Hybrid working is here to stay

The global pandemic brought about a seismic shift in the way that we work, with the traditional office-based 9-5 no longer the norm. The result has been the growth of the hybrid work model, where employees have the flexibility to work a portion of their week from home and the remainder of their time in their office, with many switching between those environments regularly as their needs depend.

Hybrid working is here to stay
Hybrid working is here to stay

And it looks as though the hybrid model is here to stay judging by a number of recent studies, for example:

  • A survey of 3,480 remote workers at Slack, found that 63% of employees would welcome a hybrid working model, whilst 20% wanted to work remotely full time, and only 12% wanted to return to permanent in-office work.
  • More than half of 18- to 34-year-olds in a survey of 4,500 adults undertaken by the business finance lender Sonovate said they don’t believe they need to be in an office full time and feel they are well equipped to work virtually.

The reality is that the transition to a hybrid work model has been underway in many organisations for several years, the pandemic has simply accelerated it. Advances in technology, from smartphones to cloud computing, have made it increasingly possible to work and collaborate from anywhere.

Benefits of hybrid working

The benefits can be significant to both businesses and their employees. For instance, many employers are already experiencing improved business agility and access to a far larger talent pool.

From an employee perspective, a flexible work culture is now a key consideration for most young workers when choosing a job, not least because of the improvements in can bring to their work-life balance. There are also more opportunities for continuous learning, particularly when employees can focus on their personal development goals while working from home.

Furthermore, hybrid can allow for improved work relationships when compared to remote working, since it still allows for face-to-face communications, whilst also helping to enhance collaboration across departments, teams and workgroups.

Of course, it’s not for everyone, with some workers having concerns about future career prospects due to fewer opportunities to network and build relationships with senior leaders, whilst others can feel disconnected from their organisation and co-workers.

No going back

Despite the concerns of some workers, the reality is that increasingly large numbers of employees across the globe have had a taste of what flexible work offers, and there is no going back. Indeed, many have demonstrated a willingness to leave their jobs in order to experience more freedom from the constraints of a more traditional 9-5 work model.

All of which means that there will be increased demand for the range of technologies that underpin hybrid working including productivity, security and collaboration tools. Within these, document production and workflow management are both major issues, so the role of speech processing technologies will undoubtedly continue to play an important part in supporting the hybrid work model.

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