Hybrid Work Model: During the Covid-19 pandemic, our world was also facing another pandemic. The pandemic of our economy was going down day by day. To resolve this issue, a creative way came into existence. We all know this by the name of Work From Home. All companies and firms facilitate its worker to work from the convenience of their homes. But as with every new thing or discovery, some latent problems also make their way. The problem with Work From Home is the feeling of needing to work in our accustomed work environment. Due to this, new issues, such as a decline in workers’ mental health, start to appear.
In theory, hybrid working is a great idea. But the question is-
What is Hybrid Working Model?
We can understand the Hybrid Work Model with the phrase – “The best of both worlds.”
Promise the best of both worlds by giving your employees the flexibility of Work-From-Home (WFH) while providing the opportunity for personal engagement in the office. Many leaders see hybrid work as the default new way of working and see it as key to improving their work-life balance while developing a strong sense of work culture.
But in reality, hybrid work can be more detrimental to our mental health than we realize. Switching between working from home and working in the office increases flexibility, but creates uncertain compromises, causes additional psychological stress, and disrupts the work process. And this mental burden applies to both workers and managers. A survey found that 22% of employees said they were less efficient at work than before, and 39% of managers agreed. In East Asia, 39% of his managers report needing to be more efficient at work than before.
What makes hybrid work so exhausting?
Various factors are making the hybrid work model highly exhausting for people. Let’s throw light on these factors:
Coping with hybrid work involves extra unconscious tasks
The increased psychological load associated with coordinating hybrid work complicates our work. It also drains our mental and emotional resources. With choice offering freedom and flexibility, it also exposes you to the risk of decision fatigue.
Deciding when and where to work on a given day is an optimization problem that requires extra cognitive resources. Decision fatigue impairs focus, willpower, and productivity.
In addition, reconciliation work at the meta-level is closely related to finding the right balance between working from home and visibility in the office. Hybrid employees must consider how they appear to their peers, team, and managers to send the “right signal” of engagement and dedication.
Hybrid work can compromise psychological safety
Another challenge with the hybrid work model is the increased risk of digital presenteeism. Compared to fully remote work, which implies trust from the start, hybrid employment arrangements can pressure managers to prove that employees are not using telecommuting.
It can manifest by being ‘always on’ in digital channels and working off hours in remote areas of the day, leading to overwork and burnout. Workers feel that being physical equates to the dedication and hard work, regardless of how much work is done.
It heightens when companies and executives tie incentives and performance recognition to attendance rather than contribution.
Hybrid work can be mentally disruptive and destabilizing
Finally, predictable and consistent routines are crucial to building stability and predictability, instilling a sense of security and control, and reducing stress and anxiety. In contrast, frequent switches between ‘working from home’ and ‘working in the office’ can be emotionally and mentally draining for most employees.
Constantly switching between two jobs or developing two different daily work habits drains cognitive resources and can lead to unconscious emotional and mental exhaustion.
Employees and managers must work together for hybrid work to be mutually beneficial
Hybrid work offers many advantages but differs from fully remote or fully office-based deployments. It is essential to recognize that it also comes with costs and challenges.
So what is the secret to getting the most out of the hybrid working model? Hybrid work may only be for some. Some employees are better off completely remote, while others are in the office five days a week. Instead of dictating work schedules, managers should consult with their teams on how best to work.
The hybrid Work Model is about making the journey to work meaningful. Hybrid work is not just about asking employees to return to the office; about creating an engaging experience that makes the most of your time there so that you can feel it. Managers must stress the importance of relationship building and networking, and companies should prioritize personal connections.
The hybrid Work Model should empower employees to take personal ownership of their productivity by giving them more control over their schedules, autonomy, and space to manage themselves and trust to get their work done. It can instil awareness and accountability.
More importantly, managers must understand that hybrid work is more than just a one-size-fits-all solution. Hybrid work can vary significantly from person to person and can range from working in an office three days a week, twice a month, to a whole week every quarter.
Employees, who want to develop a healthy mindset and attitude to change should answer some questions, such as,
- What’s working well?
- What needs adjusting?
- How it affects your feelings?
Need to Prioritize Mental Health in a Hybrid Workplace
Here are five ways to prioritize employee mental health in your organization and effectively retain top talent.
1. Employers should have empathy for their employees
Covid-19 has undoubtedly taken a toll on the mental health of employees. The Hybrid Work Model makes it impossible to know what employees are going through. Understanding their needs can help take employee productivity to the next level.
Companies need to adopt new leadership styles, whether you are providing your employees with flexible working hours or the resources they need to excel.
2. Enable open communication
Communication is key. As a leader, you can review your employees from time to time to understand their needs and the hurdles they face. Hybrid work schedules are also shifting to video and audio calls and meetings. Non-verbal cues are no longer accurate. Because of this, managers often need help understanding mental states and assessing employee well-being.
Therefore, leaders should encourage open and honest communication with employees to make them feel valued and essential. It helps grow the organization as a whole.
3. Give your employees what they need
You may know what’s essential to your employees, but understanding their needs is just as important. One of the possible reasons for a significant retirement is the inability to meet employees’ needs and desires. The company can offer an attractive package, but is that all employees need?
- Some of the non-monetary benefits that encourage you to stay are- Wellness programs.
- Medical benefits
- Career development and advancement opportunities
- A positive work environment
Who would leave an organization that cares about them?
4. Maintain a positive work-life balance
Work-life balance took a severe hit after the work-from-home (WFH) model replaced the traditional office model. After the introduction of the Work-From-Home model, as the lines between personal life and work became increasingly blurred, employees found it difficult to balance family time and work stress.
People were getting up, dressed, going to the office, working, leaving the office, and enjoying their personal space at home.
Everything seems confusing now. Employees are constantly juggling work and home, further increasing her levels of employee stress. As a leader, you can achieve a positive work-life balance with your employees by designing people-centric policies within your organization.
A positive work-life balance can help reduce employee stress and improve mental health. However, this is only possible if managers strive to promote policies that provide a healthy work-life balance for their employees.
5. Hybrid model balance
Work-life balance is essential, but how do you balance working from home versus working in the office? Managing a hybrid model can be quite an ordeal for most executives.
The point is to develop a hybrid work model that increases the overall efficiency of the workforce. You can set fixed days when employees should work in the office. Other days will be WFH. It makes the hybrid model smoother for employees. With the proper hybrid work schedule in place, employees can become satisfied, and the entire organization can thrive.
Necessary consideration in Hybrid work model
As the Remote or Hybrid Work Model is a preferred choice of employees nowadays, businesses need to evolve and adapt to these solutions. They must provide a secure work environment and adequately support the workforce. Employees around the globe are re-assessing their career and life priorities. Hence there is a need to have an open and inclusive environment that encourages dialogue about the challenges faced by employees and solutions provided by organizations to ensure mental well-being and empower employees in all aspects of their lives.
Employers may further introduce new ways to ensure the well-being of their staff and integrate wellness programs into the work ethic mindset. In an increasingly hybrid environment, all employees must get their fair share of voices to share their thoughts.
The Human Resources team should reach out to employees to understand stress at work and identify interventions that can have an overall positive impact. People must rest, recharge, and connect with loved ones to stay sane.
Time for entertainment and leisure is also essential. Whether a quick quiz game, a birthday or a celebration, having fun with your colleagues increases productivity and builds trust. Organizations should also monitor it and provide support and care as needed. They can enhance the employee experience by encouraging everyone to participate, organizing group surveys, creating positive impact action plans, reviewing responses, and more. Be an open platform to share their thoughts and concerns.
A hybrid work model is a great thing, but sometimes it leads to stress. If all the company components, i.e. manager, employees, owner, etc., work correctly and stay in good coordination, this work model can be the best.
Q. What are the biggest concerns about Hybrid Working Models?
Ans. The concerns revolving around Hybrid Working Model are-
- Limited interpersonal relationships. Establishing or maintaining relationships with colleagues can take time and effort in a hybrid workplace.
- Overhaul and burnout.
- Misalignment and lack of communication.
- Dilution of the corporate culture.
- It increased cybersecurity risk.
Q. What is a Hybrid employment contract?
Ans. The Hybrid Work Model offers creative approaches to getting work done while promoting a balance of work and personal flexibility. These contracts include non-traditional times and locations.
Q. Who has the authority to approve the Hybrid Work Model?
Ans. Hybrid employment arrangements are at the discretion of the employee’s line manager/manager. Supervisors/managers may approve Hybrid Work Model after consulting with the department head. Department heads are responsible for providing information about hybrid work arrangements to department heads.
Q. Are non-permanent employees eligible for Hybrid Work Model?
Ans. Yes, Hybrid Work Models are available for non-exempt employees depending on operational and business needs.
Q. What is reimbursement for an employee’s remote location office supplies?
Ans. Employees are required to work with departments to meet their everyday office supply needs. Such deliveries can be sent to remote employees as needed. As with equipment, leftover equipment, and materials, you can return them.
Q. How much will employees’ remote work site printing cost reimbursement?
Ans. Employees should work with departments to determine actual printing supply needs. Employing green practices and workflows primarily electronic, we must minimize the use of printers and printer supplies.
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