The hybrid workplace isn’t a new concept. Many employers are providing both remote and office settings as options for employees to select as their workspace. While this offers great flexibility, there are a few things to consider as employees determine when and where to work.
Hybrid workplace flexibility gives employees with both visible and non-visible disabilities a new understanding of what it’s like to “come into” the office. Commuting to an office environment can be challenging for those with disabilities. Working remotely means reduced pain or stress. It also means reduced anxiety, mental exhaustion, and over-stimulation for those with non-visible disabilities, such as social anxiety or autism. The digital-centric aspect of a hybrid work environment organically creates a hub where those on- and off-site can share ideas, collaborate on projects, and operate in a common space available to everyone.
Despite its pros, managers should be aware that there are challenges to consider with a hybrid workplace. It can sometimes involve redefining and strengthening core office values. Technical and data privacy best practices need to be at their peak because the digital heart of the office must accommodate employees working both inside and outside the office. It’s also important to refine the office culture to make sure everyone’s work—whether they’re out of the office or on-site—is valued, validated, and considered.
A World of Opportunity
Managers face unique challenges and opportunities when it comes to a hybrid workplace. Patience and adjustments are needed. Balancing employees’ needs with the work you want them to produce requires forethought and foresight. There can be a lot of pressure to make the switch because so many employees find benefits in working from home. Focusing on developing your hybrid workforce helps retain these employees—and can even attract future employees—but you must be fully involved and proactive in nurturing your office’s corporate culture.