Hybrid work: How Covid-19 is changing established ways of working

The coronavirus has forced companies around the world to look for new ways of organising their work. A model that combines remote working and office time is a viable option for most of them.

But what does hybrid work look like in practice and what impact does it have on the office space? According to a survey recently carried out by Studio Alliance member Capexus, 38% of employees consider a combination of work from home and office to optimise their productivity.
Decision-making in times of lingering uncertainty

The current situation calls for alternative forms of corporate communication, working hours and physical presence in the office. Some companies have allowed employees to continue working remotely until at least 2021, others have introduced staggered schedules and smaller work groups in the workplace. However, the persisting uncertainty about future developments has led to hybrid work, combining remote with office work.

The propensity for this model is also confirmed by a May study from Stanford, which shows that 55% of American workers want to combine work at home and in the office. According to our survey of the working environment in the Covid period, 38% of employees consider a combination of work from home and office to be the best in terms of productivity.

What does hybrid work look like now and what will it look like in the future?

The basic features of hybrid work include more autonomy for employees in deciding where they wish to work in a given moment. It also requires employees to actively think about who they have to work with and when, who they have to meet in person, what affects their productivity and what they need to do. Hybrid work is certainly not synonymous with complete freedom and flexibility.

The physical monitoring of the people in the team has been replaced by task management. In practice, companies that have adopted a hybrid approach often set days for meetings and collaborating in the office and remote-work days for carrying out tasks with an individual focus. Physical presence is suitable, for example, for:

  • launching or completing projects
  • hiring a new member and building the team
  • synchronizing activities
  • meetings with key partners and clients

Different perspectives on hybrid work

Nicholas Bloom, a professor of economics at Stanford University and a teleworker, estimates that people will work from home on average two days a week after the pandemic subsides. According to him, this setup is ideal for maintaining productivity and reducing commuting stress.

Marco Minervini, a researcher in organizational design at the INSEAD European business school, warns that a mixed model can create a gap between office workers and home office people. According to him, hybrid work can potentially worsen the gender gap, because women are expected to take on housekeeping responsibilities.

To read the full article please visit Capexus


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