October 8, 2021

The Impact of Hybrid Work on Productivity

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The rise in popularity of remote and hybrid work structures has left many wondering what effect this change may have on the productivity of those organizations and workers involved. In exploring this, we can look at the impact of hybrid work on production and how modern software can help organizations that allow hybrid work to increase workforce productivity.

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An introduction to hybrid work 

After the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many organizations had no choice but to adapt to conducting work remotely to comply with social distancing mandates. Remote work occurs when an employee performs their job duties from a location separate from the traditional workspace.

Instead of commuting to a work location provided by their job, this arrangement allows employees more freedom to accomplish the same work tasks elsewhere. A hybrid work arrangement may include working on-site only part of the time. When in-person social contact was limited, these arrangements were essential for many organizations.

The effects of hybrid work on productivity

Not all organizations and companies measure productivity by the same performance standards. But, employee productivity is usually dependent on the positive behavior of their staff members and their abilities to meet the employee performance goals and objectives set out by management.

Therefore, the primary way hybrid work situations may influence production is through the work arrangement’s effects on the working staff, including workers who adopt a hybrid work model and the colleagues who may be affected by the change. 

In addition, a strong workforce relies on feedback and collaboration in order to meet smart goals and maintain good performance. And when part of the team is working remotely, this may influence the team’s overall production.

How hybrid work improves productivity

Many workforce managers have seized the opportunity to benefit from hybrid work even before the pandemic. Since lockdown, however, the push for hybrid work has increased. 

Data from Accenture’s Future of Work Study 2021 shows positive feedback from hybrid workers regarding their hybrid work model. Of 9,326 surveyed workers, 83% stated they prefer a hybrid work model that allows them to work remotely at least 25% of the time.

One of the largest reasons for this preference may be the flexibility that hybrid work offers. Each person can work in the environment that makes them most productive. Factors like lighting, sound, temperature, and seating can have a major impact on each worker’s productivity, and it’s difficult to adapt those elements to each person’s preferences in an office setting. When workers have direct control over their environments, it’s easier for them to focus on the work at hand.

How to avoid productivity barriers with hybrid work

As with any change in work structure, challenges with adapting to hybrid work may become barriers to productivity.

First, collaboration and team-building are generally more difficult in a hybrid work model. Teams may experience communication gaps when working remotely, especially if they’re accustomed to asking questions or providing updates in passing conversations. Whether they’re in-office or remote, workers must make a conscious effort to engage teammates through other channels, so everyone can stay up-to-date on important details.

Similarly, new or training staff members may feel left behind if they are not sure how to find answers to work-related questions. Ineffective or unclear direction and feedback can be especially difficult to navigate in a hybrid work environment. To properly complete tasks and meet goals, staff members need easily accessible resources and transparent expectations. Implementing hybrid work with the right tools and technology can improve and alleviate these issues. Solutions like video conferencing software, messaging applications, collaboration software, and other forms of management technology can create new communication channels and maintain valuable teamwork for hybrid teams.

Implementing hybrid work effectively to avoid decreases in productivity 

As with any change in work structure, difficulties can arise that may decrease overall productivity. In addition, some negative attributes to hybrid work are bound to occur if the work model is ineffectively applied.

One drawback to the hybrid work model is that some workers prefer to communicate with their colleagues more quickly and efficiently in a shared workplace setting. Especially when confronted with the idea of collaborative work, staff members may experience difficulties with communication when working remotely. New or training staff members may feel left behind if they are not sure how to answer work-related questions. Ineffective or unclear management direction can be especially harmful to the productivity of a workplace when employees are doing hybrid work. To properly carry out tasks, staff members need to have information about management and expectations available to reference.

However, executing hybrid work with the right tools and technology can improve and alleviate these issues. By providing clear management expectations for workers and open communication channels between staff members, lapses in productivity due to lack of direction may decrease. Utilizing the correct tools can be helpful, as collaboration can occur through video conferencing software, messaging applications, collaboration software, and other forms of management technology. Many workplaces have used technology and hybrid work software to amend these issues that can harm productivity and instead harness more benefits to the hybrid work structure that may increase productivity.

How companies utilize hybrid work software to see positive change in the workforce

Many organizations and companies have turned to the use of hybrid and remote work software to effectively manage their remote workers and increase the productivity of their staff. An optimized digital workplace can assist workers with many aspects of hybrid working.

Project management

Work coordination is essential to a productive workforce structure. According to Reworked.co, project management programs like Smartsheet help organize employees’ individual goals around a centralized task. 

Additionally, communication and collaboration are made simpler for remote workers through Intranet programs like Powell Software, which allows for interactive communication between staff members.

Training 

In addition, digital adoption platforms like Walkme and other training software like ezTalks Cloud Meeting help teach skills or conduct lessons to train staff members. Many of these software systems can help employees with their professional development by providing training for employee growth and career development opportunities.

Analytics

Some software programs offer helpful analytics for human resources (HR) and leadership to review staff data, provide feedback, conduct performance appraisals, and develop plans to increase productivity and reach employee goals. For example, Scalable Software’s hybrid work system uses relational analytics to help HR leaders understand shifts in team dynamics and assess hybrid working capabilities. 

Performance management

A performance management system enables management teams to provide constructive feedback and conduct effective performance appraisals regardless of where employees are located. 

For example, BambooHR’s performance management features let managers streamline a number of tasks for their hybrid teams. These include tracking employees’ accomplishments, setting refined goals for improvement, and alerting employees of goal progress. 

When all of this information is in one place, remote workers can feel confident that they’re on the right track toward meeting their goals.

Hybrid work models increase productivity — if done right

By adjusting their workforce structure to a hybrid model, companies and organizations can leverage the benefits of having both in-office and remote teams. Employees that have more control over how and where they work are more likely to be satisfied in their jobs and, by extension, more productive in their day-to-day.

However, team members’ success with hybrid work requires proper tools for communication, feedback, and collaboration. The right hybrid work software can offer tools to support these needs and improve productivity for teams no matter where they work.

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