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Benefits and Drawbacks of Hybrid Working

As we all have come to know, one of the things the Covid pandemic affected the most was how we work. In the last couple of years it’s been a hot topic – should we remain home? Should we go back to full-time in the office? Can we be as productive in one place over the other? Do we force people back to the office? Do we offer a hybrid working model? What does that look like? And the questions could go on and on and on…

Today I want to share some of the benefits and drawbacks of the different working models that emerged since the pandemic. I’m hoping these findings will help you explore what works best for you and the people you work with. In the last year, I have offered Change Management, Wellbeing and Recovery from the Pandemic workshops to organizations while so many were challenged with a sense of overwhelm from the constant adjustments, and the fact that the Hybrid Model (onsite 2-3 days) was now the new way of working.

This change was welcomed by some, however, many resisted the return to the office even if it was only 2-3 days a week. Over the course of delivering our workshops, a variety of strong challenges and benefits were identified of working offsite full-time, onsite full-time and working using the hybrid model.

The more I researched, the more I discovered that other reputable organizations were seeing very similar findings. For example, Global Leadership Wellbeing Solutions (GLWS) captured in their December 2022 insights paper, that for some employees there is a higher risk of burnout and depression when working from home. 43% of employees say they would consider leaving their job for one that offers greater flexibility; and there is a large and growing body of research which presents a complex and mixed view on whether flexible working approaches are ‘good’ or ‘bad’ for employees and employers. In the chart below, you will see comments I gathered from my clients as to what the benefits and drawbacks were with the different working models.

So, the question that remains for organizations still is, which model is the best for your situation? If you were to extend the list of benefits and drawbacks, you would see that each working model has its advantages and disadvantages and those will differ from employee to employee and employer to employer. For some of your employees, they will thrive in one model over another simply because of their individual personalities (i.e. extroverts will appreciate working in the office for social interactions, whereas introverts may appreciate the peace and quiet remote working offers).

Unfortunately, there isn’t a set answer as to which model is most effective. However, asking key questions as you explore this new way of working will certainly guide you in making the best decisions for your organization and your employees.

Are you interested in discussing this topic further? Are you looking to boost your employees' resilience, mental agility and wellbeing toolkit? Please reach out, we’d love to help.


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