Brad Elson

The Advantages of Hybrid Work in the Lab

Throughout the pandemic, the advantages of hybrid work were readily apparent as laboratory personnel could continue critical projects thanks to digitally flexible workspaces.

The long-term value of a hybrid work environment, however, is being questioned by many scientific organisations as they look to the future.

“Throughout the pandemic, the advantages of hybrid work were readily apparent as laboratory personnel could continue critical projects thanks to digitally flexible workspaces.“

The main advantages of hybrid work in the lab:

1. Technology's significance in hybrid work

In order to adjust to a newly emerging hybrid form of employment, laboratories worldwide used automation, digital technology, and shift-based schedules during the COVID pandemic.

Due to the increased backing for digital transformation initiatives in this environment, many laboratories are now using at least some basic technologies to facilitate hybrid work. As 69% of lab leaders believe their competitive edge is at risk without additional connectivity and automation in the laboratory, today's pace of competition needs more significant transformation.

Researchers and lab technicians are well-equipped to manage a hybrid workload in this increasingly digital environment by juggling assignments between home and the lab.

2. Promoting inclusion, equity, and diversity in the lab

According to research done in 2020, gender diversity in STEM suffered greatly as women faced increased workloads, increased caregiving duties, and COVID-19-related disruptions.

By adopting hybrid work environments, you can expand your candidate pool and reach a broader range of talent than you could if you only searched outside the close surroundings of the laboratory.

3. Enabling extensive collaboration

Most hybrid workplaces are technologically advanced, which is an adaption that facilitates collaboration across various locations.

While more technologically advanced labs use cloud-based applications in accordance with augmented reality to control experimental equipment, cloud-based applications on their own still significantly impact the activation of effective global collaboration in less technologically advanced labs.

4. Hybrid work increases candidate retention and appeal

Hybrid work should be a key component of your strategy in a talent landscape where most international STEM professionals attribute their workplace satisfaction to a good sense of work-life balance.

Laboratory executives have identified modernising infrastructure to accommodate a remote workforce as the most crucial element for future-proofing laboratories today, underlining the critical role hybrid work models play in recruiting the finest personnel and maintaining competitiveness over the long run.

5. Hybrid work increases output

Hybrid work's flexibility can enhance well-being, income, and mobility by enabling reduced commuting expenses and greater employee autonomy. This accommodating setting can boost productivity in people who commute a long way or in people who prefer a better work-life balance.

How to get ready for hybrid task management

The first step in hybrid task management and allocation should be to create a list of precise daily expected tasks for each team.

Analyse the conditions necessary to execute these duties after daily tasks have been defined; these requirements may include having access to the lab, a desktop computer, a quiet area, or video-conferencing software. Before assigning specific duties in accordance with how well they fit in the laboratory and a home office, determine which conditions are compatible with each.

Make use of shift-based rotas to ensure that hybrid work can be sustained in a balanced way, allowing each employee to take advantage of a flexible work environment that best suits their tasks and responsibilities.

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