The way we work has changed. The Office of National Statistics found that of the 46% of people who worked from home in April 2020, 86% did so as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The last two years have shifted everyone’s work-life balance, and hybrid working has come about with unstoppable momentum. Below, we break down what exactly people mean by hybrid working, and Flexioffices Managing Directors share with you our plans to adopt a hybrid way of working. For more definitions on serviced offices lingo, check out this post - where we cover everything from hybrid working, where we cover everything from ‘ABW’ (Activity-Based Work solutions) to the ‘third space.’
What do we mean by hybrid working?
Hybrid working means the process of working from the office as well as from home in a rotating system. This can mean asking your teams to come in from as little as a few hours once a week to 4 days in the office and one day home working.
Why has it come about?
The ONS reported that ‘more than half of people living in London (57.2%) did some work at home’ as a result of the pandemic. Hybrid working very much existed before COVID, but now is very much part of mainstream working life.
Business Psychologist and Author of Busy @ Home: How to Thrive Through the Covid Crisis, Tony Crabbe acknowledges that not only is the hybrid working model here to stay, “It’s actually a bit bonkers that it’s taken us this long to start doing it.” Mr Crabbe isn’t the only one to think ahead when it comes to implementing hybrid working for the long haul. Huge corporations such as Microsoft, Google, and Twitter have all implemented hybrid office working. Kurt DelBene, Executive Vice President of Microsoft, has even written an article on the subject, describing hybrid working as a "Viable, welcome, and working alternative to the traditional 9-5, so it would seem."
Businesses have more decisions to make: the rise of the 4 day working week
Businesses are adapting to hybrid working and even seeing a boost in productivity if employees are given greater freedoms - such as contractually working less hours. In a nutshell, business owners are left two choices:
A) Fight against the tide and continue asking their employees to commute into the workspace full time
B) Embrace the new normal and respect that hybrid working means your employees can reap the benefits of a better work-life balance
Flexioffices pick B - and we’re trialling a 4 day working week
This comes about with the news of Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand financial services company’s successful trial of a 4-day-working-week found that productivity levels rose by 20% as a result of their staff working fewer hours, along with staff stress levels reducing by 7%. Work-life balance scores also backed the 4-day-working-week’s business viability, increasing from 54% to 78%.
We caught up with our Directors to find out what brought about this decision - if you’re a business owner weighing up your hybrid working options and the 4-day-working-week experiment, you’ll want to read this!
Hybrid The new normal is all about work-life balance. Enjoying more time at home, with friends and family, but also enjoying the time we have with colleagues when we are in the office – the collaboration that brings but also the change of scenery from my spare bedroom!
Emma Butler, Operations Director, Flexcioffices
"One of our core values is ‘We put people first’. We want our employees to have a healthy work-life balance, to be the best they can be when they’re at work and to enable that, we need to look after their mental health. Introducing a 4 day work week will hopefully ensure that we’re doing everything we can to show our employees that we are committed to supporting their health and wellbeing."
Geraint Evans, Managing Director
"We have been witnessing first-hand how the nature of ‘work’ is changing forever. The weekly five-day commute to the office is no longer necessary. Flexible working is the new thing, flexibility meaning not just meaning when but also where. The work-life balance dynamics have changed, life no longer fits around work – it’s the other way round. Being at the fore of working practices we as Flexioffices have decided to make a further change, both for the betterment of our peoples’ wellbeing but also for improved productivity from our teams. That change will mean that Flexi folk will all have the benefit of a 3 day weekend with two of the four working days being at home. That’s effectively an additional 44 days of leave every year. We hope that this, along with other employee benefits and initiatives, will enable us to retain our people and also attract the top talent that is available."
Peter Kling, Head of Finance
"The pandemic has taught us many things, I think the most important of which is adaptability. We have adapted to a new way of living, schooling and working. We have all had many conversations over the last 17 months about the future and what life and working will look like and from those conversations have sprung interesting ideas of how we want to come out of this. Some people want a return to normal, a return to the office and out of their homes. Some never want to see the inside of an office ever again. One thing is for certain and that is no matter what we choose our work life has been disrupted. Flexi Offices has decided to continue this disruption by trialling a 4 day working week. We hope this will help our staff improve their work-life balance and have a positive impact on their mental health. Research has shown that happy, well-rested employees are also more productive. We are very excited to see the results of the trial."
James Harrap, Sales Director
"Flexioffices are at the cutting edge of a significant move from business leaders looking to take advantage of flexible working in 2 aspects, the office base and employee welfare. Firstly, the office base where we help clients to find the prefect office solution, from a hybrid office where clients can take advantage of only using and paying for the space they need as and when they need it, to hub and spoke offices that are aligned and allow people to travel to the office location that suits them best. Secondly and particularly right now where there is an increased focus on employee wellbeing and an improved work-life balance, so we are looking to continue that lead for our own employees. The team currently have a mix of working from home and in the office and we are about to enhance this as we launch a trial of a 4 day working week. There are so many benefits for both the employee and employer from increased productivity, retention of employees and some businesses have reported up to a 45% decrease in employee stress levels. We are committed to offer the best possible working environment for our team so we continue to provide the best possible service for our clients."
Michael Dubicki, Business Development Director
“The world of work has changed irreversibly. Employees are prioritising flexibility and work-life balance above most benefits. Since the end of lockdowns, Flexioffices has incorporated a hybrid approach enabling our people to split home working with coming into the office, but we wanted to go further and create an environment that would be really differentiated from the pack. Incorporating a successful #4dayworkweek will bring us a step closer to this, and I’m excited to see the impact on the business and our people!”
Serviced offices to rent facilitate hybrid working.
The industry’s ever-flexible terms, contracts, start dates, furniture arrangements, facilities, and workspace design position us as the ideal spokesperson to negotiate your hybrid working needs. To use our free service and find your hybrid working solution, reach out to us.