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Is it worth taking your business to a hybrid working model permanently?

take your business to a hybrid working model

Ever since the pandemic began, if there has been one constant amidst all this uncertainty, it has been the consistent need for adaptability, especially to how we perceive work. Hong Kong companies have always had access to technological tools which constantly shape the workplace, improve processes and make our lives a little bit easier. However, the pandemic brought one such change that most companies had to almost accelerate overnight to… Hybrid Working Models. 


Reaching the roots of Hybrid Working Models

Hong Kong City

The pandemic and an economic shift have made it a top priority to place well-being and safety of workforces at theforefront of decision making. These factors will leave a long lasting legacy in the role they have played in accelerating a shift to the hybrid work model which has for the most part only been through discussion and debate. 

This mindset has already been embedded within companies in the last two years and is now a forefront consideration in almost every single workforce decision made by business leaders. The Hybrid workplace model has really brought out the best of both worlds, enabling companies to support those that come to the office with additional resources while bringing comfort to those working from home as the pandemic continues to sweep through the city. One thing is for sure, pandemic or not, the Hybrid workplace is here to stay.


Key Question

We’ll aim to answer the question of whether it is worth taking your business to a hybrid working model permanently in the context of Hong Kong, as the city is slowly reducing quarantine period and opening up just like the rest of the world is. 


Implications of Hybrid Working in the Context of Hong Kong

Looking at Hong Kong as a whole, a Microsoft Work Trend Index in 2021 showed that roughly 66% of Hong Kong workers want flexible remote work to stay while at least 80% of HK workers would prefer to work from home for 1 to 2 days per week post-pandemic. While the justifications for this would almost vary from employee to employee, there are many advantages of a hybrid working model arrangement both to the employee and to companies. 


First, roughly 2 in 5 Hong Kongers have experienced higher productivity when working from home. The advantages could almost be listed without the need for thorough research when considering that one could possibly save travel and lunch expenses, get in a little more rest avoiding travel to and from the office, family commitments, child and eldery care to name a few. Putting all of these together in the context of a Hong Kong employee reduces stress from the non-stop hectic life that most Hong Kongers live. Given all of these factors, the key understanding so far from the market is that Hong Konger companies are embracing the hybrid work model permanently and that it is here to stay, not just because of the pandemic, but because of the benefits it brings to their workforce.


The hybrid working model does come with its drawbacks. However, with employee monitoring and keeping employees engaged the obvious difficulties faced by companies, 1 in 3 respondents in a survey conducted by Randstad reveals that they miss co-worker interaction. With most drawbacks come feasible solutions given the power of HR tech solutions on the rise and drawbacks being used as ways to improve company practices turning these into major long-term advantages. Further, quiet quitting is another phenomenon arising worldwide where employees are not quitting but choosing to work from home and quietly disengage from their companies completely due to the lack of employee oversight and care.  So, developing and maintaining a hybrid work culture that consistently applied good practices within remote work to keep employees connected is the key as companies hope to remain competitive and attractive employers for the best talent. 


Moving on, as employers, it is integral to understand that the hybrid working model is a two-way street, with benefits both to the company and to the workforce. Employee expectation for an agile and empathetic employer is achieved while employers can set positive foundations to future proof their companies from employees leaving for workplaces that embrace their needs.


Your Employer Brand

Moreover, a research conducted in Hong Kong states that 89% of employees benefited from work from home policy implemented by their companies. Seeing such stark numbers, it is clear that hybrid working will have a great impact on employer branding which is going to become one of the key factors when companies fight for top talent in the city. Not only marketing but focusing on taking action towards becoming a company that is flexible with its work modes will offer employees a lot of reasons to stay such as having the feeling of autonomy to choose what work style suits them and their personal lives best and not having to look elsewhere as competitors offer a more flexible style of work.


Here are a couple strategies we think would best fit in the short and long-term 

Investing in your company culture

Invest in your company cultureAs your company shifts to hybrid working, or already has, it is important to build other facets of your company that will be the pillars surrounding such changes, investing time and effort into your company culture is essential. The very meaning behind hybrid working is to have a balance between in office and remote work. For this, organizing team gatherings, drinks or in person company wide events can help keep company culture and employees in proximity to the company while online seminars, talks and web-discussions through internet technology can strike a balance giving remote work a more company culture touch.


Create an engaging hybrid workplace culture 

AdobeStock_292854890-2Workplace experience is the number one ingredient to your hybrid work model actually working. It’s important not to let it slip. While your employees may not come on-site every single day, it’s important to ensure that every day in the workplace is purposeful and intentional. The more people on-site, the better the experience is for those who are there to meet and collaborate in-person.

A successful hybrid workplace depends on employees having a great experience in the office. If you need some tips on how to create a workplace people want to visit, check out our blog post 5 actions to take to create a better workplace experience.


Keeping track of how your employees are feeling at a certain time

e-mail-global-communications-connection-social-networking-concept-1Keeping track of the little details when it comes to individual employees is not easy. HR teams already have a variety of tasks and hectic work schedules so investing in an automated platform that professionally surveys your employees can be extremely helpful as you can keep track of real-time sentiment from your workforce and accordingly take action at group or individual level. The benefits of these go farther than just helping understand your employees as they assimilate into a hybrid workplace permanently. Keeping track of your employees' motivations, outlook at work and perceptions of different aspects at the workplace can help HR teams set up bespoke strategies that can improve retention rates and enhance your image as a forward thinking brand.


Our Take

Our TakeSo if you ask us whether it is worth taking your company to a hybrid working model permanently, our answer is definitely yes and the market is naturally paving the way for this. We believe that companies that embrace hybrid working models will stand out as successful companies from those that either remain stagnant, or get left behind due to negative impacts on their employer brand perception.

Keep a lookout for our next blog which will explore how hybrid work models can leverage human data to apply actionable insights and the way this can transform companies in the coming weeks.