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Returning to Work

....The Pros and Cons of the Hybrid Workspace



As the pandemic begins to wind down and vaccination uptake increases, many organizations are starting to talk about returning to the office. After nearly 18 months of working remotely, what does a return to the office look like? Some organizations are doing a full return while others are looking at continuing to work remotely. Both have their pros and cons which is why a Hybrid model has been suggested and developed by different businesses.

What is a Hybrid Workplace Model? A hybrid-remote workplace model is a model that combines remote work with office work. This means that some employees can work from home while others work in the office. What does a Hybrid Workplace Model Look like? A hybrid workplace model can look a variety of different ways. It all depends on how many days the employer wants the employees in the office and which employees are in the office at specific times. For example, one team may be in the office on Mondays and Wednesdays while the other team comes in on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Alternatively, the employer could elect to have all the employees in the office for two days out of the week and have everyone working remotely for the other three days. Regardless of what the configurations look like, the idea is for the model to be a mix of days working remote and days in the office.

Pros of a Hybrid Workplace Model for Employees There are a number of advantages of a Hybrid Workplace Model for the employees. These include but are not limited to:

  • Encourages a stronger work-life balance

  • Alleviates the anxiety that employees may have about returning to the public workspace

  • No more long commutes to the office

  • Ability to spend more time with family

  • A more equitable workplace for employees who are caregivers for family members

Pros of a Hybrid Workplace Model for Employers

  • Lower expenses as they may not need office space

  • Access to different talent in different locations

  • An adaptable workforce that can switch completely to remote if needed

  • Lower turnover rates due to better work-life balance among workers

Cons of a Hybrid Workplace Model for Employees

  • Working remotely can stunt employees’ opportunities for promotions

  • Remote workers work longer hours which can lead to burnout

  • A disconnect between in office and out of office workers can occur

  • It may be difficult to balance when and who specific workers or teams are in the office and if there can be any employees that are either fully in the office or fully remote

Cons of a Hybrid Workplace Model for Employers

  • Managers may start to micro-manage their team if they can’t “see” them working

  • Remote work may impact the workplace culture. It will take intentional effort to build equitable and inclusive cultures that don’t favor in-house employees over remote ones.

  • Ensuring that all employees have access to the right tools and technologies to do their jobs.

  • Ensuring workplaces are ergonomic so employees do not get repetitive strain injuries

  • Ensuring the office space accommodates both hybrid and in-office workers

  • Cost of online platforms that can support remote work effectively

As you can see, Hybrid workplaces have their upside and downside. As the nature of the workplace continues to evolve, so must organizations in order to maintain happy and healthy employees and workplace culture. At Synergy, we pride ourselves on being able to help our clients visualize how they want their future organization to work. We then help guide them on the path to achieving those goals and then some. If your organization is questioning how to move forward in this changing world, give us a call! We can help!

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