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Comparison between office work models: office, remote or hybrid?

The COVID-19 pandemic has proven to us how work from home or remote-working is feasible, given the technology we have access to today. 

With more countries opening up into the endemic stage, businesses are rethinking their next steps in their work arrangements. This includes the possibility of us finally returning to working in the office! 

There are many benefits to sticking with the remote-working option that many of us have grown accustomed to. In fact, that is the path where the future of work is heading towards. However, there are important benefits to working in the office, which might work better for your team.

It is a question that every business owner has to face in the near future, with restrictions easing – which work arrangement to choose? Full Office? Remote-work? Or a combination of both – the Hybrid Work model?

We are here to make it easier for you to answer that question.

In this article, we will be exploring the pros and cons of different work arrangements.

Full Office

Pros:

1. Increased interaction

people interacting at work

If there is one thing that work from home does not have, it is the engagement and interaction between people at your workplace. It is easier to collaborate face-to-face, compared to remote working; where every meeting is scheduled and done via texts or calls. Interaction also helps improve job satisfaction, as good collaborative relationships and communication methods can reduce frustration and miscommunication. Face to face interaction is also beneficial when discussing sensitive matters. It also can create a sense of belonging, which can translate into increased productivity.

2. Better Time Management

Working from the office usually provides a clear boundary between work life and professional life. Once you leave your workplace, everything is literally switched off and you are done for the day. Drawing this boundary is important to maintain work-life balance, which can be difficult to achieve when you are completely working from home.

3. Company Culture

A physical office space makes it more possible to hold events and bonding activities that can improve the company culture. It makes creating relationships among colleagues and peers easier as opposed to doing so when working remotely. Research by Deloitte shows that having a distinct workplace culture is important to business success according to 94 % of executives and 88% of employees. So you can see how promoting company culture in a physical office setting makes a world of difference.

 

Cons:

1. Time and cost spent on commute

Unless you live right next to the office, a significant part of your day is spent solely on your commute to the office. Not to mention transportation and parking costs! (unless it is covered by your company).

2. Costly to maintain

people working in an office

The cost of renting an office is definitely a factor to consider if you are a business owner. With renting the space, you also need to maintain the space and ensure your employees have the necessary equipment they need – which will amount to increased expenditure. So, it depends on what your priority is, and if you really require a physical space for your work to be done.

3. Prone to distractions

Since you are at the office, you are inevitably going to be approached by your colleagues as face-to-face conversation is generally an easier and quicker way to get your message across. Unfortunately, this could be easily taken for granted if you don’t set clear boundaries with your colleagues as well. This is one of the reasons people have a preference to work remotely, according to a survey by Flexjobs, 68% of the workers reported that their productivity increased working from home due to lesser distractions.

 

Work from home/Full remote

Pros:

1. Save time on commute

One of the blessings from remote-working that many have commented about working from home is how much money and time you save on your commute. This means that you can have more time to rest before your work and some extra time to get everything done within the day. If you are a primary caregiver in your family, this also means you have extra time to spend with your family members too.

2. Flexibility in work location

One of the best things about remote-working is how you can do so at the comfort of your own home! It also allows you to work literally anywhere you want, so if you are an avid traveler, this could be the perfect option when the world reopens a little more. Employees, especially millennials, highly value flexibility in choosing work places (CBRE).

3. Increase in productivity

Surprisingly, statistics show that working from home or remotely increased productivity as compared to working in the office! In a survey by Mercer, 94% of employers stated the work productivity was the same or higher since employees started working from home. The reasons for better productivity can be attributed to a range of factors – lesser distractions, lesser stress and more time for their other commitments.

 

Cons:

1. Prone to overworking and isolation

woman working on her laptop

A negative side effect from work from home that many people have brought up is how you are prone to overworking. With your workplace and your house being the same place, it is difficult to distinguish between work life and your personal life, and not knowing when to unplug. This is one of the biggest problems most remote workers face (Buffer) and if left neglected, can lead to negative impact on mental health.

2. Weakened cyber-security

This is especially for work that involves handling of private data and confidential information. It may not be wise to work remotely as that data can easily be misplaced if it is not handled in a secure manner. Furthermore, discussing confidential matters over video call rather than in person can compromise the security of data. There are chances of video call platforms to face cyberattack – for eg. cyber security breach faced by Zoom in 2020.

3. Hard to monitor performance

 As physical interaction is limited due to remote work, employers need to rethink ways to evaluate their employee’s performances and the criteria to do so. Without the right tools it can be difficult to measure employee’s performance and keep track. 

Hybrid work model

Pros:

1. Best of both worlds – balance

people with laptops in outdoor environment

We have seen how both returning to the office as well as remote-work have their own sets of benefits. With the Hybrid model, you can leverage on the benefits of both types of work arrangements!

2. Flexibility

Flexibility is one of the top most sought after benefits that most employees are looking for in recent years. A report by Ernst & Young found that  54% of employee respondents would choose flexibility in where they work. And rightfully so, as they have the option to choose where they want to work from, but also have the flexibility to return to the office when they want. This works when you have situations where you need to do certain work in the office, but a large part of your work can be done from home.

 

Cons:

1. Scheduling

In order to keep up with the movement of who is going to be in the office and who is going to be at home, there needs to be scheduling or rostering put in place. This can be very difficult to implement especially if your company has a lot of people. It might also be time-consuming and inefficient to administer the scheduling as well so a lot of planning needs to be done.

2. Not easy to implement

Following the previous point, not just in terms of scheduling, you need to plan in terms of workplaces, make sure that all the members of your company are present, and ensure effective communication tools are in place.

 

It may sound daunting, but don’t worry – we are here to support you!

Our FLYDESK App was designed to support businesses in implementing remote and hybrid work by enhancing communication within the organization. 

Our key features include:

  • Shared office booking: allows a company to optimize its real estate costs and shared desks among employees,
  • Weekly team planning: to show your colleagues where do you plan to work during the week and therefore provide more visibility,
  • Ability to “check-in” while working and share your presence with others,
  • Integrations with existing collaboration tools (Slack, MS teams) and HR systems.
  • Access to flexible space on demand.

 

 

Interested in implementing a hybrid work model for your company? We, at FLYDESK, are here to assist! Get in touch with us today and get a free demo for 3-6 months of our FLYDESK app, the perfect companion for your hybrid work needs.

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