HR Solutions for Hybrid Work Models

HR Solutions for Hybrid Work Models


The hybrid working model has become the new normal since the COVID-19 pandemic. When the lockdown restrictions were lifted, remote work became the norm, with people preferring to work from the comfort of their homes because it saved them a lot of costs on commuting. And that's where the Hybrid work model came into effect. Because of the drastic changes resulting from the pandemic, companies instantly began to implement flexibility regarding their employees and how they work. 


After the pandemic, companies had observed firsthand how productive employees could be when they worked from home. After witnessing this, remote and hybrid work models became commonplace for companies. In this guide, we'll discuss the Hybrid work model in detail, its different types, the benefits and drawbacks for companies, and how HR plays a crucial role in ensuring that the Hybrid work model is successful. So, without further ado, let's get started.


What Is A Hybrid Work Model?

The hybrid work model combines elements of remote work and in-office work. It enables employees to split their time between working remotely or in a traditional office setting. This model also offers flexibility to employees who'd like to choose where to work based on their individual preferences while still having social interaction and collaboration where necessary. Hybrid work models became increasingly popular during the COVID-19 pandemic as companies wanted to adapt to remote working environments while maintaining productivity and enhancing employee satisfaction.


What Are The Types of Hybrid Work Models?

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There are various types of Hybrid work models, with the most common ones that companies adopt including:


1) Remote Focused

In this model, it is known by default that the employee is supposed to work remotely. All meetings and discussions are conducted online on Google Meets or Zoom. Only workers whose jobs cannot be done remotely must work on-site.


2) Office Focused

Employees of these companies are required to work on-site, with the exceptions being determined on an individual or team basis. This model is more common where the employees must deal with the customers face to face.


3) Flexible Focused

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When some employees could work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic, they had a choice regarding whether they wanted to work from home or the office. However, they would occasionally be required to come to the office for work meetings and other social events.


4) Partly Remote

In the partly remote hybrid model, some teams are fully remote, for instance, the marketing teams, while other teams like HR and Sales have to work on-site. Companies that use this model need to ensure that they have an effective communication strategy in place.


Benefits & Drawbacks of the Hybrid Work Model

There are various pros and cons for companies to implement the Hybrid work model, and these include:


Benefits

  • Employees have the flexibility to choose where and when they want to work. Not only does this allow them to manage their time better, but they can also achieve a work-life balance.

  • Like remote work, the hybrid work model can also lead to enhanced productivity as employees have the freedom to work in an environment where they can feel more comfortable and focused.

  • Employees and employers can save on commuting costs alongside office expenses, as they'll only have to be in the office for, say, just once a week.

  • The hybrid model allows in-person collaboration and bonding with the different teams, which can help foster innovation and creativity.

  • Offering a hybrid work model also allows companies to help attract different employees as these employees would prefer the flexibility that hybrid working offers.

Drawbacks

  • Balancing remote roles and on-site jobs can sometimes create communication gaps and misunderstandings between team members, especially if the company does not manage this model effectively.

  • Hybrid models can also divide remote and on-site employees, leading to feelings of isolation and resentment if they're not appropriately addressed.

  • Employers will have to invest in the technology and infrastructure to support a hybrid working environment, including tools for remote collaboration and flexible office spaces.

  • Managing a hybrid team also requires careful planning and coordination, ensuring everyone feels safe and included, which can sometimes be challenging for managers.

  • Maintaining a strong company culture can sometimes be challenging in a hybrid work environment, as remote employees can feel disconnected from the company's values and culture.


The Role of HR In Implementing A Successful Hybrid Work Model In An Organization

Human Resources plays an integral role in companies to ensure the Hybrid work model is set up for success. Here are some key strategies that HR teams implement to ensure a smooth transition for companies for remote work:

  • Clear Communication: Effective communication is crucial in hybrid working environments. HR departments should ensure open communication channels for remote and on-site employees. Regular meetings and team updates using Slack, Zoom, and Microsoft Teams can help enhance communication.
  • Flexible Policies: HR must also develop and communicate policies that are convenient for hybrid work arrangements. This includes different policies related to productivity, working hours, and leave policies.
  • Wellness and Mental Health: Employees' mental health should be the top priority. HR teams should offer valuable resources to help manage remote-work-related stress and the isolation from remote working.
  • Equity and Inclusion: HR must be vigilant about ensuring that they can maintain equity and inclusion in a hybrid work environment. Remote workers should have equal access to resources, opportunities, and recognition as their on-site colleagues. 
  • Compliance and Legal Considerations: HR teams should stay up-to-date with the latest labor laws and regulations related to remote work, mainly when the company's employees are scattered across different locations. There should be compliance with taxation, employment laws, and data privacy.


How Can Technology Help Enhance The Hybrid Work Model For Companies?

Technology plays a crucial role in helping companies facilitate the hybrid working model. Companies should invest in the right technology tools to support remote working. One way through which this is possible is investing in a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPNs encrypt your internet traffic and mask your IP address, keeping your data safe and secure from online threats since all your data gets routed through a secure VPN tunnel.


For companies that have implemented the Hybrid working model, companies need to invest in a Secure Remote Access VPN. Companies can avail of many benefits from using a Remote Access VPN. These include:


1) Data Encryption

VPNs encrypt the transmitted data between the remote user and the corporate network. This encryption ensures that even if the data gets intercepted, the data remains unreadable to malicious actors and other unauthorized third parties, which helps safeguard sensitive information.


2) Secure Remote Connectivity

Remote access VPNs offer a secure tunnel for remote employees to connect to the corporate network on the Internet. This enables employees, partners, and contractors to securely access the company's confidential data and sensitive documents from any location, even when using a public network. This ensures that security isn't compromised.


3) Protection From Cyber Threats

VPNs help remote employees protect themselves from online security threats such as phishing attacks, malware, and man-in-the-middle attacks. Since the traffic is routed through a secure VPN tunnel, users' devices are shielded from any potential threats found on unsecured networks.


4) Cost-Effective

A remote access VPN is more cost-effective than traditional remote access solutions, like dedicated lease lines or remote access servers. VPNs also leverage the existing internet infrastructure, eliminating the need for expensive hardware or dedicated connections.


Companies adopting the Hybrid work model must also implement additional security measures to protect their employees and sensitive company data. Firstly, they should also invest in reliable antivirus software that detects emerging threats in real-time and immediately removes them from their device.


The company should also implement strong passwords for all their online accounts and enable Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA), making it more difficult for unauthorized third parties to access the company's sensitive data.


Wrapping Up

The hybrid work model has become the new normal since the COVID-19 pandemic. Companies have adopted more flexibility when giving their employees the choice of having the best of both worlds. However, implementing the hybrid work model and ensuring that it becomes a success also depends on the efforts of the company's HR team. They must align with the needs of the employees and the stakeholders to ensure that things are running smoothly, even in a hybrid work setting. Companies need HR teams to ensure that the hybrid work model fits effectively with the company's work culture.

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Editorial Team
Consultant
This article was written by Editorial a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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