At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, every organization was trying to figure out how to implement a remote working environment. Businesses from global enterprises to regional organizations worked through the challenges of defining remote work for their organization, and which employees had jobs that required working in the office.
As organizations worldwide manage the COVID business climate, today the discussion is much different. While remote working is still prevalent, and likely to stay around for many years to come, now the focus is on a hybrid workforce and what that means for businesses and employees alike.
Remote-First, Office-Occasional, and even Office-First, Remote Allowed. There’s no shortage of ways that businesses are implementing a hybrid workforce model, and all of them are as specific to that organization as the challenges that those enterprises face.
Global organizations have taken advantage of versions of hybrid workforces for many years, but as the well-known proverb says, “necessity is the mother of invention.” COVID-19 has forced organizations to think about hybrid workforces in a different way, and for longer terms.
While having a hybrid workforce has recently become mainstream, hybrid workforce models have been around a long time. Before utilizing it as a health and safety precaution, businesses saw the benefits of implementing a remote working structure.
Organizations could reduce their carbon footprint and save money on rent or mortgage payments by limiting office space. Studies have shown that staff can be more productive in a hybrid or remote setting. Team members are better able to lower stress and focus on a better work/life balance.
And as hybrid workforce models have evolved, so have the expectations from employers and employees. Both employers and employees have an increased focus on health and wellbeing, and this focus now includes mental and physical health.
Today’s Hybrid Workforce
Finding the right mix of remote and in-office work is a moving target for most organizations today, regardless of how many employees or offices they may have. What’s certain, however, is that a hybrid workforce model is here to stay.
In this post COVID vaccine environment, some of the world’s largest and most recognized brands have successfully implemented a hybrid work model. Microsoft, Ford, Citigroup, Google, Lockheed Martin, and Slack are just a few of the big names that have outlined and implemented hybrid work models in recent months.
While they represent varying degrees of how hybrid their workforce is, these programs are leading the way to support employee wellbeing and prioritize productivity and results for the business. This is an environment that, data suggests, is here to stay.
McKinsey & Company research found that “80 percent of remote workers said they enjoy working from home, and 69 percent are just as or more productive at home than in the office.” Additionally, PwC research found that over half (55 percent) of workers prefer to continue working remotely at least three days a week.
And today’s workforce not only prefers to continue working remotely, but employees expect flexibility and resources as they cope with that hybrid model, creating demands that employers must manage. Another PwC survey showed that 83 percent of employers say “the shift to remote work was successful for their companies, and employees aren’t willing to forego the freedom that comes with more flexible work arrangements.”
Hybrid Workforce Risks
Although there are a great number of benefits with a hybrid workforce model, there are also some drawbacks that employers need to be aware of and manage. From employee retention and hiring to productivity, idea generation, and supporting organizational culture, there are plenty of business risks that need to be managed, as McKinsey & Company research and experts indicate.
In addition to business-centric risks, supporting the mental and physical wellbeing of a hybrid workforce has also risen to the top of concerns for both employees and employers. Despite the preference of employees to work remotely or in some hybrid fashion, they are still managing risks with transitioning to this model.
One of the core benefits of hybrid working is allowing employees to work wherever best suits their needs. But with remote working options, research suggests that employees find it harder to stay focused and feel disconnected to the business and workplace. A recent study revealed that 80 percent of workers in the United Kingdom feel working from home has a negative effect on their mental health and wellbeing.
From feeling isolated and higher levels of burnout to a greater chance of a more sedentary lifestyle, employers need to recognize these risks and take proactive measures to address them. Many of the same organizations we mentioned earlier have increased focus and investment in employees’ physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic, and those efforts continue as their hybrid workforce models evolve.
Tailored Solutions For Today’s Hybrid Workforce
Remote working solutions have led to an increase in some concerning areas for employees, including reinforcing a sedentary lifestyle with a double-digit plunge in physical activity for remote workers. An Accenture study revealed that these risks can be addressed, and those workers who are productive have “significantly greater personal and organizational resources” than those who aren’t.
The answer for global enterprises is that hybrid workforces require intelligent and flexible solutions.
As the management provider of many onsite fitness centers, including a large number that have already reopened, we understand what it takes to effectively manage these facilities right now. But we also recognize the need to bring those solutions to virtual teams as part of a hybrid workforce model.
As the only company in our industry that focuses exclusively on the unique needs of the working population, our team of experts has more than three decades of experience creating programs to keep workforces healthy, engaged, and productive.
We’re bringing that expertise forward in new and exciting ways for our clients. The Corporate Fitness Works team created our CFW Fit Streaming and CFW Virtual Fitness Solutions to bring the atmosphere of a fitness center to global teams in a virtual setting.
CFW Fit Streaming and Virtual Fitness Solutions
Whether you're just getting started or have been exercising for years, CFW Fit Streaming meets clients wherever they are on their fitness journey. Our streaming content is designed help our clients fit exercise, healthy eating, and relaxation into an already packed day.
From beginner to advanced, cardio to meditation, CFW Fit Streaming content covers the spectrum of health and fitness interests, and our video and live stream services are designed specifically for busy people seeking a healthier, active work-life balance.
We also recognize that human interactions and personal relationships are key to reaching and inspiring working populations in healthy behaviors, which is why we deliver a human focused approach that uses technology with the CFW Virtual Fitness Solutions. The CFW virtual services include:
- Virtual Fitness Team
- Video Fitness Coaching
- Virtual Personal Training
- Educational Webinars
- Online Health Challenges
- On-Demand Workout Videos
- Live Stream Group Classes
- Social Media Campaigns
- Engagement Reporting
We are also focused on ensuring these solutions are affordable for the company and its employees. For less than $1 per employee per month, Corporate Fitness Works has partnered with clients across the globe to provide these essential benefits for an evolving workforce.
Whatever your hybrid work environment looks like or what the needs of your workforce are, Corporate Fitness Works is ready to put over 30 years of experience to work for you to design a tailored solution that meets the needs of you and your teams. Schedule a Discovery Call with us today to discuss how CFW Virtual solutions can work for your organization.