The struggle is real. You want to work from home, but your boss wants you back in the office like pre-COVID. While there’s a lot of research out there about the benefits of working from home, there is also some evidence regarding the benefits of working in the office.
That was the challenge Solar Energy's Editor, Kami Turky, faced when he tried convincing his boss to let him work from home.
“Although working from home feels way better, helps the environment, reduces traffic jams, and of course, saves me a lot of gas money, that was not enough to convince my boss,” said Kami.
“My boss actually referenced a few Harvard studies claiming that people could not function properly when they work where they sleep because of many psychological factors which could cause depression - How could I win the argument?”
The reality is that when it comes to the advantages vs disadvantages of working from home, it is not all white and black.
Thankfully for Kami, his boss agreed to meet him halfway by switching to a setup where Kami would work 3 days from the office and 2 days from home.
This setup is called the hybrid office - the perfect blend of both your home and corporate office! What does this mean for you?
If you don’t currently have the option to work remotely for your company because your boss refused that you do, the hybrid office can be a great middle ground for both of you, just like it was with Kami and his boss.
But first, wait... What is the hybrid office?
The hybrid office is a setup that gives employees the flexibility to work from both their corporate and home offices.
Organizations can either set hybrid work schedules that outline the dates and times when employees are expected to work in the office, or they can give employees complete autonomy in choosing when and where they want to work.
A Harvard Business School professor recently predicted that the 9-to-5 workweek will become the '3-2-2' after the post pandemic hybrid office setup. In this scenario, employees will work three days at home, two days at their office.
This 3-2-2 could also be three days in the office and two days working from home. The idea is for businesses and employees to come together to strike the right balance between working from the office and working from home.
Ready to convince your boss ? Start with the right mindset.
Before you have the conversation regarding setting up a hybrid office, it is important to recognize that your boss is not just trying to be difficult. Having the right mindset and attitude can do wonders.
“Your attitude is critical to success. If you expect things to be difficult, it will always be easier to solve problems, overcome adversity, and have an enthusiastic energy about how you go about and enjoy your work.” – Nick Saban
Your boss might be in a tough spot, too! They have clients and employees who need face-to-face access to them all the time, so, they have to be in the office to be available at all times. Consequently, they expect the same from you. Put yourself in your bosses' shoes first and keep a positive mindset.
Do your homework – can you even be remote?
If you want to make it possible for yourself or others to have a hybrid workplace, you first need to understand and define what type of work can be done at home and what work needs face-to-face interactions in the office.
Thoughtfully think of all the things you could do from home vs. in the office. Write them down.
While long ago, most office tasks needed to be performed on site, we can now do many office things remotely thanks to the rise of the digital age and an advent of tools revolutionizing how we work: video conferencing software like zoom, remote desktop software like Splashtop, collaboration tools like ProofHub, Slack, Google drive, Confluence and Microsoft teams.
With all of these new technologies available to facilitate work, there are many more tasks we can do from home. Thoughtfully think of all them and write them down to give yourself and your boss a clear idea of what you can and can't do from home.
What are the benefits of hybrid remote work for your boss?
Before meeting with your boss regarding switching to a hybrid setup, you should clearly define the benefits the business will get by allowing you to be in a hybrid setup.
Here are the two main factors that may help swing things your way.
1. Increased productivity
Traditionally there has long been a fear that allowing people to work remotely will result in them getting distracted easily due to working at home with no supervision around. Your boss is probably concerned about this.
However, many studies have proven that this is false as remote workers were actually found to be much more productive than co-workers stuck inside offices all day long every weekday because they had fewer office distractions and spent less time commuting.
This would probably apply to the tasks you identified, that could be done remotely. Additionally, a hybrid office setup enables business continuity in the case of a weather issue, a pandemic like COVID, or another major event that prevents you from getting to the office.
This means that when all things are taken into account, a hybrid office results in more employee productivity which is a win for your boss.
2. Reduced business costs
A hybrid remote office setup has the potential to reduce business costs significantly.
The most obvious way is, of course, that it eliminates the need for a company to buy or rent large real estate space since employees would be working from the office only half of the time.
Additionally, having hybrid workers will also result in reduced heating and cooling bills because remote collaborators are at home a few days of the week instead of the office. So, there's no need to run air conditioning or heaters 5 days a week.
What technology do you need to set up a hybrid office?
While VPN is the traditional technology used to set up a hybrid office, it has been found costly, slow, and complicated to set up.
Remote access software + your home device is the best setup for hybrid.
Remote access software like Splashtop for the hybrid office is easy to set up, offers super-fast connections, supports all operating systems, and is very affordable.
Here is how it works:
Step 1 - Start a free trial of Splashtop or subscribe starting at $5/month."
Step 2 - Install the Splashtop streamer on your office computer and devices.
Step 3 - Install the Business App on your home devices – that can be your personal home laptop, a tablet, and even a smartphone.
That’s is all! You are all set. You can now connect with the Business App on your home devices and now have access to your office computer and files from home – just like if you were in the office.
Watch the video below for a high-level demo or try the software for free to test it yourself.
We have covered a lot! We hope this gives you some guidance or at least a start in switching to a hybrid office.