Today the Hybrid working model is very popular and each company wants to implement it. Just like every time, every new thing brings new tales and confusion, but do not worry we are here to help you. We gathered the most common tales, wrote drown them, and compared them to reality.
You can read about them below:
Tale #1 - Hybrid is when everyone comes to work two or three times a week.
Reality - Hybrid is a mix of fully remote and onsite locations. One example of a hybrid strategy requires all employees to be present in the office at least two to three days per workweek. This is not the only option an organization has. This model can be sub-adapted to suit unique needs. While some organizations will determine which days they need to be at work, others will let their teams decide.
The hybrid approach is a popular hybrid model. This model divides an organization's workforce as fully remote, flexible, and always on-site groups -- options employees can request or opt in to. These cohorts allow employees to choose the model that best suits their preferences. Surveys across all industries tend to show that most workers who work remotely want it to remain open for a few days per week, while a small minority (consistently about 30% across surveys) would prefer to be able to work from home full-time. Only a few people want to go back to work full-time.
Although there is no single way to design a sustainable hybrid-work model that works for everyone, the hybrid approach will be the most popular. It offers the easiest way to meet the widest range of preferences. This is the model that organizations would choose to use if they allowed people to decide how often they want to visit the office.
It may also allow for flexibility in the way work is done. Leaders are trusting their employees to accomplish the work and empowering them to set clear goals. Management of "butts in chairs, 9-5" is fast becoming a thing of the passé.
Tale #2 - Those who wish to live in isolation full-time are antisocial introverts and are not committed to the culture within their organizations.
Reality - Managers who wish to return to office-centric culture would be wise to consider who and why. Some leaders are realizing that remote work can create a level playing ground that is free from subtle and not-so-subtle biases that can make interpersonal interactions unpleasant for the wealthy and pleasant for the poor. This time offers an opportunity for those who want things to "go back to normal" to think about how "normal" may have reinforced systemic privileges. Managers and workers can then re-examine what "normal" could mean for the future.
If permanent remote work preferences were purely about personality traits, then we would expect them to be randomly distributed across all demographic groups. This is not the case. People who want more flexibility in their location are more likely to be women, people of color, less likely to have a disability, and more likely to have children at home. It could lead to inequalities in workplace inclusion and performance evaluations. Many organizations are working to fix these inequalities.
Tale #3 - Remote workers will not be promoted at the same pace as co-located colleagues
Even if there were many social scientific findings over the past 20 years that suggested this myth was true, there are few and if they had been proven dependable through meta-analyses or randomization (which hasn't), it's difficult to extrapolate these results with any degree of certainty.
The most significant confounding factor was that these historical studies were conducted in a pre-COVID environment -- a time before remote work was commonplace and something only a few people had ever experienced. This environment is no longer possible. Most workers who can work remotely are familiar with the effects of the pandemic. This experience fundamentally changes the playing field, for which is not something historical studies can account. It would be fascinating to see if the same result is found in multiple types of organizations using different performance management methods.
It would be worthwhile to design hybrid return-to-office strategies to reduce this risk if it is a threat. Reexamining performance management practices can help to make them more outcomes-oriented. It is possible to make it easier for managers to work remotely and for senior leaders to agree to work remotely at most to avoid creating centers of gravity around them. The boss may not be in the office, so that reduces the amount of frantic hand wringing around the hybrid, creating a two-tiered system.
The patterns that we see will depend more on how organizations redesign and reimagine their office cultures than the limitations of remote working.
Remote work can be less collaborative and innovative than co-located work.
The evidence to support this claim is mixed, but it has assumed the status of dogma during public discussion (which means that it is not expressed with the need for any defense or justification later).
Managers need to be aware of how forced return to work can affect workers who prefer to work from home. If people feel that they must go back to work more frequently than they want, they will not be able to collaborate or innovate effectively. The "collision theory” of innovation has likely ended.
Tale #4 -The future of work strategy is when an organization announces its return-to-office plan.
Reality Planning for future work requires more than just thinking about whether organizations will allow remote work.
The sourcing strategy is equally important, if not more. Organizations must find the right mix of contract, consulting, rotating, project-based, and short-term work to be agile and successful over the long term.
To meet tomorrow's demands, leaders will need to upskill. Leaders can also expand their training investments and create internal talent markets to match people with stretch roles or projects that will allow them to develop the skills needed to drive tomorrow’s work.
Leaders should make decisions about their location strategy in a way that actively considers what work is at the organization and how it will be done.
Last thoughts: Organizations can make hybrid work more efficient by establishing good habits.
It may seem like a lofty goal to give employees more freedom and trust while still achieving tangible business results. Hybrid work is already proving to be a success for many companies. These are just a few of the simple ways your company can reap the benefits from hybrid and flexible models.
Use data and conversations to gain insight. Organizations should be aware of what employees want and need to succeed in uncharted territory. Employee feedback can provide valuable insights into topics like well-being, collaboration, and workplace design. Leaders and managers can also use it to make informed decisions about what is best for their employees and the company. By taking short surveys, you can get practical advice that will make work more safe, productive, and flexible.
Keep your eyes on the most important things. Hybrid and flexible working are a hot topic that can impact many other business functions and processes. Once you have identified the top priorities for employees, take small steps to get started on what really matters. This commitment should be shared with the organization.
Recognize progress and acknowledge ongoing challenges. It will be difficult to transition to a hybrid or flexible model. To keep momentum going, it is important that you recognize and communicate regularly about how your organization is progressing. Communicate what is working and what are the challenges. Communicate with employees what is next and when they can expect more information.