We won’t be returning to classic office work, but we won’t even be smart working forever. What awaits us – once the health emergency is finally behind us – is hybrid working, given that greater flexibility has provided both companies and employees with palpable benefits. This has been confirmed by various surveys, such as the study conducted by the Boston Consulting Group.

Carried out on 12 thousand employees in the United States, India and Germany pre and post-health crisis, the survey shows that a conspicuous majority of workers have maintained and even increased their level of productivity. The management of the pandemic has therefore revealed an interesting new prospect: now, companies are required to re-think their workspace, adopting a hybrid model.

Hybrid working: the meaning

One thing – after all these months in the grips of the health emergency – is now clear to all and everyone: work is not a place. It subsequently becomes easier to understand the meaning of the hybrid workplace (known as such internationally): it is a compromise between physical presence working and smart working, or even a method that comprises both. The company that implements a hybrid working model envisages a high margin of flexibility in relation to both workplace and working hours. But that’s not all: hybrid working is also – and above all – characterised by the possibility for employees to switch freely and fluidly from remote working to office working, without obstacles, delays and any reduction in productivity. The advantages of this form of management are intuitable. Nonetheless, the shift towards hybrid working does, of course, present a number of significant challenges, which are not always easy for HR managers.

Management and the challenges of hybrid working

Planning shifts, managing access, booking work spaces and the re-thinking of meetings: as of March 2020, the role of HR managers was truly revolutionised. The changes however are not over yet. Having set up an environment capable of enabling remote working, management must now prepare to review their organisation and internal rules once more. It is also necessary to anticipate the times, making decisions today on how to manage this new evolution. Companies in fact risk being caught unprepared, sacrificing precious days for corporate re-launches or even disappointing and subsequently losing their most talented employees.

It is therefore necessary to make use of targeted software for the management of spaces and access, as well as considering the use of immersive technologies to render the interaction – on a digital level – even more efficient. That said, it is not merely a question of finding the right tools: to ensure that hybrid working effectively becomes an efficient model for one’s business, it is also necessary to change the corporate culture as a whole, for example by finding new ways of maintaining a high level of employee engagement.