Hybrid employment options that actually work

While much of the workforce is clamoring to get back in the office, the Pandemic provided  unprecedented and surprising information as to how employees can be efficient and remain productive while working from home. Technology, new efficiencies, and the reality of current work environment reveal employees can do both. We at Denver South define hybrid work as any combination of employees working in and out of the office.

Recognizing certain work demands need in-person collaboration, getting back to the office also fosters greatly missed socialization and spurred creativity. As businesses work to determine what their unique balance is, WRK Denver South can provide your organization assistance to formalize and customize a plan that works.

Introducing WRK Denver South, a hybrid program to support employers and employees as they evaluate how they can WRK.

WRK Denver South can help employers  determine what approach to get back to the office will WRK best for your organization and your employees. Here are some initial questions employers need to consider to determine if a hybrid approach is right for your company:

  • Can my employees complete their work from home or another remote location at the same level as in-person?
  • How is employee hybrid eligibility determined?
  • How do you navigate who can and can’t participate and keep equity in check within your organization?
  • Will this require any additional technology components, (VPN’s, added security measures, company issued equipment)?
  • Can Hybrid employees be required to have certain hours of availability during the day?
  • How do I determine additional expenses?
  • How is performance measured in a hybrid environment?
  • Would a hybrid program help retain talent?
  • What is the best policy communication approach?
  • How do I get started?

BENEFITS

Embracing telework options truly benefits everyone. The freedom and flexibility of hybrid work options provide advantages to your company that attract and retain employees. Happier, healthier work environments, increased productivity and reduced traffic congestion are a few of the high points of implementing a hybrid work option.

  • Both local and national level polls/surveys demonstrate employees of all ages – not just millennials and Gen-Z – have found value and benefit in working from home.  
  • According to Global Workplace Analytics82% of employees want to work from home at least some of time, post-pandemic.  
  • More locally, in Denver South’s own 2020 Commuter Survey, 94% found telework and flex-work schedules very valuable. 

In-office work provides the following:

Improved office culture

    • More productive employees: Productivity benefits arise from face-to-face interactions within companies, as well as the knowledge and information spillover between companies that happens when skilled workers from different companies meet (Source: Voxeu).
    • Better team relationships: According to research, significantly more on-site workers (70%) say they feel strongly connected to their teammates, compared to remote workers (64%) (Source: APD Research).
    • More effective collaboration:  Watercooler moments can provide people with context about the business, a sounding board, advice, new ideas, collaboration opportunities, learning ‘how to get things done’ within the business, and insight into areas where work might overlap. (Source: EY).
    • Better communication within teams: It’s much easier to read people’s emotions face to face than over a screen (Source: EY) and on-site workers also report benefiting from the quality of communication that takes place in person (Source: APD Research).
  • With hybrid schedules, employees can have the best of both worlds: collaborative time in the office and focused time at home. 
  • Also, from Global Workplace Analytics – teleworkers are, on average, 35-40% more productive than their in-office counterparts.
  • For many, the daily commute, particularly for those who drive alone, is the most stressful part of the day.  Allowing employees a respite from traffic congestion can reduce stress, increase contentment, and improve productivity.
  • Acknowledging the statistics, approximately 80-94% of employees want the option to have a hybrid schedule. 
  • Employee retention costs are significant and challenging for employers. According to the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), it costs an average of $4,129 plus forty-two days to fill a new position. 
  • Society, and by extension employers, bear the brunt of congestion costs.  Surveys conducted by Robert Half and Gallup show employees who either have a difficult commute or are not given flexible work hours are more likely to quit their jobs – 24% and 54% respectively.  
  • Also, from Gallup – 35% of employees would change jobs for the opportunity to work remotely full time (47% of millennials and 31% of boomers); 37% would do so to work remotely some of the time (50% of millennials and 33% of boomers).
  • Owl Labs found similar numbers. If they were not allowed to work from home: 54% of U.S. employees say they would stay with their employer, but be less willing to go the extra mile and 46% would look for another job.

Having a formalized process for hybrid-work benefits employers as employees will now have a formalized plan in place to cope with complications which may prevent them from coming into the office such as inclement weather, children home from school or appointments with service technicians.

  • Offices boost local economies: Communities and businesses around offices have been impacted by the drop in footfall of office workers. Placing offices in areas where workers also live will help revitalize regions as office workers will be among other businesses that rely on their spending (Source: Office Angels).
  • Remote work is detrimental to long-term innovation: Most employees working from home may be detrimental to long-run innovation and growth due to the limitations of technology replacing face-to-face interactions within companies, as well as the lack of contact between companies (Source: Voxeu).
  • Commuting is good for the economy
    • Local transit systems suffer from a lack of commuters: Before Covid, the New York Transit system brought in nearly $17bn in revenue. With ridership down, revenue predictions have been slashed and fare and toll revenues aren’t expected to come back to previous levels until 2023 (Source: CNN Business).
    • Businesses visited by commuters are struggling: Even larger businesses are seeing impacts on their bottom line. Starbucks, for example, last quarter saw its average in-store transactions at 90% of pre-pandemic levels (Source: CNN Business).
  • According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, employers who shifted to hybrid or telework schedules saved millions in real estate and utility costs, allowing those employers to reinvest savings into company growth and additional capital projects.
  • According to the Government Accountability Office – Federal agencies like the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, General Services Administration and the Department of Education saved $42 million, $30 million and $6 million respectively on real estate and energy costs

Note: The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office increased output by 4.4% by expanding their “work from home” policy to “work from anywhere.” (Harvard University)

  • It helps to maintain a healthy work-life balance: People have different attitudes to balancing their work and personal lives. Research suggests that there are two groups – the “segmenters” who keep work and home separate, and the “integrators” who blend the two. Segmenters are naturally better at switching off from work and devoting enough energy to both professional and home projects, even when one becomes stressful. A dedicated office environment allows everyone to experience the separation between work and home, by enabling them to physically leave their place of work at the end of the day (Source: EY).
  • We need people: Even if you’re an introvert, we all need connections with others. Being physically present in an office with other people helps reduce tech fatigue and is important to our physical and emotional health (Source: Forbes).
  • It makes us smarter: Research from the University of Michigan states that when people spend more time interacting with others, such as talking and socializing, they function better mentally (Source: Forbes).
  • Better for career development: Being in an office means that you are more easily on the boss’ radar when you do good work and for promotions. For less experienced employees, being in an office where they can absorb the practices of others around them can be enormously beneficial for their development (Source: Forbes).

We are reminded daily of our poor regional air quality. As population density and single occupancy travel continues, WRK Denver South employees are going a little greener.

Through participation in WRK, employers can control the number of days employees commute into the office.  For example, if an employer adopted a 3:2 schedule (three days in the office; two days from home) they would effectively reduce their overall carbon footprint by 40%.

It’s also financially green.  According to the GAO report, employers who shifted to hybrid or telework schedules saved millions in real estate and utility costs, allowing those employers to reinvest savings into company growth and additional capital projects. At the individual level, employees who participated in hybrid or telework programs saved, on average, around $11,000 per year in commuting costs.

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RESOURCES

We’ve got you covered. As employers and employees navigate the how to get back to work conversations, WRK Denver South provides guidelines and templates for you to easily make your own. In our on-going efforts to reduce congestion, improve air quality and better serve our employers with programs, we ask you simply answer the questions below to access our sample guidelines, templates, and resources.

To make developing and implementing a plan as easy as possible for Denver South employers, we have created templates for company guidelines and employee agreements. In order to better serve the Denver South area and measure results, we ask you provide the following information prior to download:

Need more assistance, no problem. Contact a Denver South team member today.