Small businesses have the benefit of being agile and able to adapt new policies quickly; use this to your advantage by considering hybrid. As a business owner, if you've been considering switching to a hybrid work model for your team then this is the guide for you.
What Is Hybrid Working?
Hybrid work models refer to the combination of traditional office-based work with other alternative work arrangements. The most common hybrid work model is splitting remote work with office-based work, deciding with employees on a schedule when they should come into the office and when they can work remotely, or from home.
There are different hybrid arrangements out there and each schedule can offer its own advantages for employers and employees alike - such as improved morale and productivity. However, it's important that businesses ensure they choose a model that best suits their organization's needs. We’ve created a guide to the different hybrid work schedules and how to choose the best one for your business if you’d like to read more.
Let’s dive into why hybrid could be the right choice for small businesses.
Over the past few years as hybrid work has shifted into the mainstream, the spotlight has primarily shone on enterprise organisations and how these large companies have adopted hybrid work. But there has yet to be sufficient coverage of smaller businesses and their transition into hybrid work.
Advantages Of Small Businesses
Big corporations are well-known for having rigid hierarchies and structured leadership teams versus small businesses where there is usually only one person, or a small team, in charge. This difference in leadership means that small businesses are well placed to make quick changes and adopt disruptive behaviours, like hybrid work.
Agile small businesses are able to quickly adapt to changes in the market, allowing them to stay ahead of their competition. Small business owners are also able to save money by being more efficient with their resources and capital investments.
Lastly, small businesses enjoy a great deal of flexibility when it comes to decision-making processes and operations due to their smaller size and fewer layers of bureaucracy. These benefits all make the hybrid solution an attractive option for many small business owners who are looking for a competitive edge against their larger counterparts.
Benefits Of Hybrid For Small Businesses
A hybrid work setup can be the perfect arrangement for small businesses, providing them with the flexibility needed to maximise efficiency in regard to output. Getting tasks done efficiently is especially pertinent to small businesses, as often team members are forced to shoulder multiple responsibilities, so anything a business owner can do to ease their stress should be actioned.
Small business owners should consider hybrid working for a variety of reasons, such as improved employee morale. Hybrid working allows employees to have more flexibility in their schedules and, of course, lets them work from home, leading to greater job satisfaction and ultimately higher productivity.
The benefit of choosing a hybrid over a fully-remote model means that your employees still have the option to come in and socialise when they want. Making it the best of both worlds for employees and small business owners, allowing you to nurture that all-important company culture. Also, small businesses might not be able to afford a large enough office space for all employees but can stretch to a space which accommodates a hybrid arrangement.
Wider Talent Pool
With the ability to hire remote workers from different parts of the world, small businesses can tap into an even bigger pool of potential employees with unique skills and experiences.
But more than this, offering hybrid roles can be a real advantage over larger businesses. Candidates are now actively seeking hybrid roles over office-based jobs, and this can be a deciding factor in their job search. So, small businesses that offer flexible options will be seen as more attractive employers even if they can’t match the salary of a big corporation.
Additionally, when employees have more autonomy in their work, for instance, more options for where they work, studies have shown that there is an increase in overall job satisfaction. This, of course, then leads to improved productivity.
Additionally, potential cost savings may also be realized through hybrid working arrangements. This is likely to provide welcome relief to many small businesses as budgets can often be tight.
For instance, having some team members working remotely could potentially reduce costs associated with operating an office space. Whether it’s reduced rent or lower energy bills, these savings can add up over time resulting in additional money available for other investments which can be used to grow the business.
Finally, increased collaboration is possible another benefit of hybrid working arrangements if approached correctly. With remote communication tools like video conferencing, teams can stay connected regardless of where they’re located while still having the opportunity to meet face-to-face if desired. Get your team up-to-speed on video conferencing and consider turning part of the office into a dedicated hybrid meeting room. You’ll also need to spend a bit of time training team members in hybrid meeting etiquette.
Disadvantages Of Hybrid Work For Small Businesses
Of course, adopting hybrid work will present a few challenges here and there for small businesses. For instance, when onboarding and training new hires. It is difficult to ensure that all remote and in-office employees receive the same level of education or understanding of company policies. This can lead to a lack of consistency across the workforce, with some members having more access or knowledge than others.
Another possible challenge is leadership - managing a team composed of both in-person and remote workers presents its own unique set of difficulties even if it’s a small team. As a business owner, you will be presented with a sharp learning curve on how to become a strong remote or hybrid leader.
In order to address any potential disadvantages associated with a hybrid work model, small businesses should develop clear hybrid work policies that clearly outline expectations for employees. This includes guidelines such as working hours, communication protocols, and the use of technology for communication and collaboration.
Establishing accountability measures is also of great importance in order to ensure that everyone involved is doing their part in making sure the business runs smoothly. A good way to do this is by giving each employee specific tasks or goals that they are responsible for completing on a regular basis. Finally, make use of technology to help improve hybrid working, such as hybrid scheduling tools or workspace planning platforms.
In conclusion, hybrid working can be an excellent choice for small businesses as long as they invest the time and energy needed to support the transition.
It is important to ensure employees have access to the necessary tools such as video conferencing software or online task management systems that will enable them to collaborate effectively even when they are not physically present in the office.
By investing time into researching what works best for their business needs and creating well-thought-out policies around these new work models, small business owners can reap many of the benefits associated with a hybrid workforce while avoiding potential pitfalls.