The Main Benefits and Challenges of a Hybrid Work Model for Small Businesses

meeting in a Hybrid Work Model for Small BusinessesWith the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic fading, small businesses are evaluating what type of remote work business model will work best for them. Many organizations are finding that the middle ground of a hybrid work from home (WFH) model offers the benefits of fully remote and in-office work models while minimizing their negative aspects.

In this article, we will examine the main benefits and challenges of a hybrid work model for small businesses and nonprofits.

Main Benefits of a Hybrid Work Model

Flexibility increases productivity and efficiency

When your workforce has the flexibility to organize their workloads at home and in the office, they will benefit from a better work-life balance and the feeling of control over their personal and professional lives. With this flexibility, your employees will balance their workloads better and maintain their focus on their assignments. They will also gain the benefits of working directly with team members on group projects in the office and have the ability to concentrate on individual assignments when working remotely. The hybrid work model accommodates and capitalizes on the diverse work styles of your employees.

Reduction of operating costs

Although costs are not reduced as much as in a fully remote environment, your company will benefit from lower infrastructure costs in a hybrid work environment. In addition, your employees will save money on commuting and personal costs through WFH part of the time. The less time spent commuting by employees means more time for friends, family, and exercise and results in lower stress levels. The key factors of lower infrastructure costs and more productive workers will significantly help your organization’s bottom line.

Employees prefer this model

man working at his Hybrid Work Model for Small Businesses64% of workers in a recent Salesforce survey said they would prefer a hybrid work model over fully remote or in-office options. Happier workers are more productive workers and will likely stay longer at your organization.

Managers prefer having remote work options

A survey by Condeco revealed that 80% of company managers have confidence in their teams to successfully complete their work assignments while working remotely. The managers reported that their employees and colleagues exhibited comparable productivity levels whether working from home or in the office with benefits gained from having employees at both locations.

Improved staff health

With your office space less crowded and employees feeling comfortable staying home when ill, there will be fewer sick days taken. In addition, there will be fewer interoffice personality conflicts and other issues that often arise with cramped office space. With the benefits of work flexibility, less commuting, and a better work-life balance, your employees will have better physical and mental health, which will make them happier and more productive.

Main Challenges of a Hybrid Work Model

Impact on employee collaboration and bonding

With employees coming into the office at various times, it can be difficult for teams to schedule in-person working sessions. Although there are excellent video collaboration tools, some types of work benefit greatly from in-person collaboration. Also, if employees rarely see each other in person because of different in-office schedules, forming and maintaining a strong team bond and company culture will be more difficult. Employees also often comment on the value of spontaneous meetings and chats. As a result, your organization needs to make a point of scheduling regular team building sessions in-person and virtually and should provide access to powerful communication tools to enhance employee interaction.

Your company managers also need to be mindful of treating employees equally in split teams with various WFH models. One recent study found that remote workers were 38% less likely to receive a bonus than an in-office employee. Your management team must provide formalized targets and objectives and ensure that they are providing guidance and checking in with all employees regularly.

Overwork and burnout

Although the majority of employees would prefer a hybrid or fully remote working environment, they sometimes find that they are spending more hours working, which can lead to stress and burnout. Some employees fear that their managers will think they are slacking off without in-person monitoring, so they overcompensate with additional hours worked and less breaks during the day. In addition, some employees in the hybrid model complain about never being able to turn off work, as their work flexibility now makes them subject to more frequent emails and calls from work .

Communication challenges

Experts note that 90% of communication is non-verbal, which means it is transmitted through facial expressions, body language, and different tones of voice. As a result, your small business needs to ensure all formal and important communications are transmitted in-person or through advanced videoconferencing tools. Management teams also need to establish employee instant messaging channels and forums and ensure that there are regular team meetings. These efforts will improve communication across the organization and prevent silos from forming among team members.

Increased cybersecurity threat

With employees working at a wide range of times and using more company and private devices, the number of access points to organizational networks is growing, which causes cybersecurity threats to increase. Cybercriminals are well aware of the opportunities presented by remote work options and are increasingly targeting their efforts toward small businesses and nonprofits that have employees working from home.

women in office at her Hybrid Work ModelWhen using a hybrid work model, your organization needs to increase its efforts on educating and training your employees about internet and email protocol and good cyber hygiene. Security experts also recommend utilizing the best cybersecurity and network monitoring tools as well as testing employee cybersecurity awareness with simulated phishing campaigns.

Contact an IT Support Partner to Learn about the Benefits and Challenges of a Hybrid Model

Your company would likely benefit from using a hybrid work model, but there will be challenges when implementing one at your organization.

We recommend that your management team contact an IT Support partner experienced in supporting hybrid work models, like Network Depot, to help you design the optimal WFH model. Your trusted IT partner will advise you on how a customized hybrid work option will work best at your organization, and they will help you evaluate and install the IT applications necessary to make it work efficiently.

With a good understanding of the benefits and challenges of remote work and the valuable assistance of a dependable IT Support partner, your small business will be well prepared to execute the optimal hybrid work scenario.

To learn more about how to implement the best hybrid work model for your organization, please contact Network Depot today!

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Time and experience has helped us develop best practices and workflow procedures around a proactive philosophy designed to keep your focus on your business, not your technology.

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