Is the hoorah around hybrid working real? Will we all eventually return to the office full time? Is remote working here for good? These are all burning questions we hope to answer, in helping to determine are hybrid meetings the future?
What are hybrid meetings?
A hybrid meeting is when you have some people joining the meeting from the office, whilst others join remotely, whether this be from their desk at home or a quaint coffee shop they love to work from. With tech such as video conferencing and conference calling enabling us to collaborate from wherever and the hybrid way of working rising in popularity, hybrid meetings could become the norm. Before we get too carried away, let’s have a look at how people want to work.
How do people want to work?
Working from home comes with its benefits. Less time spent commuting, more time with family and loved ones, more ‘me’ time and more time exercising. All this for many equals an improved mental wellbeing. But the point of hybrid working is you find a balance between both worlds, as for many the lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues is proving unhealthy for people’s mental wellbeing.
Qualtrics carried out research and found that only 27% of people wanted to be in the office all the time and only 7% wanted to work from home all the time. This seems to indicate a shift towards a more hybrid way of working, demonstrating that both working from home and face-to-face interactions bring significant benefits.
How do people feel about remote working?
When asked about the amount of time spent on video calls, 37% of people said they were worn out with 63% saying they were fine with it. When asked about video conferencing and instant messaging versus in person contact 65% feel they are a good substitute, whilst 35% feel they are not a good substitute.
Whilst the majority feel the benefits of remote working outweigh the negatives, we know that not everyone is having such a great time working remotely. A lot of the negatives come from the blurred lines between work and home life, leaving people feeling anxious and unable to switch off. For people who live alone, it can also create a sense of loneliness. Hence the need for a more flexible/hybrid approach to working, which brings us nicely onto our next point.
The demand for a more flexible workplace
What do we mean by flexible? Well, we mean a workplace that takes into consideration what we have learned whilst working remotely. A workplace that prioritises flexible working hours, negates the need for arduous commutes and avoids expensive city centre living costs are just some of the important things to consider with the workplace of the future.
When considering the workspace infrastructure, there are also demands being made by workers. Including flexible meeting and collaborative areas, more space between desks and getting rid of the traditional open plan office for something that inspires creativity and collaboration, probably the biggest benefit you get from meeting face-to-face, something that is hard to achieve when working remotely.
How do people feel about hybrid meetings?
Well, overall, the feeling is good we’d say. Workers are fully ready to embrace the hybrid way of working and inevitably hybrid meetings. Not only are employees ready to embrace hybrid working, but they’re also willing to ridicule businesses and leaders that are unwilling to adapt.
When looking at 3,834 online conversations, we found that employers forcing their workers back to the office through threats of demotions, changes of employment contract or lowering pay were considered bad leaders and pivotal in creating a toxic work environment.
Are hybrid meetings the future?
It looks that way. The pandemic has really highlighted the importance of work-life balance and now employees have seen the benefits that working remotely can bring, as an employer it’s going to be difficult to stay competitive and attract the best talent when you’re adopting a 100%, 9-to-5 in the office model.
Offering hybrid working provides the benefits of increased productivity when working remotely and increased creativity and collaboration when meeting face-to-face. A winning model really. We have just the tools you need to adjust seamlessly to the hybrid way of working. Head over to our website to find out how PGiConnect® can benefit you.