Date: September 12, 2023
Source: Deccan Herald
Many companies have embraced hybrid work as the most viable work arrangement to even out the pros and cons.
Though children have been herded back to schools for in-person learning, the world of work has continued to support working from home. For employers, it means cost-cutting in terms of rent, greater productivity demonstrated by workers and the flexibility to hire people from different parts of the country or globe. Employees don’t have to contend with tedious commutes; they will have more control over when they work and can be around for kids, elderly parents or when the repairman comes calling.
However, remote working also leads to isolation, a lack of conviviality among team members, an inability to experience and imbibe a firm’s culture and a dearth of creative solutions that tend to emerge only when people meet face-to-face. Many companies have embraced hybrid work as the most viable work arrangement to even out the pros and cons. Whether work-life balance or maximising productivity without compromising creativity or camaraderie, hybrid work is considered an optimal solution. That said, is there an ideal ratio of number of days at work versus home? Do bosses and workers see eye to eye on this?
Facilitating 3-D encounters
For Aarti Ramakrishnan, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Crayon Data, a big data and artificial intelligence company with offices in Chennai, Singapore and Dubai, hybrid work is not a new concept as the company used to allow employees to work from home five days a month even before the pandemic.
The company is now encouraging employees based in Chennai to return to in-person work at least once or twice a week. According to Ramakrishnan, younger employees who entered the workforce during the pandemic and have not experienced the benefits of working on location are more reluctant to come to work. However, they are more likely to embrace hybrid work once they understand how in-person interactions may jumpstart collaboration and facilitate brainstorming and serendipitous encounters. Building social equity is also much easier during face-to-face interactions.