The Blended Work Model: Current Landscape

The Blended Work Model: Current Landscape

A blended work model is emerging as the latest trend for organisations around the world.

As the dust settles, some are itching to get back to “normality” in the office, while others are content at home, managing their own schedules and with fewer distractions. What is agreed in both camps, it appears, is the increase in work flexibility and the abolishment of the daily commute – both of which contribute to a highly valued work life balance.

We can’t assume that Remote Working will recede and disappear as the effects of COVID lessen and it would be dangerous and short-sighted of business leaders to act upon that belief. It’s estimated that we will never fully return to work-as-we-knew-it.

There are still a lot of unknowns, and we’re seeing both positive and negative reports of 100% remote working – issues around visibility and productivity, diverse thinking and overworking are amongst the most prevalent.

The Work-From-Home Global Mass Experiment is Driving the Speed of Change

The global discourse since March can be categorised broadly into technology, teams and trust. As quoted by Financial Times, “The coronavirus pandemic has triggered an experiment in mass remote working that is putting strain on resources, human and technological.”

“No choice but to adapt”

We’ve seen traditional businesses completely transform and reimagine where and how people operate and work from. From our own independent research on Evolution of Work, carried out in late 2019, we found that the Financial Services industry, namely insurance companies felt they were unable to move away from traditional ways of working, with 60% recognising the trend but estimated they were 3 to 5 years away from enabling working from anywhere. Today, they have no choice but to quickly adapt to this new normal.

Neil Greenberg, a professor of mental health at Kings College London says “Coronavirus has brought forward two years of technological change in two weeks,” and this brings with it a host of negative and positive change as leaders understand what is and isn’t working, while also “trying to adapt to a psychologically sound way of working.”

What is a Blended Work Model?

Work is no longer about “place” or being in a certain location for a certain amount of time.

The Hybrid Workforce concept is whereby employees split their time between home and office. The typical location for a successful Hybrid Workforce is a small office or central hub where a small percentage of people can use the facilities each day.

This shift is driving businesses to develop new working environments, to bridge the physical and sometimes mental divide that can happen as a long-term result of remote working. The hybrid workforce is essentially the happy medium, making interactions amongst colleagues more seamless, cohesive and collaborative.

We’re seeing both positive and negative reports of 100% remote working and Dr. Greenberg jokes that people are now wondering if they’re “working from home, or sleeping from office.”

Zarion believes that with the right technology in place as well as a hybrid approach to work, the negative impacts can be overcome.