The benefits and challenges of a hybrid workplace: A personal perspective
A hybrid workplace is one that combines elements of both traditional office work and remote work. In a hybrid workplace, employees may have the option to work from home or from a co-working space but may also be required to come into the office for meetings or to complete certain tasks.
To create a positive corporate culture in a hybrid workplace, it is important to establish clear guidelines and policies for remote work, as well as provide the necessary tools and resources to ensure that employees can work effectively from anywhere. It is also important to foster open communication and collaboration, and to support employees in maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Hybrid working in the technology industry has been prevalent for quite some time now. We have been at the forefront of technology and using tools for remote communication is something we have utilized for many years.
At Celestial specifically, we have been a remote organization since the beginning with many team members spread across the globe. We are a result driven company and of course you don’t need to be in the office all the time to produce results. To me, hybrid work is a perk, just like benefits, social outings, or weekly happy hours etc.
Table of Contents
- Hybrid Workplace – Why?
- Corporate Culture
- Personal Observations
Hybrid Workplace – Why?
Over the past year, the hybrid workplace has become increasingly popular due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced many companies to adopt remote work policies to keep their employees safe and maintain business operations. However, even as the pandemic subsides and vaccines become more widely available, it is likely that the hybrid workplace will remain a permanent part of the modern business landscape.
There are several reasons why the hybrid workplace is here to stay:
- Improved productivity: Many employees have found that they are able to be more productive while working from home, as they are able to eliminate distractions and create a work environment that is tailored to their needs. The hybrid model allows employees to take advantage of the benefits of both in-office and remote work, giving them the flexibility to choose the best setting for the task at hand. Not to mention the time savings in travel.
- Greater talent pool: By offering the option to work remotely, companies like Celestial can tap into a larger pool of talent, as they are not limited to hiring employees who live in the same geographical area as the office. This increases the multi culturalism in an organization which is a huge positive in my opinion.
- Cost savings: The hybrid workplace model can also help companies save on costs, as they can reduce their need for office space and other overhead expenses. This allows companies like us to use office space for a larger number of employees rather than what will just fit in our office at one time. I.e., an office that has a capacity of 100 and be used for a company that has 300 employees, as an example.
- Improved work-life balance: The hybrid workplace model can also help employees achieve a better work-life balance, as they are able to adjust their work schedule to fit their personal needs and responsibilities. Higher job satisfaction and a well balance personal life generally yields a happier employee and thus lower attrition rates.
Hybrid Workplace – Challenges
There are several challenges that can arise in a hybrid workplace:
- Communication and collaboration: It can be more difficult to communicate and collaborate with team members when some are working remotely, and others are in the office. This can lead to misunderstandings, delays, and a lack of cohesion within the team.
- Work-life balance: It can be challenging for employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance when they are expected to be available for both in-office and remote work. This can lead to burnout and reduced productivity.
- Technology: Technical issues can arise when employees are working remotely, such as poor internet connectivity or problems with video conferencing tools. These issues can disrupt work and hinder productivity.
- Lack of structure: In a hybrid workplace, employees may not have the same level of structure and support as they would in a traditional office setting. This can lead to feelings of isolation and a lack of direction.
- Inequality: Some employees may have more access to resources or support for remote work than others, which can lead to feelings of inequality.
Overall, it is important for companies to address these challenges and provide the necessary support and resources to ensure that a hybrid workplace is successful.
Corporate Culture – Key to success
Corporate culture refers to the values, beliefs, and behaviors that shape the way a company operates. A strong corporate culture can help to create a positive and productive work environment and can also contribute to the overall success of the company.
Celestial’s top three (3) core values, would be,
Integrity – towards our people and customers. We care about our customer’s business as our own and actively contribute through ideas to ensure success.
Agility – that is our ability to think strategically and be responsive. We hire top engineering talent, offer continuous learning and collaborative work environment.
Quality – Exceed our customers’ expectation through diligent quality process. We are an ISO/IEC 27001 accredited organization.
These values have led to a corporate culture that is Collaborative, and Innovative. Open & Transparent,
Our customers and partners like the product driven approach of our delivery teams and how easy it is work with us.
While visiting our remote development centers, one thing that became clear was that Leadership plays a crucial role in shaping corporate culture in a hybrid workplace. Here are a few ways in which leaders can influence corporate culture in this type of work environment:
- Clearly communicate the company’s values and vision: Leaders should make sure that all employees, whether they are working in the office or remotely, are aware of the company’s values and vision. This will help to create a sense of shared purpose and direction.
- Foster open communication: In a hybrid workplace, it is especially important for leaders to encourage open communication and feedback. This can be achieved through regular check-ins, team meetings, and other forms of communication.
- Set clear expectations: Leaders should establish clear guidelines and expectations for remote work, including when and how employees should be available. This will help to ensure that everyone is on the same page and that work is being completed efficiently.
- Encourage collaboration: Leaders should foster a culture of collaboration and teamwork, even when employees are working remotely. This can be achieved using collaboration tools, regular team meetings, and other strategies.
- Support work-life balance: Leaders should recognize the importance of work-life balance and encourage employees to take breaks and disconnect from work when necessary. This will help to prevent burnout and maintain productivity.
Overall, by providing clear guidance and support, leaders can help to shape a positive and productive corporate culture in a hybrid workplace.
Of course, everyone has their own point of view. But as I put my executive hat on, the only concern that I have revolves around company culture. It is proving to be increasingly difficult to create a “culture” or a sense of loyalty if people are not showing up to the office. I have always believed if employees are only there for the paycheque, then they will not be there too long. This is a complex issue to solve and unfortunately there is no clear-cut answer. At Celestial, we strive to take small steps every day to ensure we are instilling our company culture on a regular basis to all our team members, whether remotely or in person.
Overall, the hybrid workplace culture is here to stay, at least in the tech industry. All we can do is continually strive to adapt to this new working landscape and keep looking ahead.
Rahul Raina | Partner & Vice President Business Development
Celestial Systems, is passionate about building technology companies and products. He talks about the advisory role that Celestial as a product engineering focused company plays for delivering digital transformation to our customers worldwide. Rahul is a Business Management graduate from The Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia, Canada. Rahul has over 12+ years of experience in the technology space.