The “where to work” battle has continued on for the past year or so. In the red corner, we have companies insisting employees return to the office. In the blue corner, we have employees resisting this return to the past, preferring to work from home.
Without wanting to jinx the logical solution to this messy affair, it seems like most companies and employees have come to agree on a middle ground — hybrid working. But does the evidence back this work culture change? And what should teams aspire to in order to deliver a healthy, productive hybrid working model? Let’s explore…
There is no shortage of evidence to suggest that the hybrid working model is here to stay. Here’s a recap of research published by the UK Parliament:
Companies that want their workforce to return to the office full-time are fighting a losing battle. Although there are potential challenges to navigate (such as keeping staff engaged and building a digital work culture), the benefits of hybrid working are too strong to cast aside:
1. Establish work-life boundaries
Over half of Brits said they worked longer hours when they had to work from home during the pandemic. Of this 8,000+ sample size, an alarming 25% of professionals said they worked more than ten extra hours. Psychologically, it makes sense. At a time of great job insecurity with many layoffs, employees may have felt pressured to “prove” their worth by working even harder.
Managers must avoid creating an unhealthy culture that causes employees to compete with their colleagues over work hours and risk cross-company burnout. Some companies may even seek to reward employees for using their annual leave entitlement and completing their work within the contracted work hours.
2. Sustain communication channels
Office small talk gets a bad rep for being tiresome but it has upsides too. How so? Conversations over lunch or between meetings help employees to integrate with their teams and share key information to progress with projects. Maintain lines of communication whilst working remotely with regular team meetings and 1-1s via video call, as well as virtual happy hours for a chance to relax and get to know one another better.
3. Make the most of digital tools
Whether team members work from home 50%, 90%, or 10% of the time, everyone should have access to digital tools for instant communication, secure file storage, and project management. Many of these tools are free or available for professional teams at a reasonable cost.
4. Invest in ergonomic desk equipment
Hands up, who straightened their spine after reading this? I did after writing it! Working from computers has many advantages, but good posture certainly is not one. In a survey by the American Chiropractic Association, over 90% of chiropractors reported that their patients complained of more musculoskeletal issues while working from home. Back and neck pain were high on the list.
Modern-day companies often offer ergonomic equipment at the office. This includes height-adjustable chairs, monitors, keyboards, and even standing desks. Employees now spending considerable time working from home need the correct equipment too. The reality is companies that skip this investment increase the chances of their employees having to take sick leave as a result of pain symptoms caused by their work environment.
5. Give employees the autonomy to choose
Yes, there are always going to be professions that need people to work at certain places at certain times. But for most, we’ve entered an era of flexibility. Companies that respect and put their trust in their employees get rewarded more often than not. By giving team members as much autonomy as possible to choose their work location, it’s likely to encourage both increased productivity and long-term retention of talent.
With tailored support for stress, poor sleep, and much more based on dedicated resources created by medical professionals.
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Whatever support you need, we will personalise your experience giving you access to the right videos, animations, inspirational stories, audio meditations etc that support your current challenges. You’ll be able to interact with the activities to practice the skills as you learn them.
All in all, the hybrid working model seems to make sense for the majority of companies. Upticks in productivity and employee well-being. Decreases in work absence and office maintenance costs. There’s plenty to embrace and celebrate. However, it’s also vital that employees working from home know how and where to get support.
That’s where Teladoc Health comes in. Organisations use Teladoc Health’s virtual care package to ensure their workers have access to well-being services that keep them healthy, happy, and fit for work. Core services include:
You can visit this page to find out more, view case studies, and get in touch.