5 Challenges of Hybrid Work and How to Overcome Them

by / ⠀Remote Work / April 29, 2022
The challenges associated with adopting hybrid work arrangements require a bit more intentionality than most of us originally thought.

The Covid-19 pandemic not only affected how we operated as individuals but also how we conducted business. The challenges associated with the introduction of hybrid work environments were significant. Many were not obvious at first.

Remote work has fundamentally changed the office environment, as well as what prospective candidates look for in their future careers. According to one Gallup study, 53% of employees returning to work post-pandemic expect hybrid arrangements, while 24% expect to work exclusively remotely.

Hybrid work models can increase employee productivity and provide greater flexibility and freedom. While hybrid work offers many benefits, it also poses some new challenges for both employees and managers. Below, we review five challenges of hybrid work…and how to overcome them.

1. Communication

Collaboration is vital for innovation, relationship building, and a healthy workplace environment.

However, remote communication and collaboration can sometimes become fragmented between dozens of Zoom calls and lengthy in-person meetings. It may even be uncomfortable or unfamiliar for some to use the digital tools required for hybrid work.

Investing in technology that streamlines communication can prevent a breakdown in communication between hybrid and in-person employees.

With dozens of apps available, it is easy to communicate through phone calls, video conferences, or even instant messaging. Tools such as Zoom, Slack, and Teams simplify communication between coworkers.

Talk to your team about which software will be most beneficial. Ensure that all employees are comfortable and confident using technology so that everyone is on the same page. Establish communication practices that meet the needs of your team as you implement hybrid work.

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2. Commitment

Until the pandemic began in 2019, the traditional workplace culture was exclusively based on face-to-face interaction.

As hybrid work has become more widely available, more people are recognizing its value. Despite this, many still believe that work can only be effectively performed in person.

Ensure your employees have the tools, structures, and training needed to ensure fair performance evaluations. It is important to pay attention to your unconscious bias and make every effort to communicate equally with both remote and in-person employees. Make sure that both remote and in-person employees are included in meetings, collaboration projects, and presentations.

You might even consider taking a remote day to demonstrate that a hybrid work environment is encouraged and acceptable!

3. Culture

An organization’s work culture plays a significant role in the health and happiness of its employees.

Ideally, you want to create a workplace environment that is safe, supportive, and promotes innovation and creativity. The adoption of a hybrid work structure may impact the culture of the workplace. And it should. A hybrid work model suits both today’s workplace and the needs of future employees.

Employees who are not physically present may feel disconnected or disillusioned by their jobs. Even though members of a company are not physically present together, there can still be a sense of connection.

Evaluate your existing values and expectations in order to accommodate hybrid work. Provide remote workers with the same experience as those who work solely in person, and make hybrid work options available to all employees. Establish clear communication between employees and managers and set boundaries so that everyone is on the same page.

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Under the right circumstances, a hybrid work structure can contribute to the establishment of strong company culture.

4. Connecting

Personal and social connections create an environment in which employees can feel comfortable and supported by their coworkers. A strong team dynamic is a key to success in any organization.

In the absence of face-to-face interaction between coworkers, you may be concerned that coworkers will feel disconnected and therefore unhappy. If you want to avoid this, make sure you are regularly communicating with your employees and letting them know you value their contributions. Prioritize both remote and in-person collaboration.

Whether they work in person or online, hybrid teams benefit from regular social interaction. Organize social events to facilitate team building and foster a working environment that promotes strong working relationships.

5. Compatability

One of the greatest benefits of hybrid work is the freedom of choice. Employees now have the option of working remotely or in person.

Consequently, workers have the ability to take charge of their own productivity as well as work independently. Unless the boundaries and instructions are clearly defined, the purpose of hybrid work may be misunderstood.

Depending on the company and the nature of the job, hybrid work is incorporated differently. You must define what hybrid means to your organization and make sure that all employees understand the concept.

When you define hybrid work clearly, your employees will be able to set their expectations appropriately and embrace it without confusion.

About The Author

Megan Oosthuizen

Megan Oosthuizen loves anything local (especially food), indulging in video games on her Switch, and occasionally binging a true crime podcast. She can often be found drinking coffee at Lakota, watching RuPaul’s Drag Race, or evangelizing about the importance of skincare.


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