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Advantages and Challenges of Hybrid Work: Is It Right for You?

Adejoke Adeboyejo Headshot

Adejoke Adeboyejo

October 19, 2023

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Hybrid Work

If you land a job at a workplace that’s embraced the hybrid work model, you’ll have the option to work away from the traditional office environment some of the time. 

According to Gartner, hybrid work models vary. In some cases, all employees have the choice to schedule a certain number of days they want to spend in the office, while other workplaces have both fully remote and in-office employees. 

Today, many employees who can work remotely use the hybrid work model. A recent study by Pew Research revealed that 41% of those with jobs that can be done remotely are working a hybrid schedule.

If you’re entering the job market, or you’ve never worked somewhere that allows you to work from anywhere a few days a week (or month), consider the following points.

Advantages of Hybrid Work

Here are four things you could take advantage of if you got a job that offered a hybrid work arrangement:

  1. Hybrid work is flexible, making balancing work and other aspects of life easier. This can boost your satisfaction and productivity at work and reduce the stresses of commuting.

  2. The hybrid work model can also improve workplace diversity by allowing companies to access a wider range of talent from geographical locations outside their headquarters or base of operations. 

  3. Since the operational costs of a business can be reduced with hybrid work, some companies redirect these costs into unique benefits for employees (like offering an allowance to purchase home office supplies).

  4. You can save money working remotely part-time, as you’ll spend less commuting and might even be able to live in a place with a lower cost of living.

Challenges of Hybrid Work

Here are four common challenges you could face if you have a hybrid work arrangement:

  1. Impeded workflow and productivity due to technical difficulties like issues with your home Wi-Fi. Successful hybrid work depends majorly on technological infrastructure. 

  2. Communication and collaboration among employees may be negatively impacted in the hybrid work environment since not everyone will be in the same room at the same time. Managers may also find it challenging to communicate in real time when employees work in different time zones. 

  3. You may feel less connected to the company's culture compared to a job where you are 100% in-person. There’s also a chance you’ll feel excluded from conversations and decisions when you’re not physically present at work. 

  4. Work relationships related to teamwork and mentoring are usually more challenging with the hybrid work model since employees spend less time in the office. You and your manager would need to be mindful about coordinating meetings and schedules more proactively.

Who Is Hybrid Work Ideal For?

Not all organizations can adopt a hybrid work system for their employees. 

People who work in manufacturing, retail, hospitality, and other service industries need to be physically present at work. However, many jobs can be done remotely or with the hybrid model, including project management, accounting, software engineering, cyber security sales and marketing, customer service, data analysis, healthcare (telemedicine), teaching, web development, and more. 

Hybrid work is ideal for those who want to experience the collaboration and camaraderie of the traditional workplace and also be able to work alone from home or elsewhere.

3 Questions To Ask When Interviewing for a Hybrid Role

Many organizations tell you in the job description if the role is hybrid. When you know you are interviewing for a hybrid role, here are a few questions you could ask the interviewer and why they are important.

1. What is your hybrid work policy?

This will inform you about the hybrid work model the company operates e.g. office-first model, remote-first model, fixed hybrid, or flexible hybrid, and how many days you are required to be in the office.

2. How do you communicate with remote or hybrid staff? 

This will inform you of strategies they have for effective communication so that employees working outside the office are not left out of crucial conversations.

3. How do you measure performance?

The organization should focus on outcomes and results produced by employees using objective metrics and not on how or where they work. 

Advice If You Accept A Hybrid Role

Keep in mind that you’d want to prioritize different activities and tasks when you’re in the office vs. when you’re working remotely. While in the office, you should focus on collaborative tasks and getting and providing feedback. 

When working remotely, focus on work you can do independently, away from office distractions. 

Hybrid work is excellent for some but isn’t ideal for others. Consider the pros and cons of the hybrid work model to help you decide whether it is suitable for you.

Adejoke Adeboyejo Headshot

Adejoke Adeboyejo

Adejoke is an experienced HR professional who writes about recruitment, employee engagement, and the role of technology in Human Resources.

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