Hybrid Work is the Future, What Will That Entail?

*Originally published on CommercialIntegrator.com

With a portion of the population vaccinated, companies will have to adjust to the new hybrid work model coming out to the pandemic.

COVID-19 has forced companies to thoroughly reevaluate how and where their employees work, and as the world slowly comes out of the pandemic, many employees and employers will have to figure out how best to move forward with hybrid work as many employers found it did not decrease productivity and employees enjoyed the flexibility.

But remote work also had its downsides with employees unable to interact face-to-face, leading to some feeling isolated. So going forward, companies hope to adopt a hybrid work model. Hybrid work will certainly present new challenges, but as Forbes points out in a new article, the benefits outweigh the costs.

Forbes refers to a Gartner survey that found 90% of HR professionals planning to allow partial remote work going forward and Forbes did their own survey of their employees and found that only 2% want to return to the office full time with the rest being split on hybrid work or completely remote work.

The article also points to a PwC survey from early 2021 which showed that only 20% of executives thought it was necessary for employees to return to the office full time and the majority say only two or three days will be necessary. Millennial and Gen Z workers overwhelmingly prefer remote work with many willing to give up potential earnings for the ability to do so.

Many employees plan to take advantage of hybrid work in other ways, such as moving further away from their office to a cheaper area. It will also enable hiring managers to expand their applicant pool significantly, making it equally beneficial to both.

The article points to a Zapier survey that showed slightly more that half of men prioritize remote work while over 60% of women did for various reasons. Fifteen percent more men said their employer offered remote work compared to women. Women also reported feeling more burnout from the pandemic then men. This will lead to companies having to look deeper into inequities in the workforce and figuring out why some demographics feel more fatigued that others.

Companies should also be prepared for other challenges as well, like in-office employees feeling resentment towards their remote colleagues, and potentially looking for ways to exclude them.

Overall, companies are going to have to experiment to see which exact type of hybrid work is most effective and be mindful that what works some may not work for others. There are many uncertainties, but the full-time in-office work appears to be a thing of the past.