Hybrid Working in the Tech Sector: What Will It Look Like?
Throughout the pandemic, we have experienced a whole host of different norms with regards to restrictions, eating outside, eating inside, where we work… every promised development comes with a caveat that the next step may be a step backwards rather than a step forwards.
What the future holds is still up in the air and changeability is very much a recurring theme.
A year ago, we were wondering when we were going to head back to the office. A few months on, the calls for fully remote working had started. And now the concerns over isolation, productivity, culture and collaboration have questioned the approach once more. Will it be hybrid? Or will we go full circle and find ourselves back where we started?
The priorities need to be considered but also the question over what the best way of working is, still remains to be answered.
Hybrid Working: The Considerations
In a recent report, the overall thoughts on the return to work were mixed:
- 21% said they will never return to the pre-pandemic model of only office-based working.
- 39% said they were looking to implement a hybrid working model for their business.
- 40% said that they were looking to return to the office as normal.
And as the discussion continues, more considerations are started to be factored in.
As many of us have seen over the past year or so, hybrid working carries with it many benefits. However, allowances need to be made for some of the imbalances and issues that might arise as time goes on.
The loss of workplace culture is definitely something that would impact employees on a day-to-day basis. Another consideration would be the potential imbalance of opportunities for those working from home in comparison to those who are in the office more often.
Training and development, as well as team integration for new starters is also proving for many to be more successful in person.
Hybrid Working: Technology
Without a doubt, a massive enabler over the course of the pandemic has been IT and technology. Without cloud technologies and collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, many businesses would not have had the infrastructure to support remote working.
And as we move towards a hybrid model – or even back to the office full time – more and more businesses are finding innovative ways to manage this, particularly with regards to keeping everyone safe, managing building capacities and also maintaining a good level of culture and collaboration.
From an IT perspective, one thing is for sure and that’s that skilled professionals will be in very much high demand which bodes well for anyone working in the industry.
Hybrid working: Contracting
From a recruitment perspective, the future will be very much determined on your role as well as whether you are a contractor or hold a permanent position, as IT Recruitment Consultant David White explains:
“Moving forward post Covid, most of our clients have advised they will implement some sort of hybrid remote work options i.e. 2/3 days working onsite/remote, with the expectation that contractors will still be flexible to be able to attend onsite team meetings as and when required on short notice.
However, a lot does depend on the role itself. For example, we’re seeing a lot of our helpdesk/deskside support contractors being asked to return to the office at the moment to help with the phased return of full-time employees to the office, as they require a main point of contact onsite for any IT related issues.
Other roles lend themselves more to 100% remote work, and some of our clients have advised that contractors working in these types of positions (e.g. Software Developers etc.) can continue to work fully remote, even post Covid. This is also a direct result of demand and pressure from candidates working within this space, again particularly Software Developers; clients understand if they can’t offer 100% remote work options, they may lose strong contractors to other clients and organisations who will.
Contractors in general are often seen as independent employees separate from full-time staff within our client organisations, so more often than not, they can dictate their own working conditions, as long as the job gets done.”
What lies ahead?
The future may have been outlined but it still needs to be filled in. What approach will work best will depend on the roles and the business itself. It may end up being a case of trial and error as well as developing new policies and approaches as we learn more.
One thing is for certain and that’s that safety is the top priority, and this will be the main driver moving forwards, before anything else gets set in stone.
It does, however, seem that the more technical skills you can bring to the table, the greater your chance in calling the shots on how and where you work.
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