Ever since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic early last year, quarantines, lockdowns, and self-imposed isolations have forced millions of workers to work remotely from home.
This workplace experiment that had once struggled to gain any traction amongst businesses, became a saving grace for many during a time of great uncertainty.
While there have undoubtedly been challenges along the way, remote working has proven itself to many that it’s more than just a useful stopgap.
It worked so well in fact, that employees don’t want to go back to their old way of working.
Well, not completely anyway.
New research by YouGov discovered that almost 18% of UK office workers would choose to work from home every day, whereas 32% would opt to work from home most days. It seems that while some may be glad to return to the office, many employees want to spend more time working remotely — and some may not want to return to the office at all.
With pressures to keep all of their employees happy whilst also ensuring their business remains productive, many employers have already started to consider a new style of working for their post-pandemic workplace, known as the hybrid working method.
While it might seem like the best option, the hybrid working model isn’t without its flaws and challenges:
- Not everyone has access to good quality WIFI, A designated workspace, and a quiet place to work at home. Not only can this make employees feel isolated, but it can also have a negative impact on their work performance.
- There’s also the risk that employees who are ‘seen’ in the office every day will be seen as providing a greater output than their remote-working colleagues who are seen less frequently. This could mean that the in-person office workers are given preferential treatment when it comes to promotions, whilst also reducing remote workers’ opportunities for collaboration, individual recognition, and advancement.
- If there is a lack of communication between a hybrid working team, employees can quickly feel excluded and out of the loop when it comes to upcoming projects and company goals. This can also erode company culture and social interaction amongst teams, which will ultimately impact engagement and satisfaction levels.
These examples highlight the importance of having a robust hybrid workplace plan in place before implementation. If not properly executed, a hybrid workplace could create an unnecessary divide between those who work in the office and those who work remotely.