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The Competitive Advantage of Having a Hybrid Workforce

Many companies are shifting their focus away from the traditional work model to a hybrid workforce. This is largely due to the fact that there are so many benefits associated with having a hybrid workforce. Some of these include increased productivity, reduced overhead costs, and happier employees, but there's much more!

Hybrid Workforce Definition

Before discussing the business and cost benefits, let's cover the most basic (yet most important question): What is a hybrid workforce model? A hybrid workplace is mostly known as a workforce that is made up of full-time employees who work from an office and part-time or contract workers. Often, hybrid workplaces have between 20 - 200 employees working at the same location on a regular basis, but they may also include remote workers as well.

However, a hybrid working environment goes beyond a combination of on-site and remote employees. So, how does a hybrid workforce work? Essentially, the main idea is that companies provide a few choices (or as many choices as possible) to their employees on when or where they want to work. Some companies even have job-sharing where two people share the responsibilities of one role. While others have the opportunity to work part-time during times when they need it. The idea is that employees have more control and autonomy over when and how they work.

👉 Read our articles that expand more on what is the hybrid workforce model  and what is a hybrid employee for a more comprehensive discussion.

Why Choose a Hybrid Workforce?

Now, let's better understand why more and more companies are transitioning to this type of work model. Is it just a trend? Or is it the best and most sustainable solution?

There are four critical factors for any business to succeed: money, management, people, and processes. The hybrid model provides prime opportunities for these factors to grow. It also gives your company more chances to succeed but at a lesser cost to the company and without compromising the work-life balance of its employees.

Here are some of the best advantages and impressive hybrid workforce statistics to prove it:

Save Money In Multiple Areas

Lower Real Estate Cost

Cisco, the multinational technology company, has seen an estimated savings of $500 million over the last five years and they were able to reduce their real estate footprint by 50% by doing this.

Lower Carbon Footprint

A hybrid office significantly reduces the overall carbon footprint. According to Future Earth, the Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020 caused fossil carbon dioxide emissions to decline by an estimated 2.4 billion tonnes! Will this trend continue? Here's their prediction on what's to come. So on top of saving on real estate, companies are also making a significant positive impact on the environment.

Invest More in Employee Wellness

Companies are not the only ones saving money. FlexJobs reports that employees who work remotely are saving up to $600 a year on car maintenance, insurance, and public transportation. They also don't have the hassle of dressing appropriately for work or spending money eating out.

The savings can be reinvested in other areas, such as investing more in employee wellness. For example, e-commerce company Shopify has given their new remote employees $1000 to spruce up their home office space. (Or get creative and create an office space at home if they don't have one yet!)

More Opportunities for Better Management

It's not a secret that companies that are extremely successful have the best management teams, and this is one of the best hybrid model advantages.

Access to Top Talent

Companies that have a hybrid workforce usually hire remote employees, so they're no longer limited to hiring locally. They widen their talent pool. This means that they can access tech-savvy and highly skilled marketers, developers, and salespeople worldwide. This group of workers is known as the "generation flex", as they prefer working with companies that have flexible work models.

Build a Strong Company Culture

While expanding the hiring pool is a huge plus, some leaders are worried that they won't be able to maintain their company culture when shifting to a hybrid team. However, this totally depends on the hybrid management style. Having a hybrid workforce can actually reinforce your strong culture, as it gets carried over in your digital HQ.

👋 Bring your hybrid team together

There’s a better way to schedule your days in the office...right from Slack!

People-Centric Principles

And of course, the best manifestation of your company culture is how you treat your people.

Less Stress

Employees report a decrease in stress when working hybrid jobs. This is important because stress is linked to physical and mental health issues like heart disease, depression, anxiety, obesity, diabetes, and even early death. Companies are starting to see the benefits of decreased employee stress levels on their bottom line. Companies are paying more attention to the link between lower employee stress and higher productivity. They're even leaning more into offering employees additional time off for sick days or personal reasons.

Lower Attrition Rate

With a hybrid work environment, the attrition rate will decrease because employees are given more options and time to develop their skillsets. This can lead to higher job satisfaction which then results in lower turnover rates as well as an increase in productivity levels.

Proper Processes Lead to Productivity

And, of course, increasing productivity has always been a company goal--pandemic or not. This is arguably the main reason why most companies switch to a hybrid setup. Hybrid employees can often be more productive than their traditional counterparts because they are free to choose the time and place that works best for them. Moreover, this produces fewer distractions which leads to increased productivity by having fewer meetings and shorter discussions.

Hybrid Workforce Leadership

A huge part of implementing a successful transition to hybrid work largely depends on its leadership team. Here are some simple yet effective hybrid workforce best practices your leadership team can follow:

Help with the transition and acknowledge the struggles.

Transitioning to a hybrid workforce can be exciting, but it also has its struggles. As leaders, it's important to acknowledge these struggles and provide solutions when necessary. For example, it's common (and therefore more understandable) for parents with little kids to have challenging workdays. But you should extend the same understanding with people who are living alone. While they might not face the same struggles, they might still feel overwhelmed or lonely. Make sure to provide many options and channels to ask for support, such as discussing it during 1:1 meetings.

Cultivate a growth mindset.

A hybrid setup goes beyond a flexible schedule; it's a lifestyle and a mindset. Cultivating a growth mindset lets everyone know that you're always optimizing the best way to work, and what works now may not work in the future.

Continue to build strong professional relationships.

Lastly, encourage everyone to continue cultivating great work relationships despite the distance. That's why it's critical for the leadership team to invest in tools that can enhance connections among hybrid employees.

Whether you’re a small business owner with a tight budget or an established corporation, there are many benefits to switching to a hybrid workforce. The benefits of a hybrid workforce are plentiful, including saving money in operational costs. But the most important factor is that it provides the best experience to your employees, making them more productive, happier, and more loyal.