Is hybrid working the easy way out?

Many companies are now seeking a new, permanent way of working. But is automatically turning to a hybrid working model the easy way out?

Lucy Hopwood Marketing Administrator at FMC Global Talent

As an increasing number of companies are beginning to implement a more permanent working model, many are turning to a hybrid approach. Whilst offering employees a mixture of working from the office and from home seems to be the best of both worlds – it might not be the perfect solution.

Without a doubt, many companies will find the hybrid model to be a foolproof way of pleasing everyone. By 2025, Gen Z are forecast to make up approximately 27% of the workforce – and with studies finding this generation tends to be more interested in flexibility, hybridity appears appealing.

It is however worth noting that despite Gen Z being on its way to becoming one of the most populous working demographics, being the majority is still a long way off. Employers need to take note of this and acknowledge that hybrid working could in fact be a quick, but not sustainable, fix.

One size doesn’t fit all

For a number of reasons, some employees have found the remote working period incredibly difficult. From poor internet connection to insufficient workspace, there’s a whole host of reasons why working from home doesn’t suit a lot of people.

Implementing a hybrid approach may seem like everyone’s needs are being met, but companies could be turning a blind eye to the feelings of some employees. Asking everyone to work from the office some days and from home others may seem like the fairest compromise, but employees who struggle with remote work could find themselves at a loose end.

On the other hand, working from the office is no longer optimal for a lot of people. As remote working has increased the geographical opportunities for people around the globe, commuting to the office may be inconvenient for those who have started a role further afield off the back of the pandemic.

Not as simple as it seems

Even if a hybrid approach does suit your workforce, complications arise with the practicality and cost of it. Not all companies are equipped with transportable technology, and employees having to take desktops home each time they switch between working locations is far from ideal.

Not only this, but the difficulties of having employees spread between the office and their homes runs into issues that had potentially gone under the radar. Holding hybrid meetings leads to problems such as echoing and participation issues, which are near impossible to resolve when half of a team are sat in the same room.

Flexibility vs. hybridity

Letting individuals choose how they want to work tailored to their personal situation promotes job satisfaction – and, in turn, could lead to happier and more productive staff. Does this mean that the real answer to achieving a truly satisfied workforce is not offering hybridity, but flexibility instead?

­­­­­The FMC Future of Work series aims to explore what the future holds for our professional lives. Over the next few months, we’ll be providing weekly updates where we’ll be discussing different aspects of how, where and when we work.

We’ll also be undertaking some research into what the future of work may look like for us all, and will be sharing our findings with you. There’ll be an opportunity for you to take part in a survey on what you think the future of work will look like, so keep an eye out on the FMC Blog for more information in the coming weeks.