Digital Services

Will Hybrid Work Be The New Normal?

The coronavirus pandemic that stranded many businesses in limbo as far as their work force was concerned may have introduced a whole new business model for 2021 and beyond. The coronavirus caused many businesses to accept a workforce that mostly worked from home. As the pandemic fades, businesses are adopting the concept of hybrid work – a situation in which some employees work from home while others work in the office.

Returning Workers Want A Flexible Schedule

While the pandemic caused many hardships and turned lives upside down, it appears that one aspect of it that people liked was working from home. According to a report published by Microsoft, more than 70 percent of employees want remote work options to continue in some capacity and 65 percent of workers want more time in person with their teams. This appears to be driving the acceptance of the hybrid work model.

One company that has grabbed the concept and is running with it is J.P. Morgan Chase & Company. It has accepted a policy that permits employees of some teams to schedule work-from-home on particular days, as long as it’s not a Monday or a Friday.

A travel-technology company, Sabre Corp. has responded to the wake of the pandemic by downsizing from four buildings in a suburb near Dallas to one building and is asking that only 25 percent of its office workforce return for a three day a week schedule with remote work allowed two days a week.

In the meantime, at, Inc., since returning to work, employees have favored Thursdays as their work-in-the office day. The unexpected consequences of this is that there is high demand for meeting rooms and other collaboration space causing the company to re-consider its office design.

The transition from the old to the new isn’t expected to be smooth. Executives at Price Waterhouse Coopers LLP are fearful that those workers who stay at home could evolve as so-called second-class corporate citizens in the office culture resulting in a lack of demand for them to be promoted or receive pay increases. To ensure that members of the work at home force isn’t ignored, the company will monitor promotions and pay raises to ensure that they are fair for both office-based and remote workers.

The experiences of the coronavirus pandemic is not the only factor that is driving the adoption of a hybrid workforce policy. Since COVID restrictions have been lifted, some businesses have been fearful of a brain drain from their workforce. Companies that are now hiring are having difficulty-finding employees who will work in the office five days a week. Studies have supported the fact that potential employees want a flexible work schedule. For example, a survey performed by Accenture PLC of 9,000 workers discovered that 83 percent of them who responded wanted a hybrid work schedule.

Tracking Where Everybody Is Could Get Messy

It won’t be easy sorting out who is working at home and who is in the office on a given day. It is evolving that who works at home and who works in the office will depend on the job as well as approval by managers.

The idea of a workforce of remote and office employees have opened up the possibility of companies recruiting employees in cities where they don’t have their office. For example, Calendly, a software company in Atlanta, is hiring workers in Georgia, Florida, and Texas.

Companies that have used remote workers located at other cities where they don’t have an office report that home workers felt left out. On the other hand, employees who worked in the office could meet with their comrades easily and could solve problems through meeting in person.

Such a set up ensures that there will be times when essential people cannot be in the same room at the same time. Employees who work in the office could talk business with colleagues they encounter in hallways or at water fountains assuring that remote workers end up out of the loop.

Interchanging Work Environments Could Be Best

Gallup recently did a survey of employees who worked remote and in the office. The results found that those who worked both remotely and in the office some of the time experienced the greatest engagement. Moreover, the survey showed that employees who worked only from home had a greater chance of experiencing burnout. A combination of work at home and work in the office appears to be the best set up for individual employees and the company as a whole.

It is up to corporate management to come up with a schedule that ensures the best balance. However, it’s important for managers to consider the individual worker when determining a balanced schedule. Employees who have kids or need to break from work to attend doctor appointments and complete personal chores will thrive in a schedule that may be weighted toward remote work. Meanwhile, there could be employees who have less than an ideal home situation that could be a problem if assigned to remote work. For example, they may have to deal with an unreliable Internet connection, live with someone who could interrupt their work routine, or doesn’t have enough space at home to comfortably work there. Each employees needed as well as the needs of the company must be considered.