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Hybrid Work between business continuity and work-life-balance

The principle of hybrid work is not new. It is a way of thinking and the willingness to consciously and strategically integrate into a company. If a farmer had been asked at the beginning of the last century how significantly hybrid work would determine his lifestyle and what part teleworking would have, he would probably not simply have laughed at the terms. He would probably have answered that he couldn't work from home and would have asked how he would look after the animals or bring in the harvest.

Nevertheless, hybrid work was a common practice as early as the beginning of the 20th century. Of course, animals and land had to be taken care of on site. At the same time, parts of the work, such as processing the harvest or repair work, were carried out at home. Above all, they were carried out when there was a need, which was naturally based on the seasonal course.

In the highly networked world of the 21st century, a multitude of differentiated work is carried out. This work shows on several levels that it should follow market requirements and human needs, but not processes around the processes. What is new today compared to the work of the early 20th century is that the wealth of experience has grown and that processes can be aligned and differentiated towards hybrid work. Many companies, employees and executives feel that hybrid work is theoretically worthwhile. In order to make the hybrid work approach a success, companies should first of all consider clear goals or starting points. The 3 essential drivers are presented here.

Hybrid work as…

....business continuity.

The topic of business continuity is closely linked to adult risk management. There are no sensible reasons for not continuing a potentially decentralizable business in a hybrid structure in acute necessity. However, there must be plans and considerations as to how employees can safely continue their work in the event of a pandemic, natural disasters or severe infrastructural damage. The hybrid approach offers a good opportunity to combine remote work and work on site in a timely manner and to alternate them. Combinations of rotating teams, as well as rotation within teams are conceivable. These would cautiously experience the change from telework and work on site and can jointly evaluate optimizations.

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...fulfilling volatile business requirements.

Even in the absence of emergencies, where a business is generally accompanied by a high change in workload, the hybrid work model is a good choice. Customer service is one such area in which companies have to respond to sharp fluctuations in demand. When an update is installed for a certain software, or when a new model of a product becomes available on the market, customer inquiries are particularly high. Some business departments are typically only confronted with questions during certain hours. It would not be worthwhile for employees to combine, for example, an inquiry peak of 2 hours at the office with a relatively long journey time. It makes sense to process such peaks from the home office and to work with colleagues in the office on days with continuous volume. This is based on the idea of completing work when it arises and not allowing working time to become an end in itself. A principle that the early 20th century farmer would probably also have agreed to.

...beneficial to Work-Life Balance and High Potentials.

The topic of work-life balance has been verbalized more strongly by Generation Y and Millennials – still it is not an old topic, but an old basic need. The will to perform by Generation Y, for example, is unbroken, but the question of how useful an activity is or how useful a certain assignment is, is linked to the claim to provide exceptional performance under excellent conditions. With this in mind, many employees want to avoid routes that are not strictly necessary. The topic of home office has not only come to the fore since Corona. There are good reasons to work together in the same environment, to develop ideas together in the same room and to continue in lunch breaks. At the same time, apart from obvious necessities – such as maintaining physical distance in the case of Corona – there are convincing advantages to following the work in a combination of remote and on site. Concentration in certain environments, avoidance of commutes and the associated possibility of completing processes meaningfully, even in shorter periods of time, are some important reasons here. In the next step, they form the basis for companies to remain receptive to high potentials, to benefit lifestyles and to enhance motivation and performance.