How to use a remote workforce to propel business recovery

What do you think of when you hear the word ‘hybrid’? It is a term that has become increasingly popular in relation to vehicles in recent years but shifts in the way people work mean it is frequently used in HR circles too.

Pre-COVID, lots of forward-thinking businesses were offering competitive benefits packages which included remote working options. And as the pandemic made logging on from kitchen tables the norm for countless businesses, like it or not, the surge in remote operations1 is looking like it is here to stay.

Far beyond just keeping your workforce onside, did you know that making hybrid working standard practice in an organisation can actually propel your business recovery?

Here is our deeper dive into just some of the ways that developing a hybrid workforce can get you back on track.

1. Attraction and retention

A massive 85% of adults currently working from home2 are keen to use a hybrid approach of both home and office working going forwards. 75% who worked remotely during lockdown3 stated they would like to continue to do so occasionally, and 54% would like it to become their primary way of working4.

Without doubt, companies refusing to consider these kinds of opportunities are missing out on attracting and retaining high-calibre talent - and the possibility of building the strongest team possible to help business to boom.

While candidate attraction remains an ongoing priority for HR, it is not the only benefit of instating a hybrid workforce…

2. Employee engagement

Closely linked to attraction and retention is employee engagement. While there may be genuine concerns with keeping remote workers engaged, there are tactics that any great HR team5 can deploy to ensure a contented, connected workforce even when they are not face-to-face on a daily basis.

Remote working is reported to result in happier workers, who feel less stressed due to things like reduced commuting, the ability to fit exercise into their routine, and to more easily attend things like medical appointments and school events.

Hybrid working is all about balance though, so make sure you not only stay connected with your employees, but that you have arrangements in place to ensure face-to-face interaction too.

Statistics have shown that, done properly, hybrid working will propel activity and increase productivity, and at a time when most of us are focussing on business recovery, this must be an important consideration.

hybrid working benefits

3. Reduced outgoings

Any business recovery plan will include strategies for cost savings and remote working will most definitely help6. From rental and energy bills to maintenance and cleaning costs, any day-to-day outgoings associated with the running of work premises, are likely to reduce should you create a culture where hybrid working is typical.

Reorganise your workplace to suit a hybrid workforce. You may choose to downsize, think about providing hot desks instead of dedicated workspaces or rent out part of your property. In some instances, it could even be possible to use communal or shared public spaces for meetings, eliminating the need for a permanent location completely.

Hybrid working undoubtedly provides lots of scope for cost savings - it is just about finding a solution that works best for your business’ individual needs.

4. Hybrid workforce success

You may understand the benefits of encouraging hybrid working within your company, but how can you ensure success?

The key lies in preparation and brings us back to the importance of a clear, appropriate business continuity plan. If the pandemic has taught us anything, it is that a ‘plan B’ is essential. And any new or amended continuity plan now needs to include provisions for making hybrid working not only possible but conventional.

Ensure your IT system makes working from both home and an office environment seamless. Use cloud-based programmes, provide staff with laptops (as standard) and ensure all are trained in software that make online meetings, videos and presentations feasible. Crucially with remote IT systems, ensure you have top-notch cyber security measures in place.

The work ‘hybrid’ is key as, while most workers prefer to have remote options, home working is not for everyone7. Plus, there will be times when face-to-face collaboration is invaluable. By offering a blend of both office-based and home-based options, you will be an attractive employer of choice to people with all kinds of working preferences…and can benefit from different ways of working as required your business too.

Are offices packed with rows of desks a thing of the past? Hybrid working provides people with a much sought-after work/life balance, but it is certainly not all one-way in favour of employees. Through promoting and instilling a combination of working from home and in an office environment, your business recovery goals are likely to be met quickly and even exceeded through increased engagement and productivity, and reduced costs.
Are you looking for an HR specialist to join your team and help you on your business recovery journey? Tate has relationships with some of the best HR professionals in the country who are dedicated to changing the way people work to help businesses thrive - even following the devastating effects of Brexit and the pandemic. Contact us today to speak to one of our consultants about how we could help you.

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