What is ‘hybrid working’? You have probably seen or heard the term often enough recently as many businesses prepare to adapt to a post-pandemic landscape. Quite simply, hybrid working entails working a certain amount of time in the pre-pandemic workplace and the rest of the time remotely.
According to research cited by MultiBriefs, less than a fifth of businesses are set to ask their employees to recommence working in the office daily. Meanwhile, 52% of surveyed workers mentioned in a LinkedIn article said they favored a flexible working model – but what risks could it carry?
Scheduled meetings can feel somewhat disjointed
This wasn’t so much the case when everyone was mandated to work from home, and the videoconferencing software used by your business displayed everyone in identically-sized tiny boxes.
However, when half of your workforce is in the office and the other half is home-based, will the remote participants struggle to discern who is speaking and when – and feel confident that their voice will be heard if they interject from their homes?
Impromptu meetings could cease to be a big ‘thing’
You can probably recall many occasions back in pre-pandemic times when casual, spontaneous chat amongst workers in the office sparked genuinely productive conversations.
Now, if you don’t want to leave remote workers entirely absent from this kind of informal dialogue, it would be convenient for you to have communication software enabling you to quickly pull them into the conversation as and when you fancy.
Can team-building happen through remote means?
The simple and perhaps unsurprising answer is: yes, but you could find yourself working hard to make it happen quite as smoothly as it did when all of the participants were tied to the office.
In a survey conducted by the Pew Research Center nine months into the pandemic, 65% of employees admitted to feeling less connected to their co-workers.
Therefore, you should look for communication tools – like those bundled into a unified communications (UC) package – capable of helping to socially integrate remote workers more firmly with the rest of the company’s team.
Is everyone being given a fair chance for promotions?
Another good reason to source software that would enable you to stay in the loop with all of your workers – both office-based and remote – is that it would help you to evaluate their performances more accurately and fairly.
Otherwise, certain members of the team could end up further along the queue for promotions simply because it is easier for you to get hold of those people whenever you need an extra pair of hands.
The threat of ‘shadow cultures’ emerging
While the in-office contingent could be happy to regularly online-post photos of birthday cakes, parties and various other fun things enjoyed in the office, this could lead remote workers viewing the photos to perceive that environment as more harmonious than it actually is.
As a result, they could increasingly feel disconnected and dissatisfied – unless you find ways to visually capture some of the darker sides of office life, like open conflict.