Brian Wallace, Founder & President, NowSourcing
Necessity is the mother of all innovation. When it became necessary for millions of American office workers to work from home to stop the spread of coronavirus, it led to a mass experiment on workplace structure. Despite initial hesitation, remote work has been a success. 97% of American office workers now say they prefer working remotely. When asked to explain why, workers cited the absence of a commute, better work-life balances, and more time with their families as points in remote work’s favor.
What do America’s bosses say? As it turns out, remote work is good for businesses too. When companies let their employees work from home 2-3 days a week, they can save up to $11,000. Cost savings come from lower office overhead, reduced employee absence and turnover, and higher productivity levels. Listening to one’s employees is the mark of a good manager.
Unfortunately, remote work is not possible in all circumstances. Only 37% of all US jobs can be done entirely from home. In a hybrid work environment, employees would only go into the office when necessary. Aware of these realities, searches for hybrid work jumped 400% from June 2019 to June 2021. A majority of Americans want to have a hybrid workplace as their future.
Building a hybrid workplace requires multiple considerations. The first consideration should be the overall working model. How much remote work does a business want to incorporate into their hybrid model? Some companies want to be remote first, providing traditional workspace only when necessary, while others desire the opposite. For certain businesses, leadership works in an office while overseeing remote employees. Still other companies see the benefits of maximum flexibility and allow employees to set their own mix of in person and remote. No one formula applies to every business. If the pandemic has taught America anything, it is that flexibility is key.
Once a model is selected, other modifications should be made to ensure an ideal hybrid environment. Meeting rooms should be equipped with microphones, lighting, and displays to streamline teleconferences. Remote attendees should occupy separate screens from shared content. Incorporating tech into all physical spaces will allow better remote communication as well. In short, businesses should ensure their office accommodates remote employees just as well as it does in-person ones.
The future arrived on the heels of a global pandemic. Hybrid work is here to stay. Innovation cements the future.
About the Author: Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading infographic design agency in Louisville, KY and Cincinnati, OH which works with companies ranging from startups to Fortune 500s. Brian runs #LinkedInLocal events, hosts the Next Action Podcast, and has been named a Google Small Business Adviser for 2016-present. Follow Brian Wallace on Linked