Many professionals view hybrid work as the sweet spot between remote work and the classic office-based 9-5.
However, implementing hybrid work in your company might not achieve that perfect balance.
With concerns among senior leadership about performance, growing rifts between groups of coworkers, and questions over professional development - there’s cause to believe that the hybrid work model might not be everything you hoped it would.
1. Creating a Rift Between Ranks
In a company with a traditional hierarchy, the work model you choose can have far-reaching implications for all parties.
On first impression, the hybrid work model can appear to be a great fit all around offering:
- Increased flexibility to both work from home and maintain social connections with coworkers
- Less time spent on commuting to and from work
- A convenient way to get the benefits of remote work while also being able to attend in-person meetings and briefings for work clarity
For senior leadership:
- Less overhead as fewer employees will be in the office
- Improved productivity levels from employees who thrive when working from home, and the opportunity to introduce remote performance management measures for global workforce performance reviews
- The chance to create stronger in-person connections with the few employees that come in each day
However, the upsides of hybrid work don’t tell the whole story. Sometimes, shifting to this model can cause friction between senior leadership and employees.
Imagine that a hard-working employee who’s been with the company for over 5 years starts to feel as if the value they contribute is diminishing. By working some days from home, they feel as if they can’t have the same impact in meetings and they also feel as if they’re being passed over for the best work assignments - and perhaps even promotion opportunities.
Without getting the chance to shine, some employees can wilt in a hybrid work model and this is how the cracks start to appear.
From the senior leadership perspective, it may seem like in a hybrid work model employees are scattered around and harder to get hold of. Productivity becomes more challenging to track, along with performance, and with a revolving door at the office, it’s difficult to brief teams on projects.
One of the best ways to seal the cracks created by a hybrid work rift is to implement employee monitoring software which solves the issue of how to monitor employees working from home.
For the employees, the use of an employee performance tracker ensures that none of their hard work and effort goes unseen. Every minute they spend on meaningful tasks will be noted, and as such, they shouldn’t be passed over for performance-related opportunities.
For senior leadership, the advantages and disadvantages of employee monitoring shouldn’t be understated. In the quest for solutions of how to track your employees’ performance in a hybrid work setting, you needn’t look further.
If you’ve ever asked ‘How can I monitor my employees' computer activity’? Then a tool like Insightful can help you implement a comprehensive tracking system to support performance monitoring.
Even when half of your workforce might be working from home, you can still track performance effectively across the board using the same metrics. Employee privacy issues shouldn’t be a concern, as though some spy software for computers can be invasive, Insightful has been recognized by Forbes for its commitment to protecting user privacy.
The use of this software can also create accountability among employees and mitigate the risk of time theft. Insightful can also be one of the most useful tools for virtual assistants, who can easily share data reports with senior leadership from the dashboard.
2. Fewer Professional Development Opportunities
As we alluded to, the implementation of the hybrid work model can sometimes dampen employee spirits if it seems as though there are fewer professional development opportunities available to them.
When working in the office, it’s easier to implement mentorship programs and host professional development courses or seminars employees can attend in person.
When working fully remotely, the company can roll out online courses to provide upskilling opportunities.
In a hybrid work model, you’re somewhat stuck between the two: there aren’t enough employees in the office to schedule mentorship, while investing a lot in digital solutions might not work for everyone.
If you want to encourage employees to grow in their professional skills and potentially climb the career ladder in a hybrid work setting, you need to strike the right balance.
One potential solution would be to partner with a skills-based training company that offers online courses and resources. That way, you can offer professional development opportunities to your workforce that can adapt to their schedule and they can work on their own time.
3. Pay Divide
The hybrid work model brings your company’s pay structure into sharp focus.
Whereas before you might have paid according to the role, you now have to consider other factors such as employee location. If you have employees based in different cities or states, their cost of living and tax obligations could vary wildly - and the question of whether the pay should scale is a difficult one to navigate.
Either way, you could run into issues as you may have disgruntled employees feeling as though they aren’t being paid accordingly.
It also raises the issue of job security. With a sliding pay scale, the employee who is earning more due to their location may feel as if by broaching the subject and asking for a raise one day, they will be replaced by someone living in an area with a lower cost of living.
To ensure you don’t run into employee compensation issues, a little transparency can go a long way.
Letting employees know that you’re willing to pay according to location and won’t hold it against them is a great way to build trust and create a strong hybrid work culture.
4. Diluted Company Culture
When you move to a hybrid work model, there’s a chance that you start to lose some of the cohesiveness and solidarity that you once had.
When employees are working from home and in the office, there are fewer opportunities to socialize, share ideas, and innovate among teams. As such, it’s harder to instill a strong company culture that employees want to be involved with, and top talent wants to join.
To avoid a diluted company culture that is unlikely to instill anyone with the motivation to thrive in their position, you need to think about ways to strengthen and communicate your values.
When you have a hybrid work model, creating a digital space for employees is critical.
If it’s no longer possible to run in-person team-building activities and create a feeling of togetherness in the office, you have to turn to digital means to create a virtual work culture that transcends physical barriers.
You could run:
- Virtual team-building activities
- Casual group chats to emulate water-cooler conversations
- Quizzes and other interactive events
Company culture extends beyond social connection, so it’s also important you find ways to communicate your company values in a way that is compelling to your employees. Show them how their actions make a difference through employee monitoring software as this transparency can be great for engagement levels.