The COVID-19 pandemic has transformed the way we live and work. Previously, what was once a transitory period is now the “new normal” for global organisations. We are now facing a new work world— the hybrid work world.
In our previous blog, we discussed how you can choose the right work model according to your business. Undoubtedly, everything comes with benefits and disadvantages. So, if you think the hybrid work model can work for you, be aware of some common pitfalls and how you can resolve them.
Let’s understand them in detail.
What is Hybrid Work Model?
The hybrid working model is a combination of in-office & remote work to offer flexibility and better work-life balance to employees.
As per the Pulse of the American Worker survey, 40% of current remote workers say if their current company does not continue to offer remote work options long term, they will look for a job at a company that does.
But, is the hybrid work model free of pitfalls? Aren’t there any hybrid work challenges? Definitely, there are pitfalls of hybrid working that bring along challenges for employers and employees.
Undoubtedly, it’s clear that hybrid is becoming the dominant work model and that it’s not all hype. However, as you’ll see below, it's also evident that the model has some pitfalls that need to be addressed to make it successful. So join us and learn the five pitfalls of hybrid working and some strategic fixes that can resolve them.
5 Pitfalls of Hybrid Working
1. Onboarding Glitches
Onboarding is a continuous process, and it can take up to six months for an organisation to onboard a new hire. Regardless of the employers’ intentions, the onboarding process can become cumbersome when employees don’t work from the office daily. In addition, introducing a new member into your company’s culture and internal processes can take longer when you follow a hybrid model.
The solution: Build a communication culture by emphasising personal connections and one-to-one introductions. Engage new hires to participate in non-work activities to get along with coworkers. Get the whole team together and support the buildup of solid connections without any delay.
2. Employee Burnout
Commit the blunder of exercising less or no supervision, and you will see a steep rise in employee burnout. The reason is it’s very challenging to set boundaries, and employees may start working late into the night and report late in the morning. Gradually, it starts disrupting their sleep schedule. On top of that, other family members' presence around them during the day is a distraction factor.
What does all this bring?
Work starts to pile up, and
Creates an imbalance between work and home life.
Eventually, it leads to burnout, which means the employees feel more stressed and unable to perform at par with their skills.
The solution: Make your people feel supported and focus on their well-being. Managers and leaders must take the initiative to let team members discuss their health and other concerns. This could be done with one-to-one talks, virtual coffee breaks, and even inviting guest speakers to speak on it. Team members, as a result, will start feeling comfortable and speak up on the relevant topics.
3. Hard to Collaborate
While the hybrid work model allows employees to work from home sometimes, it overwhelms the organisation. This happens because employees will work from the office at different times of the week. As a consequence, they miss collaborating on the fly.
It gets more problematic for the organisation as well to bring all the employees together at the same time.
The solution: Allow individual contributions on collective projects and let them work at different hours from different locations. You can also invest in virtual workspace tools to facilitate project organisation, communication, and live document sharing.
4. Cyber Risks
With technology comes security risks, and a hybrid working model cannot work without technology. Working from home is more vulnerable to security threats, and the chances for data loss always stay high. Why? Because the security protocols are lenient in most cases.
Furthermore, securing employees’ computers places costs on the higher side as systems also require regular maintenance. Combining all the factors, it gets difficult for organisations to manage things remotely.
The solution: Train employees and spread awareness of the importance of applying security measures and personal responsibilities. Make your employees connect to a secure, private network using a company VPN. You can also implement multilayered cloud solutions. Luckily, this makes it harder for hackers to get through the multiple layers of protection.
5. Creating the Right Hybrid Work Environment
Hybrid working means fewer people working on-site on a given day. This leads to the wastage of resources. Think of it this way- you have to have a dedicated workplace and in-office perks to provide to your employees. Additionally, resources like electricity & water will still be used and must be paid for, irrespective of the number of in-office employees.
So making an old office work in the new world is complex.
The solution: Think of ideas in unique ways about your office space. For example, rent co-working office spaces or share rent with other organisations. In simple words, it’s necessary for you to think of a solution that suits your organisation.
Is your company ‘hybrid work’ ready?
Generally, it isn’t feasible for every organisation to adopt a hybrid model. The reason is with the model come hybrid work challenges. Moreover, it takes a leaner organisation and a high level of trust to ensure the model’s effectiveness. With flexible work's emotional challenges, human resource (HR) leaders must find ways to navigate the new normal. Explore a few more ways HR teams can adopt to tackle the hidden toll of remote and hybrid work.
In the end, the master tip here is to be creative in strengthening the bond among your team members. However, stick to your guiding principles and keep attracting and retaining people with the right energy and values to facilitate the smooth incorporation of hybrid working.
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1. What are the disadvantages of hybrid working?
Though hybrid working has become popular, a few disadvantages hinder its successful implementation. First, communication between the team members becomes difficult as they work from different locations and at different times. Secondly, employees may feel stressed out due to the absence of boundaries. Thirdly, cyber threats may occur, and confidential information may face risk.
2. How do you overcome challenges in hybrid work?
The most helpful way to overcome challenges in hybrid work is to facilitate smooth communication among the team members. Organisations must also look for options to prepare their work environment as per their requirements. Another tip to overcome challenges is implementing security protocols and making the employees aware of their importance.
3. What challenges do you face when leading a hybrid team?
Managers or leaders that lead a hybrid team often face challenges that make it difficult to render it effective. The biggest challenge comes when a communication gap arises among the team members, which leads to confusion. Employees may also feel dissatisfied or stressed out as hybrid work requires them to stretch their working hours. Moreover, distractions at home keep adding to their work list and delay their work.
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