As businesses begin to transition away from traditional office-based working and towards a more hybrid approach, degree apprentices such as myself are reaping the benefits, however, also facing the draw-backs of the new norm.
For those unfamiliar with the concept of hybrid working, it’s a combination of both working from home and office-based working environments which was swiftly adopted by businesses following the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the major advantages of hybrid working is the flexibility it provides. As a degree apprentice, it has provided the ability to more easily balance academic studies, career and personal life, due to not having to spend 3+ hours travelling each day.
Having the opportunity to be pro-active with your personal life is a great benefit. Maintaining your relationships with friends and family, abilities to go to the gym, have a healthy breakfast, play sports or even learn something new! – All benefits of the hybrid model.
By working both from home and in the office, you are able to save on commuting costs, as well as other out-goings such as buying lunches.
Travel and lunches can add up drastically if you’re spending 5 days in the office each week. With the hybrid-working model, this additional cash can be spent on additional luxuries or even saved or invested for additional gain.
Hybrid working provides an opportunity to improve productivity and take on further responsibility over your own workload. Working remotely provides the space and freedom to focus on tasks without the distractions of an office environment.
Working from home often however, can make it difficult to ‘switch off’, as we’re ‘living’ and ‘working’ in the same space. Having a designated work space, maybe at a dining table or study if available may aid in combatting this.
Social Interaction & Exposure:
One of the main disadvantages I have found as an apprentice is the lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues and managers in comparison to a fully office based role. Without the opportunity to build and maintain these relationships can be difficult to build trust and build those strong working relationships.
It is important to make sure you regularly communicate and keep in touch with your colleagues and managers; maybe schedule in the occasional coffee chat to ensure you continuously work to build these relationships and build your exposure with colleagues, managers and other stakeholders to benefit your future career.
The Apprenticeship Qualification:
Apprenticeships can be all encompassing, but with the hybrid working model it can be easier to be strict with taking your contractually obligated study leave; dedicating one full day (20%) a week to studying.
I have found that colleagues are more respectful of boundaries for studying when an ‘out of office’ is set, and are less likely to pull you into additional meetings or pieces of work during this time as opposed to when you’re studying within the office.
A mistake I made when beginning my apprenticeship was not making my boundaries clear when it comes to my contractually obligated study leave, and was often pulled into additional pieces of work meaning I fell behind with university.