COVID-19 Pandemic: The End Of Traditional Office Routine

By Fatihah Ramzi, DigitalCFO Asia | 14 December 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies to accept work from home as part of their office routine, making hybrid work arrangement the default method.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the traditional routine of employees from going to the office everyday to making work from home, the default method. As of 2021, many employees are able to go back to work but they have to stagger the days they would come to the office to minimise social contact. This has forced employees to accept work from home as a norm to their office routine. Even after the pandemic is over, employers still want to give their employees a work from home option because it has been found that employees are more likely to look for a job if their employer does not adopt a flexible working model according to Envoy’s return-to-work survey. 

“With no clear sign of an end of the pandemic, it is expected that companies will continue to implement hybrid working arrangements in 2022. A greater emphasis will be placed on allowing employees to work and be productive from anywhere, everywhere, and anytime,” says Pierre Jean Chalon, Senior Vice-President, Asia Pacific, Poly. 

Perks of Hybrid Work Arrangements

Hybrid Work is basically the flexibility for employees to work on-site and remotely for part of the week. Some organisations may enable employees to work full-time remotely or full-time on-site, while others may allow a combination of the two. So, why do people desire to work in a hybrid environment? Let’s look at the benefits of such an arrangement for both employees and employers.

Better Work Life Balance 

People are drawn to the hybrid work arrangement for a variety of reasons, according to the latest Slack survey. In a flexible work environment, finding balance is easy. Employees who have more control over their work schedules have more time to do the things that come up in their personal life, such as running errands, fetching children from childcare, or being home for a package. 

Hiring Talents Across The Globe 

You will need the necessary people, systems, and technologies to implement a hybrid work arrangement. As a result, there will be more work opportunities, and businesses will be able to hire people from all over the world. A hybrid work arrangement no longer prevents a corporation from hiring workers from other countries without needing them to migrate. This will provide the organization a competitive advantage, allow them to expand into new markets, and ensure that they are productive around the clock.

Pierre commented that “We will also see a greater number of job openings listed with remote work as a key requirement, which will allow businesses to tap into a more global and diversified talent pool. With the rise in decentralized work arrangements, it will undoubtedly result in companies rethinking current hiring policies and providing opportunities for quality candidates based in other countries and/or regions.” 

More Opportunities For Technological Advancement 

When moving to a hybrid work model, companies will need to invest in technologies that support the arrangement, such as communication tools and on-site video conferencing equipment. This will also come in handy when the company diversifies and hires more people from across the world. Determine whether you will need new tools or if you can make new use of current ones. At its best, hybrid work bridges the gap between remote and on-site workplaces, allowing employees to collaborate more easily.

“As employees are now scattered across geographic locations, business leaders will be looking into workplace equity to solve the imbalanced experience for those inside and outside the office, especially during meetings. With this, we will see a greater demand for technology and tools that will not only support, but enhance collaboration and productivity amongst employees regardless of where they’re working from. There will also be an increasing expectation for these technology tools to be easy to use and can work seamlessly with different cloud platforms and environments, so as to minimize any disruptions that may hamper employee productivity and collaboration,” commented Pierre Jean Chalon, Senior Vice-President, Asia Pacific, Poly.

High Productivity Rate 

People are anticipated to remain on the clock from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. or longer in a standard office-first pattern. Employees in a hybrid work style have more freedom to complete tasks when they are especially productive. According to a recent Boston Consulting Group (BCG) study, more than half of managers say their employees are more efficient when they work remotely.  Productivity gains arise from three sources: increased flexibility, greater focus whilst working and reduced absenteeism.  Employees that work remotely have more flexibility to work from any location, at any time. As a result, they can effortlessly manage their workloads without having to deal with the stress of being in an office.  

All in all, companies need to understand that the new trend of work would be an arrangement where people can work not only in the office but from home as remote working has already earned a permanent seat in the workplace matrix. However, we must understand that many organisations are still bridging the gap between a traditional office routine and a flexible hybrid work arrangement.

“At the end of the day, for businesses to ensure an effective hybrid working arrangement, employees should be enabled to work in the best place possible and equipped with the right tools to succeed,” says Pierre.

Following Pierre’s advice, companies need to research and implement the adequate resources to properly transition into a hybrid work arrangement.