Talk, we rally our teammates for a quarterly ‘Talk Adventure’, an hour-long virtual escape into hilarity and friendly competition. Our Friday morning ‘happy hours’ are a weekly chance for us to catch up on all the best non-work-related tidbits, and we never miss a chance to update a separate Slack channel with exciting life news.
Without an office to attend every day, work culture initiatives like these are essential to the success of a hybrid model. But it’s not a chore – with so many options now available for remote and hybrid companies, work culture can not only be maintained, it can actually thrive like never before.
This focus on team bonding and office culture contributes to higher job satisfaction, motivation, and ultimately, productivity.
More Energy, Better Work
We touched on this earlier with tip number three about time saved on commuting, but hybrid work models can result in higher energy levels for a variety of other reasons.
In addition to avoiding the stress of travel, hybrid and remote employees naturally gain more control over their work environment and how they spend their time outside of work. This results in higher energy levels, which in turn create more efficiency and productivity.
Want to fit in a twenty-minute jog just before work to zip you up for the day? How about a quick power nap before that big meeting? You might even prefer to take your laptop to the local café in the afternoon to fill your caffeine cup and drink in a change of scenery.
However you get your energy, a hybrid work model is the perfect solution for doing so. This enhanced energy can translate into a positive work ethic, better collaboration, and a proactive attitude towards achieving goals.
The Best of Remote and Office Life Combined
The debate over the effectiveness of remote versus office work styles is still in discussion. Some companies have found mental health and productivity to decline with a sole remote set up, while others have found decreases in employee satisfaction when boxed into the traditional office environment.
One of the biggest advantages of a hybrid work model is that it combines the benefits of both remote work and in-office collaboration.
Remote work allows for increased autonomy, flexibility, and reduced distractions, while in-person collaboration fosters face-to-face interactions, spontaneous idea generation, and strengthened team dynamics.
By embracing a hybrid approach, we can enjoy the best of both worlds. Nip into the office a couple of days a week for that much-needed pow-wow time with colleagues, then recharge and get the hard yards done at home with minimal distractions.
Are There Negatives to Hybrid Work?
We’ve talked about the (extensive) upsides to hybrid work models, but let's not overlook the challenges:
- Communication gaps: With team members working remotely and in the office, effective communication can be trickier. Time zones and reliance on digital tools may lead to miscommunication and difficulties in staying connected.
The solution: Conduct regular check-ins with your team, use collaborative tools, and synchronise work hours where possible.
- Disjointed company culture: Building a unified culture becomes harder when people are physically separated. Fostering a strong sense of unity and shared values requires proactive efforts.
The solution: Start doing virtual team-building activities, shared virtual spaces, and regular company-wide meetings.
- Unequal access and opportunities: Remote and in-office employees may face disparities in access to resources and opportunities. Ensuring fairness and inclusivity becomes crucial.
The solution: Implement transparent processes for assignments, inclusive development programs, and free-access intranets that house resources for everyone.
- Work-life balance struggles: Setting clear boundaries between work and personal life can be tough when working from home. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance is important to make a hybrid model successful.
The solution: Promote balance with clear expectations, regular breaks, and flexible schedules for self-care.
- Reduced spontaneous interactions: In-person serendipity, like impromptu discussions and brainstorming, can be limited. Creativity may need intentional efforts to thrive.
The solution: Encourage virtual brainstorming, open forums, and casual chats to recreate spontaneous collaboration and creativity.
Should I Make the Switch to Hybrid Work?
Hybrid work is a case-by-case scenario. What works for some companies will not work for others, and that’s to be expected.
Hybrid setups are not for everyone, nor is there a one-size-fits all for effective work environments. When we stack up the positives against the negatives, however, hybrid work comes out on top. Challenges faced when implementing a hybrid model can also be overcome with a little time and effort.
When deciding whether you should switch from full-time office work to a funky fresh hybrid workplace, the main question you need to ask yourself is: will my team benefit from this?
Spoiler alert: we’re pretty sure they will!
Want to read more about best practice remote and hybrid work? Check out our guide here.