Moving To a Hybrid Workplace Will Present New Challenges For Businesses.

There are more signs that the economy is returning to a more normal state. Several major corporations have stated that they will begin bringing employees back into offices soon. In many cases, however, it will not be the same. Ford, Citigroup, Target, and Microsoft are considering a hybrid model with a mix of on-site and remote employees.

Most companies found it difficult to go remote overnight when the pandemic began, but embracing a hybrid workplace may be even more complicated, according to Brian Kropp, chief of human-resources research at Gartner, a research and advisory firm.

“Everyone has a much more similar experience when they work remotely. However, in a hybrid world, some people will work 40 hours a week, and others will work four hours a week. That unevenness and variability will be extremely difficult to manage, according to Kropp.

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Despite this, 95% of the companies surveyed by Gartner are planning to implement hybrid work, partly because employees want it and somewhat because it saves money.

According to Cali Williams Yost, a business strategist specializing in flexible work processes, hybrid companies will require a smaller footprint with fewer individual workspaces. “There will be more collaborative spaces,” she stated. “I believe there will be time for uninterrupted, focused work, but you will have to set aside time for it. You’ll have to make time for them.”

“Leaders have to develop new capabilities and competencies on how to make sure that they’re running an equitable hybrid team, ensuring that they’re equally helping people develop, get promoted in the organization and that they’re not playing favoritism based on who’s int,” said Harvard business professor Tsedal Neeley.

Additional training and careful monitoring of employee pay and promotions may be required to overcome any potential in-person bias.

According to Bhushan Sethi, managers can model that it’s OK not to be in the office by working remotely, a joint global leader for people and organization at business services firm PwC.

“If I say you have a choice to return, but it skews more heavily toward leaders being in the office, employees will feel compelled to return,” he said.

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