The pandemic completely redefined what it means to have a “workplace,” as companies quickly adapted to remote work environments. While replacing the traditional office environment with our work-from-home set-ups was an odd transition, today, many employees find themselves in favor of their remote and hybrid work experience.
At the start of 2022, LinkedIn data revealed that one in six job postings included the appealing work from home tag. Companies with hybrid work models like Twitter, Lyft, and Spotify have listened to their employees’ needs and announced remote or hybrid workplaces and hybrid work schedules as permanent.
This new normal has presented the challenge of ensuring that hybrid employees do not feel disconnected or isolated from their place of work. Creating a positive and healthy workplace culture is vital to a productive, passionate, and efficient team. This article discusses hybrid workplace benefits and hybrid workplace problems, as well as the importance of creating community within a hybrid workplace.
Hybrid Workplace Meaning
The hybrid workplace model or hybrid model meaning a combination of both remote workers with on-site workers. This allows employees to have the flexibility to choose where and when they work. Each company with a hybrid working model has determined what works best for them and their field of work. For many models, hybrid workplace examples include in-office time as determined by specific days or by groups, or on an as-needed basis. Some believe that a hybrid work model is the perfect work-life balance, having some work days from home and others in the office. Others find hybrid work to be inconvenient and inefficient with unnecessary commutes to do work that could just as easily be done from home.
Employee Needs vs. Company Wants
Hybrid working advantages and disadvantages have been a hot topic of discussion as companies like Tesla, Amazon, and Google begin to require in-office work at least some of the time for employees. This has presented a major dilemma for the 5 million remote employees who have relocated since the pandemic began in 2020, according to a study conducted by UpWork, a popular freelancing platform. Many employees are seeking out new remote opportunities to avoid relocating again simply to go into the office a few times a week.
Many companies that require in-person work in one way or another argue that productivity excels when people are physically in the office. Yet, hybrid work model research on hybrid work culture conducted by Gartner found that rates of high-performing employees increase when given the flexibility of a hybrid/remote work environment. The study specifically found that only 36% of employees were high performers when working 40 hours per week in the office, while 55% of employees were high performers when given more freedom of choice about where, when, and how much they work.
Benefits of hybrid workplaces, for many workers, their new work-life balance from working remotely is priceless. Blind found that 64% of employees out of about 3,000 surveyed would rather work from home permanently than receive a $30,000 pay increase from a new job that required in-office work. This survey included employees who work at leading companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. Hybrid remote work definitions continue to expand as companies continue to navigate the challenges of hybrid working through hybrid model examples and creating hybrid work playbooks for their staff to follow.
Hybrid Workplace Best Practices
Despite the clear needs of many workers to remain remote and hybrid, companies believe that an inclusive, interconnected, community-driven workplace is only achievable through in-person interactions. In order to achieve a positive, healthy, and connected hybrid work environment, companies are creating roles like Gusto’s “Head of Remote Experience” to ensure that company culture is not sacrificed in the pursuit of a hybrid work model.
Platforms like Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, and Docket have allowed remote and hybrid employees to experience social interaction and collaboration within their virtual work environment. Yet, the risks of burn-out and isolation are still very prevalent in hybrid work from home. Leaders must give employees a safe place for feedback and conversations about company representation, inclusion, and equity. This helps to avoid disconnectedness through honest, first-experience feedback.
In-person and remote events are a great way to foster community within hybrid work models. Occasional in-person events can also generate a sense of community amongst otherwise remote workers. Additionally, hosting remote events that include all employees from all locations can bring everyone together in a casual and lighthearted way. Creating hybrid workplace policy templates, sharing hybrid work model examples and hybrid work model best practices, and implementing hybrid workplace technology are all ways to help foster a positive environment that supports the future of hybrid workplaces.
Early 2022 LinkedIn statistics revealed that about 20% of job postings were for remote roles and that those positions attracted 52% of applicants. It is clear that the digital workplace isn’t going anywhere and that employees should be included in the journey to perfecting the hybrid work model.
Determining the best hybrid work practices is an ongoing endeavor in the working world. But, emphasizing company culture and inclusivity is nothing new; we simply must find the most efficient way to maximize these aspects of the workplace from home to ensure team members feel interconnected and supported in their hybrid workplace.