Fenego Insights

Hybrid Working: Pros, Cons, and How to Make it Work - Fenego's Experience".

No more mandatory covid masks, no curfews, cuddle buddies, or the sanitizing of shopping carts,... the pandemic seems like a distant memory. We have all moved on and picked up our lives as they were before.

Nevertheless, the effect on office life is still noticeable. Due to covid restrictions, many companies were challenged to find new, remote ways to work together in an efficient manner. Although there were some obstacles to overcome at Fenego, we succeeded in making the whole work-from-home situation work!

After being allowed by Belgian regulators to physically work in our office again, employees seemed to struggle to find their way back to the office. They found a rhythm in remote working and discovered the advantages it can bring. As we have gained experience in working remotely as a group, a full-time return to the office was not necessary. Instead, we have used the knowledge gained over recent years to make the transition to a new way of working: hybrid working.

Lisa Leus.jpeg
Lisa Leus
Functional Analyst at Fenego

The pros and cons

Remote work

Both for companies and their employees, working remotely had quite some advantages: no more commuting to work, time to do some chores in between breaks, and more convenient ways to organize the day... Since our offices were practically empty (except for one or two go-getters whose presence was required), companies could economize on costs. This gave companies like Fenego (as part of Xplore Group) the opportunity to help their employees by reducing their home internet costs and even providing a home office with a standing desk, second screen, and office chair. Despite all the advantages that working from home enabled, we also got to experience some setbacks. There was less contact between colleagues to catch up on the latest topics or to get to know new employees. Having a drink together over a Teams meeting just does not provide the same vibe as a brainstorming session at our beloved coffee machine.

Best of both worlds

Hybrid working

Taking these highs and lows of remote working into account, hybrid working sounds like the perfect β€œbest of both worlds” solution. However, research by the BBC pointed out some possible downsides of this future way of working. The lack of routine hybrid working offers, due to a constant change in setting, may be psychologically and emotionally challenging - if not applied thoughtfully. A potential pitfall we took very seriously.

At Fenego, we tried to facilitate the transition from remote to hybrid working by setting fixed office days. This way employees who value colleague contact knew which days were optimal for coming to the office. While inviting every team member, no mandatory presence was established to keep flexibility, making sure it fitted within everyone's schedule. Old office habits were taken up again, resulting in a strong motivation amongst employees to come to the office and join us. An example is our after-lunch office walks to refresh the mind and at the same time get those steps in! We also restarted organizing offline team events like monthly padel tournaments, team building, and BBQs... These form the perfect opportunities for detaching from work and getting to know each other (even) better!

Continuous effort

Work-life balance

Now the upcoming energy crisis may threaten to disturb this newly found balance, so it might be a good idea to anticipate an accelerated increase in office visits. Due to the extreme increase in energy prices, it may become economically interesting for employees to work more at the office in comparison to home. As a result, from an environmental perspective, it is more efficient to heat the office instead of everyone's home office separately.

Obviously, we are thrilled to meet our beloved team members more often again, which will improve cohesion, spontaneous collaboration, and mentoring. Since 2019, much has changed about our standard work schedule of 5 days in the office. As a group, we found ways to get our office back up to full capacity in the most efficient way possible. In addition, we will continue to look for methods to make the transition as comfortable as possible for our employees.

Fenego has the ambition to continuously make an active effort in improving the work-life balance in collaboration with our employees. We are prepared to support and guide them through every step of the way.

Are you the talent we are looking for?

Like the sound of hybrid working? Fancy that afternoon walk on the Corda Campus and the opportunity to get some groceries in over your next lunch break at home?

Be sure to let us know! Do not hesitate to fill in the form below and amaze us with all your special skills. Or take a look at our career page.

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