the three big things we’ve learned about hybrid work so far
Global – The last few years that we have spent in quarantine and lockdown have changed our way of life a lot. Of course, this also applies to our work. We used to wake up, have breakfast in a hurry, and spend most of the day at work. But the lockdown allowed us to attend online rallies in our pajamas, to wake up early. And it turned out that going to the office is not so necessary. Of course, all this had its drawbacks – a problem with concentration, laziness, and not enough motivation.
After covid-related regulations eased, companies decided to switch to hybrid work.
Combination of office and remote days. While a small number of companies have indeed moved to fully distributed models, the vast majority of executives have urged their employees to spend at least some time at their desks.
As a result, we are beginning to understand what hybrid work really means – at least to some extent. We’ve passed the point where hybrid work was a blurry concept, and we now have both research and employee experience to better understand what it means for people to work in hybrid environments, and what works and what doesn’t.
So, as the number of workers returning to offices grows, here are some of the most important things to know about our hybrid work reality.
Many companies try 3-2 or 2-3 settings, but it doesn’t go smoothly.
One of the biggest decisions companies had to make was how many days a week they would ask employees to be in the office. Companies using hybrid work have taken many different steps, some requiring as little as one day at headquarters and others four.
Many workers, and later companies, refer to these middle-meeting schemes as “bad luck.” And research is starting to shatter the idea that roughly three days is the right number in the office: According to an April 2022 Harvard Business School study, the best time for working days may actually be as little as one day.
The perception of hybrid work in companies varies greatly.
There is no one size fits all business model. Some business functions mean groups or entire departments of workers aren’t offered any remote options – think those in R&D or those who work with clients. Also, on the other hand, some companies are changing positions that used to have a completely remote office component. This means that the deployment of hybrid systems is often uneven, even within the same organization.
Hybrid work has different emotional impacts
For some people, hybrid work provides a much-needed emotional boost. Employees who have missed human contact so much get a boost of energy when they return to colleagues whose faces they have not seen for months. This is especially the case for younger employees or those without children, some of whom have had their well-being worsened by working in isolation. The hybrid is also a welcome change for workers who are stuck in bad life situations or have never met their co-workers like many Gen Z.