Vlerick Business School

Hybrid working has meanwhile been introduced on nearly every work floor. But while young talents and seasoned professionals have high expectations, most employers are still looking for the ideal solution. From their standpoint many doubts and grey areas remain. Moreover, technologies that enable hybrid working often also have a negative impact on the functioning and well-being of people. Organising hybrid working to maximum effect requires transparency and good workforce management tools, says professor Dirk Buyens of Vlerick Business School.

Hybrid working is here to stay, workforce management is gaining ground

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Hybrid working: transparency, a connective work environment, and workforce management

Every year Vlerick Business School organises its Vlerick HR day, the event par excellence for HR professionals in the Benelux region. As a developer of HR and workforce management solutions Syntegro is a partner of this event. Consequently professor Dirk Buyens and Syntegro hosted an interactive webinar on the future of hybrid working. During that webinar he concluded that today almost everyone is implementing hybrid work strategies and will continue to do so in the future. Hybrid is here to stay. At the same time, most companies are still struggling to meet the many challenges that come with it, such as organising an optimum occupancy level and guaranteeing high-quality customer service and employee welfare.

The solution according to professor Buyens? Clarity in flexibility. Or a widely supported code of conduct that strives after flexiclarity. This requires the support of an office environment that facilitates connection and workforce management software that fosters the organisation of hybrid working.

A few striking numbers


Hybrid working refers to a combination of in-office and remote working and is therefore flexible in terms of time and place. Research shows that both young and seasoned professionals like to use this possibility.

In his seminar professor Buyens quotes some telltale figures:

  • 87% of employees across the generations want to telework most of the time;
  • more than 50% of organisations expect more than half of their work to be carried out in hybrid mode in the future;
  • 97% of candidates who already have access to hybrid or remote working want to keep it that way if they switch jobs;
  • 68% of candidates that work in-office would like to switch to hybrid working or remote strategies in a new job.

Struggling with hybrid working


According to professor Buyens, the widespread introduction and popularity of hybrid work strategies has a major impact on how we use office buildings, how we learn, how we take liberties and responsibility and how we approach personal well-being.

Research proves that we work with higher intensity, are less distracted and achieve a better work-life balance. In addition, employers and employees worry about social isolation and well-being. Moreover, they indicate that communication and the alignment of team- and task-related processes must be monitored.

During the webinar, the participants were often divided on the impact of hybrid working. There was no consensus on:

  • the influence on quality of service;
  • the proposition whether an increase in flexible strategies will also add to the work pressure of colleagues on the work floor;
  • the influence of new communication technologies on the concentration of staff;
  • the growing polarisation between people who have access to hybrid working and those who don’t.

Conclusion? Companies are still struggling with hybrid working and they have questions as to how it can be organised in the most efficient way.

Clarity in flexibility


Professor Buyens believes (part of) the solution lies in establishing “a code of conduct on working in the New Normal that strives for flexiclarity”.

Such a flexiclarity code puts agreements and rules in place on hybrid working. How to organise meetings? What matters require your presence on the work floor? How do you organise and use the office? What tools do you use for remote working? What about the costs, etcetera?

This policy facilitates collaboration and creates equality, fairness and transparency. It makes it easier to manage peak workloads, it is a key employer branding instrument and a powerful tool to avoid conflict.

Workforce management software for optimum hybrid working


So hybrid working starts with a clear policy but professor Buyens states you also need a work environment that permits connection when people are present on the work floor. This promotes team processes and an efficient business culture.

Workforce management software also plays a key role. Syntegro’s software offers a solution for implementing hybrid work strategies while bringing flexiclarity based on simple processes and transparent communication.

The result is high-performance software that supports and facilitates good policy. The technology does this by making it easier to manage (peak) workloads, by automating home working requests, travel and leave days, by registering costs, and much more.

Do you want your employees to derive maximum benefit from hybrid working? Then use Syntegro’s workforce management software.

Contact us at sales@syntegro.be. We’ll be happy to assist you.