Blog

The hybrid model: a work in progress

Many businesses found themselves in a sticky situation when the COVID-19 pandemic disrupted the normal structure of the workplace almost overnight. Little did we know at the time that our working model was unlikely to return to what most of us had always known it to be.

The global shift to remote work has been massive, with millions now working at home, often in roles where remote working would previously not have been considered. Statista reports that as of June 2021 44% of people aged between 30 and 49 in the UK were working from home.

Whilst COVID-19 has broken down many of the technological and cultural barriers that existed previously, it is still unclear where the dust will settle in terms of the remote versus office-based working mix. With the full impact of the pandemic as yet unknown, flexibility will be crucial to the success of each business’s hybrid working integration, with no ‘one size fits all’ solution.

As employers work to find the right balance, let’s consider what they need to keep front of mind:

Remote versus office-based working

The pandemic has overturned many preconceptions around remote working, with employers seeing substantial benefits they might never have anticipated including:

  • Improved staff morale and retention as employees enjoy a better work/life balance and save costs and time travelling back and forth to work.

  • Cost savings and efficiencies from reduced office overheads.

  • Potential to recruit further afield for skills they can’t access locally.

  • Ability to scale up without being constrained by size/availability of office space.

  • Increased productivity particularly for roles requiring high levels of concentration.

On the other hand, it hasn’t all been plain sailing and there are significant challenges still to face:

  • Staff morale and motivation has suffered for those missing in person social contact and for those fatigued by digital interaction. The younger generations have been disproportionately impacted, with three quarters of younger age groups saying they felt burnt out from working from home, increasingly disconnected and less motivated.

  • Team work and collaboration can be at risk if technologies are not reliable and managers don’t take pains to keep their team connected.

  • Company culture can be impacted where staff and teams are fragmented or misaligned.

  • Some roles rely on face-to-face interactions to spark creativity and feed innovation. In a recent survey by YouGov for the BBC, senior leaders expressed concern that workers staying at home would adversely affect creativity and collaboration.

  • Productivity may suffer if morale is low and opportunities for face-to-face mentoring and coaching may be limited.

A unique formula

Undeniably, implementing an effective hybrid working model that takes the best from both remote and office-based working is not a simple task. Every business, every team and every individual is different so it will take time for employers to hit the right balance, particularly whilst the full impact of COVID-19 is still unclear.

Indeed, rather than setting out rigid rules at this point in time, it may make better sense for businesses to take small incremental steps allowing for adjustment as clarity is gained. It may also be wise to:

  • Be patient and understanding in transitioning staff, some of whom may struggle to adjust.

  • Initiate a trial period to understand what does and doesn’t work for your working business model.

  • Treat staff as individuals and empower them to choose where and how they work best. Whilst more introverted employees may flourish in a remote setting without distractions, extroverted individuals may require regular in person contact to thrive.

  • Keep in mind that wellbeing is an essential ingredient for a productive hybrid model. Keep lines of communication open and check in with staff proactively as not all individuals working remotely will be vocal about how they are feeling.

  • Invest in good technologies to support hybrid working. Not only will this maintain productivity, it will avoid employees becoming frustrated.

  • Ensure every employee has equal working opportunities wherever they are, such as Wi-Fi, desk set ups and screens, ensuring compliance with all health and safety regulations.

It is impossible to predict what the future holds but it is certain that there will be no single definition of the hybrid working model. A new study suggests that half of the UK’s employers expect an increase in demand for flexible forms of working after the country comes out of the pandemic. With recruitment one of the biggest challenges currently faced, employers are under pressure to offer staff flexibility and create attractive workplaces in order to recruit and retain good people.

What is more, cultivating a positive and secure working environment will pay dividends for employers as their happy, motivated staff create a similarly rewarding experience for their customers. Relationships based on trust, understanding and genuine human connections are essential to us all during these times of flux. If you would like to discuss how we can help you enhance your customers’ experience with the value of human interaction, get in touch today.

Get in touch

Related articles

What do buyers really want?

What do buyers really want?

Monday, September 27, 2021
Find out more
Designing a digital marketing strategy

Designing a digital marketing strategy

Thursday, September 9, 2021
Find out more
Are generational categories dictating your communications strategy?

Are generational categories dictating your communications strategy?

Friday, August 27, 2021
Find out more
8 tips for sustainable lead generation

8 tips for sustainable lead generation

Wednesday, August 18, 2021
Find out more

Our full range of telephone services

Data Services

High quality, profiled data

Data Cleansing
Data Cleansing
Clean, up-to-date data delivers better quality leads and boosts sales
Read more
Data Enrichment
Data Enrichment
Data enrichment enables you to connect better with your target audience
Read more
Email Opt-ins: GDPR
Email Opt-ins: GDPR
Do you have a clean, compliant, opted-in database?
Read more

Pre Sales Research

Actionable insight to inform your sales and marketing strategy

Pre Sales Research
Pre Sales Research
Arm your sales and marketing teams with clear customer intelligence and accurate data.
Read more

Telemarketing

Want more opportunities to drive revenue?

Lead Generation
Lead Generation
High-quality lead generation at every stage of the customer journey
Read more
Call Handling
Call Handling
We can provide your customers with an expert, personalised service - making every interaction count
Read more
Appointment Setting
Appointment Setting
Successful appointment setting requires meaningful human interaction with senior decision makers
Read more
Lead Management
Lead Management
Improve lead flow, quality and conversion
Read more
Event Marketing
Event Marketing
Engage high value attendees and drive registrations
Read more
Lead Qualification / Nurture
Lead Qualification / Nurture
Move leads through the funnel more strategically with our expert lead qualification and lead nurturing services
Read more

Sales

Results drive, expert sales

Telesales / Inside Sales
Telesales / Inside Sales
Flexible, high performance transactional telesales and complex inside sales services.
Read more
Account Based Marketing
Account Based Marketing
Increase profitability, reverse churn and increase customer lifetime value.
Read more

Post Sales Research

Is your customer intelligence keeping pace with your business goals?

Welcome Calls
Welcome Calls
An effective welcome call helps to create a foundation for a lasting relationship.
Read more
Customer Satisfaction
Customer Satisfaction
Gain a more nuanced view of your customers’ experiences through phone-based surveys.
Read more
Treating Customers Fairly / Compliance
Treating Customers Fairly / Compliance
An FCA authorised and regulated business, our expert team can help you meet your TCF compliance needs.
Read more