Best balance in the post-pandemic workplace

20 September 2021

COVID-19 has been a game-changer for workplaces across the globe and the way we work. Many employees have now tasted the experience of remote work and want more of it in their future working arrangements. A recent Gartner survey found that 82 per cent of company leaders are planning to let employees continue to work remotely after the pandemic is over.

But what will the future workplace look like – back to the office, home office, hybrid or work-from-anywhere? Here are three working models to consider as we adjusts to the post-pandemic world.

While remote work is an umbrella term for working away from a specified office location, a fully remote model refers to a business that operates completely decentralised. Employees are not tied to a location and work exclusively remote.


Other terms used to describe working remotely include telecommuting, teleworking, Working From Home (WFH), Working From Anywhere (WFA) or mobile working. While a company may have a proportion of fully remote staff, this does not mean they operate under a fully remote model.

The remote-working model is extremely flexible and often cost-effective, and many companies plan to stick with it even after the pandemic has ended. The benefits of remote working, including greater flexibility for employees, lower costs of office space and increased productivity, have led some companies - including Twitter, Facebook, Adobe, Oracle and Spotify - to announce that they plan to allow employees to work from home indefinitely, if they wish.

Fully remote companies typically find creative ways to be close virtually through frequent interactions, for example, a virtual office, and still ensure to meet-up in person a couple of times a year for company-wide offsites. 

If your company has faced significant challenges since going remote, you may be leaning towards reinstating an office-centric working model. And you wouldn’t be alone; many companies are already making plans to bring back in-person working to improve culture, collaboration, and their ability to do business with customers.

Companies that want to get everyone back to the office, however, are likely to experience some backlash if they tell employees who have worked remotely for over a year that they now cannot do it at all. Achieving the right balance will be crucial in retaining those employees who are less than eager to return to the office full-time. The key will be flexibility; for example allowing employees to continue to work from home at least one day per week.

Already adopted by many industry-leading companies, like Microsoft, Google and Allianz, the hybrid work model offers employees the perfect balance of in-office and at-home work days. Employees typically work 1-3 days in the office each week and in the home office the rest of the time.


This blended approach combines aspects of both remote and in-office work, where employees choose to work in the way that suits them best, while still retaining the advantages, and necessity in many cases, of having a centralised office.


The benefits of the hybrid model can include increased productivity and employee wellbeing, as well as reduced cost of office space, and increasing your company’s competitiveness to attract, hire, and retain top talent beyond your geographical location. 


Several surveys suggest that approximately 70 per cent of employees want to retain some degree of remote work. And according to a recent study by PwC, more than half of employees would prefer to be remote at least three days a week once the pandemic is no longer a concern. 

The coronavirus pandemic has forced us all to re-evaluate our lives and our working arrangements. According to the recently released Microsoft Future Trends Report 2021, 73 per cent of workers say they want flexible work options to continue. With 67 per cent of leaders saying they are looking to redesign their offices for hybrid working, it seems that hybrid working and working entirely from home are here to stay for many businesses going forward.


While there is no one-size-fits-all approach, companies are continuing to experiment with a range of potential work models. Deciding which one is best for your organisation will involve understanding the nature of the work being done, the teams involved, and the preferences of individual employees. It will be up to each company to determine which working model will best meet the needs of your business - and your employees.

About the author


David Myers

CSO Health, Allianz Partners

As Chief Sales Officer, David is responsible for leading sales and client management operations with International Health & Life Insurer, Allianz Partners. With 20+ years’ experience in the corporate insurance industry, having held senior management positions across a number of global companies at Allianz, David is passionate about making life simpler, easier and safer for clients.  A chartered insurer who holds an MBA from the European School of Management and Technology, Berlin.