With a more relaxed pandemic context, without the obligation to wear masks indoors, companies, together with employees, decide whether to continue using the hybrid work system and which of the 5 hybrid work modes suits them best.
It is possible that employees worked from several places during this pandemic period and returning to their usual place of work would generate a shock, as they would have a different daily routine. For easy adaptation, specialists recommend returning to work gradually, so that the commute is again integrated into the daily routine and this approach will give employees time to organize their other personal obligations, such as the kindergarten/school program for children.
For the past two years, one of the main concerns of companies has been to resume business in office buildings in the most prudent way possible, to protect their employees from the risk of viral infection. The partial return to the office, by rotation, in conditions of social distancing, has created another work environment, which is now being reconfigured.
“According to the information we have from the market, from ESOP’s customers and partners, the cessation of the state of alert led to an acceleration of the decisions to return to the office and reorganize the headquarters, especially the social spaces, the main component that lacked in these two years. From more spacious meeting rooms and spaces created especially for socializing – corner type that looks like a living room, companies are trying to bring people together, for better collaboration and intra and inter-departmental synergies “, says Alexandru Petrescu, Managing Partner at ESOP Consulting | Corfac International.
The hybrid work system must meet a major challenge: fairness to all employees so that everyone is visible, integrated and has the same opportunities as those in the office.
We noticed that in the Romanian office market, as well as in more developed markets, companies are analyzing five main types of hybrid work models: remote-centric, office-centric, split week, week by week (alternate work weeks at home/office) or own hybrid.
- The remote-centric hybrid work schedule is the one in which employees work remotely, with the option to come to the office according to their own schedule. With space scheduling facilities, companies that opt for this version can save money on utilities and can instead invest in more friendly spaces, which will facilitate discussions and meetings, creating closeness between employees.
- Ideally, the office-centric hybrid work schedule is one in which employees come to work in the physical office most of the time, while also having the option of working remotely. This model is the closest to the traditional job and one that many companies have implemented since 2020.
- Another option is the split week, which schedules different teams to meet in the office on different days of the week. Implementing this model is a good way to bring each individual department back into a collaborative space while supporting remote work options. And in this case, ideally, the space is transformed, being focused on meetings and collaboration.
- Alternate work weeks (week by week) mean that employees come to the office to perform certain tasks that are best performed by being present with the team, and then return to work remotely. The implementation of this program allows employers to coordinate on a monthly basis while giving employees the option to work in the environment that suits them best 90% of the time. Enabling this type of hybrid work will help stimulate a sense of community that can increase labor productivity while reducing the use of utilities.
- At the same time, there is the option of a work program “choose your own hybrid”, so that the employee decides how it is most efficient to work.
As for fully remote work, there are companies, especially in the field of IT&C or Shared Service Center, for which one of the major benefits is the opportunity to work with people from other cities. Moreover, this type of program is one of the ways to retain young staff – digital nomads, who want to work remotely. Even for this approach, you need a physical space – for meeting and socializing, which strengthens the team.
“We still don’t know how the pandemic will evolve, but flexibility is the key to being able to work both together and individually. Hybrid work programs remain a topic on every company’s agenda, especially since every decision has both an impact on the lives of employees and on the productivity of the organization. We believe that it is useful for HR managers to constantly get feedback from employees to find out what they want and to choose one of the working methods described above, also facilitating a harmonization between the vision of top management and the vision of employees. about medium and long-term labor productivity”, says Alexandru Petrescu from ESOP Consulting.
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