The pros and cons of hybrid work models

As companies start migrating back to their traditional office spaces, employees have made it clear that flexibility is the future. A 2021 survey from Buffer indicated that nearly 98% of employees are in favor of remote work at least some of the time. Yet, according to a recent McKinsey survey, 68% of C-level executives do not have a hybrid work model strategy in place.

There are many reasons why executives are skeptical about hybrid models; however, the recent widespread adoption of remote work has outlined numerous benefits of working from home. To help you determine the best model for your organization, here's a list of the main advantages and disadvantages of hybrid working models.

What is a hybrid work model?
When looking at hybrid work models, there are many different types to choose from, with various benefits and drawbacks depending on your business and daily operations.

  • Office-centric models require employees to report to the office throughout some or most of the week, with a few days where they're allowed to work from different locations.
  • Fully flexible models allow employees to choose when they'd like to work from home.
  • Remote-first models empower employees to work from home by building processes, systems and culture around remote workers.

Each of these models comes with its own unique set of challenges and benefits for leaders to contemplate. When determining the right approach to take for your company, or whether to adopt a hybrid model at all, consider the following pros and cons:

Advantages of hybrid models

  • Recruiting top talent: As the demand for remote flexibility rises, allowing employees to work from home can be attractive to new recruits. Fully-remote options also drastically increase the breadth of your search, allowing you to recruit top talent that would otherwise be too far away.
  • Increased productivity: Although many managers are skeptical of remote work, these past few years have shown that working from home can actually benefit your company and employees. In fact, according to Forbes, working from home has actually increased employee productivity.
  • Improving mental health: When employees are given the freedom to work outside of the office, this flexibility allows them to create personalized schedules that work better for them. This enables them to lead a healthy work-life balance that boosts energy, increases productivity and prevents burnout.

Potential pitfalls

  • Company culture: It can be challenging to build a workplace culture and strong sense of belonging when employees are meeting virtually. Be intentional about your organizational design and incorporate virtual team-building activities into your plan of action.
  • Communication: Hybrid models can lead to gaps in communication between remote and in-office teams, especially when there's no infrastructure in place to support virtual employees. Centralizing important data on cloud servers gives those who work from home the same access to information as others in the office, improving communication across networks.
  • Distance bias and hierarchies: When teams are split between in-office and virtual work, remote employees are not always afforded the same opportunities in terms of executive interactions and promotions. These inequities can create hierarchies where those who report to the office are given priority over those who work from home.

As the work environments continue to evolve, it's essential to hire the right leaders who can create, implement and maintain hybrid models. At YES Partners, we're here to help in this endeavor. Click here to see some of the roles we have already successfully placed.

Finding people is easy, but finding the RIGHT people is not. YES Partners helps companies FIND the right people for all company functions, across many industries.

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