Do people actually like hybrid working more than WFO?

As the lockdowns get lifted, people have started working from the office again. On the other hand some companies have introduced a mix of the two. Which one do your employees like more?

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There's no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work. For many of us, working from home (WFH) has become the new normal. But is this really the best way to work?

There's been a lot of debate lately about the pros and cons of WFH vs. hybrid working (a mix of WFH and working from the office). So, what's the verdict? Do people actually prefer hybrid working to WFH?

Let's take a look at the pros and cons of both remote working and hybrid work to see which is more preferred for most people.

Introduction

When the pandemic first hit and organizations were scrambling to figure out how to keep their employees safe, many turned to remote work as a solution. However, as time has gone on, it's become clear that not everyone is a fan of working from home (WFH). In fact, some people are finding that they prefer hybrid working arrangements, where they split their time between working from home and working in the office.

Pros and cons of remote working

There are many advantages and disadvantages to working remotely, which can make it difficult to decide whether it's the right option for you. On the plus side, you'll have more control over your environment, schedule, and distractions. You can also save on commuting time, and costs, as well as enjoy greater flexibility regarding taking time off. However, there are some potential downsides to consider too, such as feeling isolated from colleagues, struggling to 'switch off' at the end of the day, and dealing with technical issues.

So, what are the pros and cons of remote working? Let's take a closer look.

Pros of remote working

  1. More control over your environment: When you work remotely, you can create an environment that suits you best – whether that's a home office with plenty of natural light or a co-working space with like-minded people. You can also take breaks when you need them, without having to ask permission or feel guilty about it.
  2. Greater flexibility: One of the biggest advantages of working remotely is the increased flexibility it offers. Whether you need to adjust your hours to accommodate family commitments or you want to take a longer lunch break to go for a walk, you can do so without having to ask permission from your boss. It can make a big difference to your work-life balance and overall well being.
  3. Save on commuting time and costs: If you live in a city, working remotely can save you a lot of time and money on commuting. No more spending hours stuck in traffic or on crowded trains! Not only is this good for your sanity, but it also reduces your carbon footprint.

Disadvantages of remote working

  1. Feeling isolated from colleagues: One of the main drawbacks of working remotely is feeling isolated from colleagues. When you're not in the same physical space as other people, it can be harder to build relationships and feel like part of a team. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which can impact your mental health.
  2. Technical issues: Another downside of remote working is that technical issues are often magnified. If something goes wrong with your internet connection or computer, it can be much harder to get help when you're not in the same location as IT support staff. This can lead to lost productivity and frustration.

Pros and cons of hybrid work

There are several potential benefits to hybrid working models, for both employees and employers. Let's take a look:

1. Hybrid working can boost productivity

Studies have shown that employees who have the ability to work from home are actually more productive than those who work in an office full-time. It is likely because they have more control over their environment and can create a space that is conducive to concentration and focus.

2. Hybrid work can improve work-life balance.

One of the biggest complaints about WFH is that it can be difficult to maintain a healthy work-life balance. It is because there is no clear distinction between "work time" and "home time" when you're both in the same place. Hybrid working gives the option to step away from their workstation and take a break when they need it.

3. Hybrid working can reduce stress levels.

The constant Zoom calls and lack of human interaction can be stressful for some people who are used to working in an office environment. Hybrid working gives employees the opportunity to socialize with their colleagues face-to-face, which can help reduce stress levels overall.

From an employee perspective, hybrid working can offer the best of both worlds – the ability to enjoy some flexibility and control over their working environment and schedule, while still being able to benefit from face-to-face interaction with colleagues when needed. This can be particularly beneficial for parents or carers who need to juggle childcare commitments with work, or for those who live in rural areas where commuting into a city center office may not be practical or feasible.

Hybrid working can also have positive implications for an employer's bottom line. By offering employees the option to work from home part of the time, businesses can reduce their overheads in terms of office space and equipment. What's more, happy and motivated employees who have a good work/life balance are more productive, so there are potential productivity gains to be made too.

Of course, there are also some potential drawbacks associated with hybrid working that should be considered. For example, if not managed correctly, there is a risk that employees may feel isolated from their colleagues or that team cohesion could suffer. There may also be issues around ensuring everyone has access to the same information and resources, regardless of whether they are in the office or working remotely.

Overall, hybrid working models have the potential to offer significant advantages for both workers and businesses alike. When implemented successfully, they can lead to increased productivity and job satisfaction levels, as well as reduced overheads for employers.

Conclusion: Remote is preferred for most people

In conclusion, it seems that remote working is more preferred for most people, due to the greater flexibility and control it offers employees over their working environment. While there may be some potential downsides to consider, such as feeling isolated from colleagues or struggling to 'switch off' at the end of the day, these seem to be outweighed by the advantages of being able to work from home.

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