Updated: Apr 11, 2022
“The Great Resignation” seems poised to stay in 2022 - at least for a little while. The U.S. Department of Labor reported that nearly 4.4 million Americans quit their jobs in February 2022. According to the CNBC online article, “The Great Resignation is still in full swing. Here’s what to know, “ Iacurci, Greg, March 31, 2022, that is 100,000 more people than who quit in January, and just shy of the 4.5 million record set in November 2021. In total, 44% of employees are considered “job seekers.” Why are people leaving their jobs? The top 5 reasons cited are higher pay, health benefits, job security, flexible work arrangements, and retirement benefits.
While offering higher pay or better health and retirement benefits are not always as feasible for companies to quickly change to entice their employees to stay, offering flexible work arrangements may be. Evaluating your current work schedules to determine if you can add flexible work arrangements may be just what you need to retain your top talent and recruit new talent.
What is a hybrid work schedule?
A hybrid work schedule is one where employees have the flexibility to work a portion of their week from home and the remainder of their time in their office. Depending on the position and the job responsibilities, the proportion of home versus office will vary. The important thing to remember is that hybrid work schedules should not be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach.
While no solution is perfect, Reverie has outlined some of the pros and cons to a hybrid schedule.
The Pros to a Hybrid Work Schedule:
Increased Productivity & Creativity
With a hybrid work model, employees can work in an environment that best suits their work-related needs. Based on the individual and the task they are currently working on, they may be more productive working from home, whereas others may need a quiet and distraction-free workspace in an office. For some individuals, brainstorming, strategizing, and honing into their best creativity isn’t accomplished in an office environment. Their “best work” may be accomplished while taking a walk in a forest preserve, sitting in a park, listening to loud music, or moving around. A hybrid work schedule gives employees greater flexibility in where and how they can be the most productive version of themselves.
Increased Employee Satisfaction & Retention
Happier employees = employees that stay employed with your company! One of the main reasons cited for employees leaving their jobs is companies not embracing flexible working solutions. According to the Forbes article, “Why The Big Quit Is Happening And Why Every Boss Should Embrace It,” Curtis, Lisa, June 30, 2021, polls show that nearly 40% of white-collar employees would rather leave their jobs than give up remote work. Employees who save time and money by not having to commute have more time and money to spend on doing things they enjoy - like spending time with family and friends. This improves their quality of life and, thus, increases their overall happiness and well-being. And, happier people make happier employees.
Collaboration & Relationship Building
Unlike fully remote work schedules, hybrid work schedules still provide opportunities for face-to-face interaction and collaboration among employees. Giving employees the opportunities to chat at the “water cooler” and engage with one another in-person helps build stronger relationships with their colleagues. Employees who feel connected to the people they work with tend to think twice about leaving their job.
Improved Mental Health
For some employees, working from home eliminated or decreased some of the stress that comes from working in the office - long commutes, the pressure of feeling like you had to stay late in order to excel in your career, etc. And yet for other individuals, fully remote work was lonely and isolating. These employees thrive on the social interactions they experience in their offices. With a hybrid work schedule, both groups of individuals win. The flexibility offers a work-life fit for employees that have a preference for either type of work.
The Cons to a Hybrid Work Schedule:
For some employees, working from home blurs the lines a little on when to totally “shut off” for the evening. On the days employees work from home, because there is no real distinction between when work ends and when “home” begins, employees may be more apt to work later, answer more emails during “after hours,” or be more willing to do “that one thing” at 9 pm at night. If employees do not learn how to successfully put an end to their work day, over time this could lead to employee burnout.
According to the article, “Proximity Bias: What It Is and How to Avoid it,” Morrison-Porter, Clare, August 5, 2021, proximity bias is the idea that employees with close physical proximity to their team and company leaders will be perceived as better workers and ultimately find more success in the workplace than their remote counterparts. The pandemic has definitely shown us that isn’t the case. However, companies adopting a hybrid work schedule should take measures to prevent this from becoming an area of concern for their employees who are working a hybrid schedule.
Isolation & Feeling of Left Out
There really is no other way of putting it, but when you miss that impromptu lunch that creates inside jokes for days, one can suffer from FOMO. Hybrid work schedules decrease the number of opportunities colleagues have to get to know each other. When working from home, you miss out on impromptu lunches or after work gatherings, chatting outside the bathrooms, or any other opportunities that will allow colleagues to get to know one another better and build stronger relationships. Sometimes this can have an adverse effect on how employees work with one another.
Is a Hybrid Work Schedule Right For You?
The reality is certain industries, jobs, and roles just do not lend themselves to remote work, and allowing hybrid work schedules would be detrimental to the success of the business. Carefully weighing the pros and cons will be an important step in determining if a hybrid work schedule is right for your company.