The global workforce is changing. As technology continues to advance, remote work and hybrid offices are becoming more popular. The COVID-19 pandemic created an even greater surge in hybrid workspaces. Even though we’re entering a post-pandemic society, many businesses have begun to understand the benefits and challenges of hybrid work models.
Thus, businesses are keeping these flexible work schedules for their employees. They are better prepared to handle this flexibility and reap the perks that come along with it. From an industry point of view, hybrid workspaces increase productivity, reduce operating costs, and redefine what it means to collaborate.
From an employee perspective, there are even greater benefits of a hybrid workspace, including the benefits that impact your overall well-being. Hybrid spaces allow for more flexibility and a better work-life balance, which can have a positive impact on your mental health.
With that in mind, let’s take a deeper look at some of the mental health benefits of a hybrid workspace and how you can help your employees make the most of their health at home and in the office.
You might think that giving your employees more time at home would slow down their productivity, but hybrid trends seem to suggest the opposite. Letting your workers spend more time at home can reduce the risk of burnout. When your employees are overwhelmed in the workplace, they can start to show burnout symptoms like:
- Excessive stress;
- Low motivation;
- Less productivity;
- A lack of desire to come to work.
Burnout can even lead to mental health issues like anxiety or depression, which can cost your business far more than your employees spending some of their days at home.
This flexibility also takes the stress out of commuting to work each day. Depending on where your business is located and where your employees live, commuting can cause a lot of stress and be harmful to your mental health. There are so many unknown factors to the daily commute, and if you can take that small portion of stress away from your workers a few times each week, you’ll be doing more for their mental wellness than you might realize.
A Better Work-life Balance
In addition to hybrid workspaces offering greater flexibility, they also promote a healthier work-life balance. Many people who work remotely full-time assume they’ll have more time to spend with their friends and family, but that isn’t always the case. Sometimes, the line between work and your personal life can become extremely blurred when you’re only working in a home office.
Hybrid workspaces offer the best of both worlds.
They allow employees to spend some work time at home, but they also provide a tangible space for them to work away from home, clearing up that line and breaking the chain of a remote work routine. It’s a nearly-perfect way to balance work life and home life without sacrificing productivity.
You can even provide a virtual office in each employee’s city that allows your business to put its name on a physical space and rent out meeting rooms for employees as needed. Working from home has plenty of drawbacks, but so does working in an office. It’s possible for your workers to experience a happy medium by coming into the office a few days a week and enjoying a more relaxed and flexible schedule otherwise.
Even if you have a hybrid work environment, you can encourage a strong work-life balance for your employees by hosting workload meetings, encouraging breaks, and focusing on productivity rather than micromanaging every second of their day. When they’re home, encourage them to keep a daily routine and specific “working hours” so they stay productive during the day and still have time to enjoy a social life when they’re off the clock.
Talk to Your Employees
Whether you have a hybrid workspace already set up or not, one of the best things you can do to improve upon the mental health benefits of your space is to learn more about what your employees want/need.
Some of your employees might not want to return to in-person work if they’ve been working from home since the pandemic. While a hybrid work schedule is often a wonderful compromise, it’s still essential to listen to any concerns your workers might have and let them know you support their needs. Some of the best ways to support them include:
- Ensuring them you have all necessary health and safety precautions in place;
- Offering a hybrid schedule that works for them;
- Providing mental health resources in the workplace;
- Offering more flexibility, breaks, or time off.
There’s no denying we’re living in a different world today than when the pandemic first hit. The mental well-being of your employees should be a top priority, no matter your work environment. Even virtual workers and remote employees can struggle to keep their stress levels low and their mental well-being in check. It’s up to you, as an employer, to let all of your employees know that their mental health is important to you and that you’re willing to be flexible when it comes to hybrid positions that work for everyone. When you take that approach, your business will benefit, and you’ll see more productivity, and happier, healthier employees.