To hybrid or not to hybrid; that is the question!

Claire Vane
June 16, 2023

It’s not so long since some clients would refuse requests for individuals to work at home one or two days a week. We observe that this was often through fear, and a failure to understand what changes would need to be made by leaders, to ensure that they had sufficient “control of what was going on”.

Working at home does not suit everybody and, indeed, many people do not have the physical conditions to make home working pleasurable or more productive. Different psychometric profiles mean that some individuals will find being at home disadvantageous; for example those who prefer always to have other individuals around them. With hybrid working becoming more frequent, jobs are now advertised as hybrid, on-site or totally remote and the more we work remotely, the more we will become habituated to it. No single way of working will suit everyone but, if the individual does enjoy hybrid working, the results can be:

• A better work-life balance.

• A reduction in commuting time and travel between meetings.

• More autonomy in that an individual can choose when to carry out a particular task.

• The flexibility to run errands and put the washing in because we are at home.

• Higher productivity because there are fewer disruptions and interruptions.

Nonetheless, there are many downsides:

• Individuals do not overhear other conversations, unless, of course, they sit on Skype, for example, which enables them to listen to their colleagues which can simulate being in the office.

• There is possibly an increased reluctance to ask colleagues for help.

• There is reduced role modelling of learning from a senior.

• Research has indicated that customers and clients feel less satisfied and, in a recent Gallup customer satisfaction survey, customer satisfaction is said to have fallen by 4% since 2018 - the largest recorded drop in 28 years.

So, considering the pros and cons of remote working, where should we be focusing our attention?

• Objectives need to be even more carefully developed and individuals need high-quality performance reviews to understand the value they are bringing to their organisation.

• Those one-minute praisings to acknowledge great work need to be reinvigorated. Individuals do not feel in touch enough with their managers and we need to give our employees more time, more value and more validation.

• Virtual meetings require more planning for inclusivity.

If you would like to discuss how to stem workforce turnover and improve the sense of value we give employees, please get in touch.

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