What does the future of remote and hybrid work look like as we emerge from the pandemic?

How have the ways that we work changed?

Andi Britt, Désirée Pascual and Jane Christopher tell Amelia Brand in our latest podcast about how to foster the perfect ‘hybrid culture,’ and the advantages and disadvantages of remote work.

 

“A HUGE 28 PERCENT ARE NOW VIEWING FLEXIBILITY AS MORE IMPORTANT, A NUMBER WHICH IS NOW A LOT HIGHER THAN IT WAS 2 YEARS AGO. EMPLOYEES ARE LOOKING AT WORK TO COMPLEMENT AND FIT AROUND THEIR LIVES.” 

– Jane Christopher

 

With remote and hybrid work having become a more popular mode of working since the pandemic, it is important to understand how this has affected employee wellbeing, recruitment, and productivity.

 

“WE OFTEN USED TO SAY THAT YOU HAVE TO BE IN THE ROOM TO SEAL THE DEAL. WE HAVE LEARNT, HOWEVER, THAT THIS IS NOT TRUE. WORK CAN BE DONE WELL VIRTUALLY WHILST STILL MAINTAINING PRODUCTIVITY.” 

– Andi Britt

 

Crucially, remote and hybrid working, or even perhaps a four-day week, may also offer a partial solution to the ongoing skills shortage: one of the main advantages of remote working is that wider, more disparate talent pools become available, as recruiting nationally or even internationally becomes a feasible option.

 

“A FOUR-DAY WEEK WON’T WORK FOR EVERY INDUSTRY, BUT IT IS NONETHELESS A GREAT STEP FORWARD, HELPING TO ATTRACT AND RETAIN TALENT, AS WELL AS AN IMPROVEMENT IN OVERALL WELLBEING. “A STAGGERING 76 PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS GLOBALLY SAID THEY WOULD WORK A FOUR-DAY WEEK, BUT 71 PERCENT PLAN TO WORK IN THE OFFICE BETWEEN ONE AND THREE DAYS A WEEK.”

– Jane Christopher

 

However, this raises its own challenges: if organisations are now adopting a hybrid or remote model of work, what do they need to change to accommodate for employees who are perhaps scattered all across the world?

Within this, how do you stay on top of employee wellbeing? Will this new model of work hinder productivity?

 

“EMPLOYEES ARE NOW LOOKING FOR FLEXIBILITY THAT IS LED WITH TRUST, 70 PERCENT WANT THEIR MANAGES TO SHOW LEADERSHIP LED WITH EMPATHY. EMPLOYERS NOW NEED TO BE MUCH MORE FOCUSED ON BEING OUTCOME FACED AND SHIFT AWAY FROM PRESENTEEISM.” 

– Jane Christopher

 

Many organisations have, and are now, asking their employees to start making a return to the office.

However, with the rising-cost-of living crisis in full swing, and inflation soaring, many employees may feel that they can’t even afford to return to the office five days a week. Can organisations mandate their employees to return to the office?

 

“IT WOULD BE DIFFICULT TO EMPLOYERS TO MANDATE EMPLOYEES BACK TO THE OFFICE FOR LEGAL REASONS, UNLESS YOU CAN DEMONSTRATE THE PERSONS ROLE DEMANDS THEM TO BE IN THE OFFICE IF THAT ROE HAS BEEN CONDUCTED REMOTE FOR TWO YEARS.” 

– Andi Britt

 

For reputational reasons, too, employers should be wary of mandating their employees return, especially considering the increased focused on employee wellbeing over the last two years.

Instead, employers should be considering how they can entice people back into the office. How can employers make the workplace environment buzz again so that employees are going to want to return to the office?

 

“WE ARE EXPERIENCING A SHIFT IN SOCIETAL ATTITUDES TOWARDS WORKING FROM THE OFFICE. EMPLOYEES NOW DEMAND THE FREEDOM TO WORK FROM HOME AS WELL AS IN THE OFFICE. THERE IS A POWER SHIFT TO THE EMPLOYEE.” 

– Andi Britt

 

If remote and hybrid working is here to stay, organisations will need to remodel their ways of working whilst ensuring that employee wellbeing stays a top priority.

 

“AS EMPLOYERS, WE MUST RETHINK THE WAY WE DO BUSINESS, AND TO CLEARLY ESTABLISH AND DEFINE GOALS. ALL OF THIS IN A HYBRID CULTURE FOSTERS FEELINGS OF TRUST AND INCLUSION AND INSPIRES EMPLOYEES TO DO THEIR BEST WORK.” 

– Désirée Pascual

To listen to the full podcast, click here now. 

 

 

Editor at HRreview

Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview. With a master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at the University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.