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Over the past few years, traditional workplaces have drastically altered. Not all employees have to be physically present in the office, thanks to the advancements in remote working technology. Be it an HR manager or a junior executive, everyone  can conduct official duties from the comfort of their homes or from a friendly neighborhood cafe.

In fact, according to the Bayt.com & YouGov ‘Remote Work in the MENA’ survey, two-thirds of the MENA professionals believe that remote working will either increase or remain the same as now in the post-pandemic society. Hence, companies are going all out in providing all the facilities to enable their employees to work remotely.

Moreover, companies are also preparing hybrid work setups – a combination of remote and work from the office. Continue reading to know more about new ways of remote working and flexible workplaces.

Why are companies adopting remote work policies?

Companies are adopting remote working practices to provide their employees with maximum flexibility to work. A remote work setup allows employees to clock in from any part of the world and carry out their responsibilities.

Remote working has numerous benefits, including:

  1. Enhanced productivity

Many remote workers believe they are more productive than before. It is due to their increased levels of focus and concentration and fewer distractions at home. So, while working alone, they can maximize their efforts and produce better results.

  1. Health and safety

Companies can ensure their employees’ well-being and safety by allowing them to work remotely. So, workers can protect themselves from issues like a virus outbreak, for example – COVID-19. 

Remote working strategies will also help organizations avoid the risks and associated expenses of employees working from the office during critical external situations. These can include political turmoil and war, which can hamper an employee’s daily life.  

  1. Better work-life balance

As remote working helps employees save time on commuting, they are able to manage their time better. All saved commute time is better utilized in more productive tasks. The flexibility and freedom to work from their place of choice contributes to employee satisfaction and drives better efficiencies.

  1. Saved expenses

Companies are able to save a sizable chunk of  money while operating a remote or hybrid work setup. These costs include office rentals, power and utilities, internet, travel allowance, food, and many other expenditures which are part of the traditional Monday – Friday work setup.

The savings may be channeled into more meaningful and productive pursuits such as  to develop better training programs for employees or even positively contribute to the company P&L in terms of reduced overheads.

Disadvantages of remote working

Although some organizations are boosting their revenue and employee productivity, remote work has certain drawbacks:

  • Some employees live in noisy environments, which may affect their focus.
  • Not everyone has the appropriate work-from-home setup.
  • Unstable internet and electrical issues can hamper work.
  • Remote working can lead to social isolation.
  • Remote work also results in lower collaboration between colleagues.

Hybrid model and its advantages

Besides a remote setup, some companies are also adopting a hybrid setup. This is one of the new ways of working where employees can work a few days from the office and the remaining days from home.

The setup provides a lot of flexibility to the employees and multiple benefits for organizations.

  1. Increases efficiency

Employees can choose to work on projects and individual assignments whenever they want. For instance, they can work on individual projects at home. For team projects, they can collaborate with other colleagues in the office.

This flexibility allows them to improve their efficiency.

  1. Improves work-life balance

Working from home isn’t suitable for everyone, especially those who handle multiple responsibilities at home.

Hybrid or flexible workplaces enable the employees to spend equal time on household chores and occupational responsibilities. As a result, it improves work-life balance. 

  1. Reduces isolation and loneliness

Employees get opportunities to meet their colleagues through a hybrid setup. These interactions reduce their isolation and feelings of loneliness and promote a more collaborative work culture. Hecne, a hybrid work set up improves employee satisfaction levels and positively impacts company productivity.

Disadvantages of hybrid working

Some hybrid workers might enjoy their work, but some might suffer from poor work-life balance. Here are the disadvantages of hybrid working:

  • Reduced communication and synchronization between teams.
  • Employees might find it challenging to maintain hybrid schedules and routines.
  • It isn’t suitable for companies involving raw materials, factory work, and on-site operations.
  • Workers may face burnout while working from their homes and offices and the lines between personal and official times are blurred.

How to set up a proper hybrid workplace?

Companies must strive to build a hybrid setup that provides employees with work-life balance while also meeting the company objectives in the process. So, it’s essential to improve the work boundaries and modes of communication.

You can start by asking employees their preferred working hours. Then, schedule meetings, presentations, and corporate events within those hours. Also, keep an eye out for employees who might be overworked. An employee feedback form will suffice.

Other tips for establishing a successful hybrid workplace are:

  • Boost engagement and collaboration through video conferencing.
  • Maintain a common platform for sharing files, documents, and other necessities.
  • Be more liberal in letting workers work from their homes or the office.
  • Implement sophisticated tools for communication, messaging, conferencing, and onboarding.

You can instruct managers to ensure that all these operations and strategies are properly executed. Consider their feedback and analysis to optimize the strategies.

Summing up

Maintaining a remote or hybrid organizational setup requires constant evaluation of strategies. These strategies must also include strengthening your workforce and reducing attrition.   

All probable candidates might not be able to visit the office premises for an interview. Hence, you must upgrade your recruitment techniques to recruit skilled candidates from anywhere. 

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