What is a Blended Office Model?
Work is no longer about a specific place or being in a certain location for a certain amount of time.
The Blended Office Model offers employees and companies to split their time between home and the office.
Despite the different geographic locations, this mixture of virtual employees and office employees can seamlessly interact and collaborate as a team, which can improve efficiency and productivity, as well as increase employee engagement and motivation.
Implementing a blended office model is a great way to more effectively manage employees and individual departments responsibilities. Diving into a blended office model can be overwhelming, and sometimes it’s difficult to start.
With the blended office model being a somewhat new concept for many companies, there are certainly many challenges which you might face if you decide to implement it.
Employee wellbeing and engagement
Working remotely can make your remote employees feel as though they’re not part of the larger team. A study conducted by Sony Professional Solutions found that 51% of workers felt employers could have done more to support them with remote working, and only 30% felt fully supported in their home office set up.
Setting up a blended office model will take some time for your organization to find efficient and effective ways to resolve this issue. Scheduling regular 1:1 meetings, virtual team hang-outs, and ensuring employees have everything they need to carry out their work are just some of the ways you can use in order to make your remote workforce feel more engaged and appreciated.
Balancing the workload
Implementing a blended office model can sometimes mean that it’s harder to track the workload of those employees who work in different or remote locations.
Research suggests that many people working remotely have a hard time switching off from work during the evening, resulting in many undocumented overtime hours. There’s also an issue of employees having a hard time distinguishing their workplace from their home, which may cause organization and management issues at first.
If you believe your employees are struggling to make the shift to a remote or blended office model, take some time to have a conversation with them about how to better manage their time. This is a great opportunity to offer support to those with too much on their plates or those that are too afraid to ask for help.
Prioritizing the employee experience
The disconnect remote employees might feel isn’t just about communication. It’s about being surrounded by colleagues, having a different working environment, watercooler talks, but also bigger events such as team building, open door days, and others.
If your company is looking into switching to the blended office model, you should consider hosting collaborative events – real-life events to which all employees are invited, which will also be live-streamed for the remote employees who can then interact with the event as its happening.
Adapting the company benefits
With the standard office 9-5 no longer being the primary way of work, companies are looking into new benefits which employees now value. This could range a home office budget, mental health and well-being initiatives, learning modules, collaboration incentives, and others.
This is a great opportunity for your company to explore new benefits which you haven’t considered earlier, and see what your employees would value the most.
One of the biggest benefits for companies looking into switching to the blended office model are all the costs that they are cutting by doing so. There are no more office, facility, or infrastructure costs and instead, you can use that budget in other areas.
With your office location no longer being an issue, companies can also use this opportunity to diversify their workforce and the skills within the organization with access to global talent.
Employees find great importance in a work-life balance, and it’s recently become one of the most vital things when looking into new companies. The lack of commute means that there is more time to do things they enjoy doing, such as spending time with their families or learning new hobbies. This balance provides people with a better relationship with work and naturally drives motivation and productivity.
Even before the coronavirus pandemic struck, early studies suggested that remote working can enhance productivity. A recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) report shows that more than half of managers believe their teams are even more productive working remotely.
This increased productivity can be attributed to three sources: greater flexibility, increased focus while working, and fewer distractions associated with a busy office setup.
One of the most important (and most difficult) aspects of a healthy and efficient work environment is the trust between employers, managers, and their employees. The blended office model can help employees gain the trust of their employers, by allowing them to prove that they are as effective when working remotely as they are in the office.
This also provides better visibility into employee performance as employers can easily view the employee activities and progress on various tasks, and get a clearer picture of what everyone is doing.
The change to the blended office model
The number of working adults who did any work from home in the UK in 2020 increased to 37% on average from 27% in 2019, with workers living in London the most likely to work from home.
They’ve stated that work-life balance was the greatest benefit of working from home, while the challenges of collaboration were the greatest negative. Of the people who have experienced working from home, 85% said that they wanted to work in a hybrid or blended office model.
Studies have shown that trust and creativity among team members may suffer without face-to-face interaction. It’s hard to measure the value that comes from being together, but what people miss the most is culture, collaboration, and connection.
Tilde Loop recognizes the challenges that come from a blended office model, but also the countless value it provides. We put our trust in our employees and know that they can perform their work tasks regardless of location.
Our employees have access to over 3000+ coworking spaces in over 432 locations around the globe, as well as their home office. We respect their decision and professionalism to make the decisions on where they want to work from on each specific day