A Mixed Bag! Client Experiences of Hybrid Working

Hybrid working sounds great in theory. Employees have greater work-life balance, while employers enjoy productivity gains from more fulfilled workers.

Yet there can be a dark side for employers, as our own client experiences testify.

Hybrid working delivering genuine gains

Some clients have seen their workforce blossom under flexible working. Workers are less stressed about commuting and more focused on their own work, without office distractions.

One client has noticed another recruitment bonus. Now they are able to select interstate workers for roles, rather than relying on those within strict geographic limits. This gives access to a much bigger and deeper talent pool when filling key positions.

Real snags with the hybrid model

On the flip side, some of our clients have encountered a number of problems.

-Introverts and extroverts may suffer

It’s not only extrovert or sociable workers who struggle with home-based work. More introverted employees can also find it hard to cope.

The remote model allows them to retreat further into a solitary work pattern. Where face-to-face contact encourages them to interact and collaborate, remote work can impact teamwork as shyer workers become less visible and engaged – a barrier to productivity.

More extroverted workers can naturally be lonely in the home setting. Without the stimulation of direct contact, such employees may be less engaged, creative and satisfied.

-New hire teething problems

Clients have found it hard to on-board new recruits effectively under the remote working model, especially at graduate level.

One company has established new rules to help such candidates find their feet and settle in. They will attend the office at least two days each week, for the first couple of months, to speed up the integration process and ensure they feel part of the team.

-Not all businesses can remote work

Not all businesses can support a remote work environment. For instance, a couple of our creative business clients rely on close teamwork to generate design ideas and implement them in the most effective way.

Businesses delivering hands-on services – think mechanics or hairdressers – are also tied to in-person working.

-Worker expectations take flight!

You know the old expression, give ‘em an inch and they take a mile? Well, some employees can get a little carried away with the ‘freedom’ of remote work.

One client approached us for advice on how to handle just such a team member. The worker had decided to relocate to a rural location and work remotely – without consulting the employer. Fortunately, the employee changed their mind when we explained that remote working could transition back to the office in future. Just in time!

Ask us how to improve your remote and hybrid working experiences. Good luck!