The hybrid working revolution: a review

Mark Adair

Now, some three years on from the beginning of lockdown and the hybrid working revolution, it is safe to say that many companies have embraced the practice of hybrid working as a tenet of the ‘new normal.’ Moreover, what has this meant for productivity, mental wellbeing and company culture?

I recently attended a talk at Newcastle University discussing industry insights into the phenomenon of hybrid working. It’s safe to say that I came away from the discussion with a nuanced perspective on hybrid work.

With remote working relying on a great deal of trust that employees won’t just catch up on their favourite TV series, productivity is a natural concern for employers. However, ConnectSolution found that 77 per cent of remote workers claim to be more productive working from home, with 30 per cent doing more in less time and 24 per cent getting more work done in the same period of time.

If that didn’t put employers’ concerns to rest, a 2018 report by Avast Business found that office time reduced the productivity of workers.

Logically speaking, remote and hybrid work models also allow workers to have more flexible lifestyles, allowing them to spend more time with their families, do chores and spend less time commuting. If workers are more productive hybrid working, and if they have more time to do the things they love, then what’s the caveat for this seemingly perfect arrangement?

A report from Wildgoose found that 44 per cent of remote workers were expected to do more work since switching to remote settings. As well as this, remote workers found themselves working through sickness and taking shorter lunch breaks.

It’s easy to see how remote working can create a blur between work and leisure when your office space is also where you try to unwind in the evening. Coupling this with certain remote workers operating under the expectation of “always on” hybrid work models it’s no wonder that burnout has gripped workforces up and down the country.

Over the last year, “quiet quitting” has become a turn of phrase which gained traction on social media as employees do no more than the bare minimum, revolting against their workplace. To me, quitting quietly is symptomatic of burnout in a workplace rather than a by-product of millennial work ethic (though some might argue with me on that).

As employers, the presence of quiet quitting should be cause for concern rather than scorn. A report by McKinsey found that many employees feel anxious about a lack of a clear hybrid work plan laid out with boundaries and guidelines.

The report also found that “organisations that have articulated more specific policies and approaches for the future workplace have seen employee well-being and productivity rise.”

It’s safe to say that three years on from the rise in work from home culture, we still need to get to grips with the logistics and expectations of working from home as employers and employees. However it’s clear that an open and honest dialogue on the expectations of employees is paramount to ensuring everyone gets the most from the “new normal.”

By Mark Adair – Correspondent, Bdaily

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#Jobs #Management #National #Premium #Premium #Wellbeing #Hybrid Working

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