Lately, businesses have seen significant shifts in how they function. These unique, pandemic-driven challenges compel organizations to facilitate remote working as lockdowns continue in many parts of the world.
As a result, more employees are now working from home some of the time (hybrid work).
Leaders must find ways to facilitate this hybrid work and know the current trends in the work environment to make hybrid work successful.
1. Flexible Work Is the Future
While widespread remote work was new to many last year, employees became comfortable with it. These days a vast majority of employees prefer remote or flexible work to help them deal with the challenges of a post-pandemic world. As a result, many businesses are restructuring physical spaces to entertain a hybrid work environment.
Increased flexibility with hybrid work is the future of workplaces.
However, an essential thing to consider is that leaders might be too focused on their investment areas. Even though a considerable amount of time has passed since remote work began, many workers still complain of not having a proper internet connection or adequate help from their employers to facilitate work from home.
Since virtual work increased inclusivity for workers, leaders will have to be careful how hybrid work breaks this setup and ensure employees get the flexibility to choose when and where they work and have the appropriate tools to do so.
2. Employees Feel Overlooked
Business leaders have generally been doing better throughout the remote work environment than employees, as 61% are in a good place right now. Microsoft’s report also shows that they have better relationships with leadership and colleagues, utilizing allotted vacation days and earning more.
Those doing better are more likely to be male, Gen X, or Millennial information workers than women, Gen Z, and frontline workers who have been struggling in their careers throughout the pandemic.
Such trends have given rise to a disconnect within the workforce, and leaders need to recognize and rectify these issues before implementing the hybrid work model for the long term.
3. Gen Z Is Struggling
Gen Z is highly overlooked during these times, and 60% of these report struggling or simply surviving right now. Since this generation usually tends to be single and starting their career, they feel more demotivated at work, isolated, and financially unstable to have a well-functioning work environment at home.
They struggle to strike a work-life balance and feel exhausted after work.
Since younger people offer new perspectives and think outside the box, their work and contribution are critical to take a business forward. Gen Z is the first generation that has started work in a remote environment, and their experience sets a precedent for the future of remote work.
As a result, it is essential to focus on their well-being and motivation during the shift to the hybrid work model.
4. Talent Is Widespread
One of the best things about remote work is that it introduces more talent to the market. The LinkedIn report shows that remote job postings increased by 2.8 times since March 2020, which is increasingly benefitting people. Many are considering moving to a different location since they can work remotely, allowing them to proceed further in their career with ease.
This significantly improves the talent landscape. A LinkedIn Economic Graph analysis shows Gen Z, women, and a lack of a graduate degree is the most responsive pool of applicants to these jobs. As a result, remote job postings can significantly help the hybrid work model acquire more talent and provide widespread opportunities.
5. Fewer Networking Opportunities
The remote work environment has brought about isolation as networks shrink. When the pandemic began, the need to collaborate with immediate teams in business groups increased, and as a result, interactions with the broader networks decreased.
In simple terms, businesses have become more siloed as compared to pre-pandemic times. Furthermore, while interactions with support teams and close networks were more than before the onset of remote work, trends show that even this interaction is declining over time.
However, according to an analysis, hybrid work models can bring back work networks. For instance, New Zealand, South Korea, and other countries showed decreased communication with distant networks during lockdowns and increased when lockdowns are eased.
Leaders must consider that remote work encourages more siloed teams and determine ways to increase cross-team collaborations, spontaneous idea-sharing, and social to drive more workplace innovation.
Leaders have to look for ways to shift to a hybrid work model to provide flexibility and choice to workers so that they feel productive. However, they must also address employee’s needs as they come to terms with this new way of doing things.
Head over to Definity First to determine the hybrid work approach leaders must take to retain and attract employees with a more flexible work environment.