One of the greatest advantages of working at home, as indicated by respondents, is flexibility. According to managers, it is an important aspect that helps to reconcile childcare with professional duties. At the same time, they admit that remote work has significantly disturbed the work-life balance. This is especially important in the case of parents who have a problem with isolating themselves from their children and home matters while performing their work in the workplace (e.g. due to remote teaching or the lack of a sufficient number of rooms at home). The key benefits of this solution include saving time - no need to travel to the office or the ability to conduct online business meetings are a great help.
On the other hand, the home office adversely affects the organizational culture of the company. An example is new hires who often feel a lack of belonging to the team. The respondents' answers also show that isolation from the office translates into deterioration of the synergy of activities and creative processes. The respondents also mention the deprivation of the so-called "Magic break", understood as a moment for coffee and corridor conversations, providing an opportunity to take a break from work. The lack of such pauses is also associated with the feeling of greater fatigue and reduced effectiveness.
The hybrid model is increasingly becoming the dominant work style. Importantly, this is happening not only due to the still uncertain pandemic situation and the related sanitary restrictions, but also due to the consciously chosen strategy of operation by individual companies. Hybrid turns out to be a response to the new expectations of employees, allowing them to take advantage of the strengths of remote and stationary work. This is confirmed, among others, by the results of the December Skanski survey conducted among office employees - emphasizes Ewelina Kałużna, head of strategic workplace advisory at Skanska and managing director at Business Link.
An interesting discovery is the fact that the flexible approach to working time turned out to be a key aspect that prevented parents from using the mass exemptions for childcare.
From the perspective of people in managerial positions, the family has become a new companion in the performance of professional duties - the presence of children during online conversations or a barking dog in the background are now completely normal - adds Magdalena Ujda-Tarczyńska, corporate communication manager at Skanska office company in the CEE region.
The respondents indicate freedom and the ability to make decisions as the main advantage of the hybrid model. As they claim, such a solution gives a sense of freedom and, at the same time, control over professional and private life, allowing you to work out the daily rhythm tailored to your own needs.
Hybrid work requires flexibility also on the management side. Workers expect some compromise when it comes to scheduling working days from home and in the offices, while employers do not always give them enough freedom. Only 19 percent. Polish employees admitted that they have complete freedom in managing work from home and office. This approach results from the organizational culture in our country, but it is worth emphasizing that maintaining the operational effectiveness of the business is as important as the expectations of employees. It can be said that the search for the most optimal, mutually satisfactory solution is currently one of the biggest challenges facing employers, says Magdalena Ujda-Tarczyńska.
According to the respondents, the new style of work is also associated with certain challenges. According to the respondents, it is not easy to manage a team that works partly at home and partly in the office. The respondents recommend taking several steps that will help improve online communication and achieve a better balance in this respect. Among the proposals there were, inter alia, Fridays without meetings, reduced conference duration, careful selection of meeting participants and the obligation to turn on the cameras to have an insight into the degree of audience involvement.
Persons performing managerial functions also specified the need to provide additional benefits for employees. For people with children, funding up to 100 percent was helpful. paid leave or additional paid days off. In some companies, packages of aid programs were extended, and additional training sessions, workshops (also for employees' children) and psychological consultations were organized.
The study was commissioned by Business Link and the Skanska office company. As part of the qualitative research, in-depth individual interviews were conducted among people in managerial positions from various industries, including real estate, IT, HR, energy and finance. The research partner is the Foundation Success Written with Lipstick.
Business Link is a premium office space operator, dealing with the design, creation and maintenance of work spaces. The network offers its services in Poland in Warsaw, Kraków, Poznań and Wrocław.