With lockdown and the rapid rise in remote working, the pandemic brought with it a swift reduction in CO2 emissions, largely as a result of reduced travel, as substantial swathes of us stayed at home. Now, with the world opening up again, the new trend is towards a hybrid model of both office- and remote-based working which seems set to continue the green gains made. So, here we take a look at this new practice, how it could help save the planet, and the IT that can enable you to make a success of this modern way of working.
All change, again
While remote working was the way to go at the height of the pandemic, as we gradually emerge from the crisis, the working practices of many organisations are steadily evolving into a more hybrid model of both office-based and home working, with many employees dipping their toes into workplace life again. In fact, a recent survey of 583 business leaders by the Institute of Directors found that 63% of businesses intended to adopt this way of working post-pandemic. Indeed, following the lifting of lockdowns, rather than take an ‘everyone back in’ attitude to the workforce returning to the office, many organisations are already embracing a more measured, hybrid approach to their working practices.
So, what exactly does ‘hybrid’ working involve? Well, there are no hard and fast rules where this new practice is concerned. It could mean anything from staff being in the office four out of five days a week, to just coming into the workplace one day a month or less. It could even mean some members of a team working from home full time, while others are 100% office based. The pattern of working really can be sorted out to suit the employer and employee, giving the potential to please all parties involved – maximising productivity for the organisation and benefitting the work–life balance of employees, with total flexibility.
There are also considerable savings to be made by businesses that decide to permanently switch to hybrid working, as they can choose to downsize their office space and save on rental costs, with no need to house so many people on-site at the same time. In addition, business budgets can benefit from a reduced need to provide so many facilities and machines for workers, such as coffee and food provisions, and even printers.