Hybrid work is a workforce management approach that gives people a degree of flexibility in deciding how, where, and when they work. Companies that adopt hybrid work solutions prioritize delivering high-quality outcomes by allowing teams to work remotely at least some of the time, which can lead to increased productivity and team morale. But 72% of companies don't have a hybrid work strategy. That's where the cloud comes in.
The rise of the internet and cloud technology has made maintaining a hybrid workforce possible and preferable for many organizations
The growing popularity of hybrid work
While originally intended to be a temporary solution for many companies, remote work is here to stay, largely due to its enormous success and potential to reduce operational costs.
Teams report a preference for the flexibility of hybrid work. According to a Pew Research study, 60% of surveyed workers who have jobs they can do outside the office said they would like to continue working remotely all or most of the time — even beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. On top of that, 64% of global workers said they have or would consider leaving their companies if required to return to the office full time.
Hybrid work models solve some of the major challenges remote workers face, like feelings of isolation and decreased motivation, by bringing people into the office at least some of the time.
Additionally, hybrid work helps companies recruit and hire top talent even amid the global skills shortage. When you can tap into geographically diverse talent pools, you can find the talent you need more easily. You aren't limited to only candidates in your region.
Different hybrid work models
Hybrid work looks different in every company. While factors like industry, nature of work, and workforce size determine the specifics, companies typically use one of these four hybrid work solutions.
Companies that adopt a flexible hybrid work model allow their people to choose where and when they'll work based on their tasks for each day.
This model lets team members customize their workflow to increase productivity and job satisfaction. It also benefits the company by allowing executives to reduce overhead costs related to office space and team travel.
On the other hand, a flexible work model can make it difficult for your people to coordinate times and dates for in-person meetings and collaboration. Companies may also be unable to predict how many people will be in the office on any given day, which could negatively impact productivity.
The fixed hybrid model is the opposite of the flexible model. In this arrangement, the organization determines when and where people will work.
Fixed offices increase opportunities for in-person collaboration — team members can schedule appointments around the days they know they'll work from home. It also makes it much easier to predict how much office space and infrastructure you'll need to support all your teams.
The potential drawback of the fixed model is that it limits individual choice for people, which may lead to decreased productivity if they have to work in a distracting space. It also eliminates most opportunities for companies to reduce office space.
In an office-first hybrid work model, teams primarily work on-site, but they have the option to choose a few days per week to work remotely.
This model gives people the flexibility to choose how they work while providing ample opportunities to build and maintain a strong company culture.
The main drawback of this model is that it's difficult to predict who and how many people will be in the office on any given day, which could interfere with work for many teams.
Remote-first companies let their people work remotely most of the time, only occasionally visiting the office for events or in-person collaboration.
People who prefer to work remotely can experience increased productivity and job satisfaction with this model. That said, there is a high potential for people-oriented team members to feel isolated and disconnected from the company culture, which can decrease morale and productivity. Pew Research found that 60% of people feel less connected to their co-workers because of remote work.
This model is best for companies that require only a few people to be in the office at any given time, like tech startups or accounting firms. Some organizations can even get rid of their office spaces entirely, eliminating many overhead costs.
Hybrid work in the cloud
The shift to the cloud is driving and enabling the growing popularity of hybrid work worldwide. Here are a few ways the cloud empowers hybrid workforces to maximize their productivity and improve business agility.
Facilitate timely communication
Cloud-based communication solutions remove barriers to communication so your people can stay connected — whether they're working in the office or at their kitchen tables.
Most remote workers rely heavily on video-conferencing services like Zoom, Google Meet, and Skype to attend meetings and collaborate with their co-workers. Cloud-based instant messaging platforms like Slack and Google Chat allow workers to have conversations and share files in real time and asynchronously, keeping projects on track.
These tools also enable companies to improve customer support. When customers can use convenient tools like live chat to get in touch with your customer service representatives, they're more likely to have a positive opinion of your company.
Enable collaboration in real time
The cloud allows hybrid teams to work together by facilitating full collaboration over the internet. Before cloud collaboration tools were widely available, remote work was mostly independent. Now, team members can create and edit the same document together simultaneously, enabling high productivity and efficiency.
Improve data accessibility
When you upload your company data and applications to the cloud, your team members can access them anywhere, from any internet-connected device. That means you get greater flexibility to let your people work from wherever they feel most productive.
Improve digital security
Remote teams usually work over home or public wireless networks, which are significantly less secure than enterprise networks or virtual private networks (VPNs). The best cloud service providers offer advanced cybersecurity measures like zero-trust architecture, multi-factor authentication, and advanced encryption to protect your data while simultaneously allowing easy access for your people.
Enable businesses to scale quickly
Cloud solutions are highly scalable, allowing you to easily adjust if your business's needs change. So if your company decides to grow your remote and hybrid workforce, you can get in touch with your provider and upgrade your plan within hours.
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Grow your hybrid team with the cloud
**While we maintain our steadfast commitment to offering products and services with best-in-class privacy, security, and compliance, the information provided in this blogpost is not intended to constitute legal advice. We strongly encourage prospective and current customers to perform their own due diligence when assessing compliance with applicable laws.