Remote, Hybrid, In-Person: The Pros and Cons of Work OptionsFebruary 2, 2022 8:10 am
The coronavirus pandemic has all of us reprioritizing our lives, from our health to our choices in the workplace. One debate that is currently raging in the working world, across a wide range of industries and organizations, is whether employees should return to in-person work this year or continue in a remote or hybrid manner.
Our blog today set out to determine the nuances and pitfalls of working from home, at the office or in a hybrid setting. While each has their fair share of advantages, they also have some distinct challenges that business owners and managers may want to consider before making the call for 2022.
Defining Work Options
Before we start comparing workplace options, we thought it would be a good idea to define what each means and how it can be used so we are all on the same page.
In a full-time remote workplace, employees and owners often work at home or in a workspace other than a traditional office. For fully distributed organizations, there is no office, and all employees work remotely from a location of their choosing. Remote offices, during this pandemic, have commonly included employees working from home or a place of their choosing due to health concerns and social distancing requirements.
In-person is what we think of as a traditional workplace experience. Employers and employees working in an office, shop, warehouse, or other location together as a unit.
Hybrid is basically a combination of the two, with employees spending some portion of their work week in a remote scenario and the other part at the office. While this varies greatly from industry to industry, many companies usually try to keep the hours in and out of office fairly equal for all employees.
Factors to Consider: Hybrid, Remote and In-Person Work Environments
Wondering what the advantages and disadvantages may be for your business when choosing whether to remain remote, switch to a hybrid option, or request that your employees start back in-person at the office?
Let’s break it down by factors.
According to a Fortune online report, “A survey by Gartner finds that about 70% of employees wish to continue some form of remote work. Twitter and Facebook have already given their employees permission to work remotely on a permanent basis.”
On the other hand, Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon believes that remote work should not be the new normal, urging employees to return to the office to collaborate on ideas.
In our ever hectic lives, the term ‘work-life balance’ gets bandied about, often without a clear idea of how to achieve this elusive balance. Working in a remote or hybrid manner can go a long way to learning how to handle the stresses of family life and still get work done in a productive manner.
The elimination of a commute for many employees can free up a precious hour or two to spend time with family, care for an elderly parent, or pursue a hobby or passion project.
Working remotely or in a hybrid option allows for a little bit more flexibility when it comes to parenting, living life, and having time for ourselves.
On the other side of the debate stands this idea that many organizations rely on a consistent work environment where employees can interact in-person regularly and spontaneously. These easy collaborations, not fully possible through Zoom calls or Slack channels, can help with team building and the ability to work on shared projects. In this scenario, in-person work environments win out.
Widen Your Talent Pool
When a business has a set office location, the talent pool is often limited to a commutable distance to that office. When companies open up their workplace to remote options, they often get the added bonus of a wider talent pool that could live anywhere in the country. This is highly advantageous if your business needs access to skills and talents that are in high demand in your area.
This is one area where hybrid options are not advantageous. If there is a requirement to be in the office a certain number of times a week or for regular meetings, flying across the country or driving multiple hours, is not always the best option for highly skilled workers.
Traditionally speaking, it was once thought that being in the office was the most productive place for employees. The opposite is actually proving to be true. With fewer interruptions and the ability to work independently, many businesses are finding that productivity is up for their remote and hybrid workers.
While we can’t say which option may be best for your business, we have given you a few factors to consider as you re-emerge from the coronavirus pandemic and grow your business.