It’s easy to forget that hybrid working was still relatively rare just a few years…
Discover the unseen truths hybrid working has on societal gaps, demographics and environmental policies
It feels as though hybrid working has been around for a while, but it’s still in its early days. It’s been two years since the 2020 pandemic ripped up the rulebook and homeworking became somewhat normal. So, the jury’s still out on whether hybrid working is in fact, working.
On the surface, hybrid working seems like a good thing. It allows people to work in two different locations – at home and the office, for the same company. But it’s important to scratch the surface to understand the behind the scenes impacts it has on individuals and the knock-on effect it can have on business.
1. Gen Z struggle more than any other generation
For people born in 2006, hybrid working will be the only reality. People starting work at 18 would have only known remote or hybrid working as the only way of working.
A report by Microsoft found that Gen Z struggled with hybrid working the most compared to other generations. Especially when it comes to bringing new ideas to the table or feeling engaged or excited about work.
2. At-home workers risk losing a sense of belonging
Research shows we look more favourably on those whom we see more often. So what does this mean for managers in hybrid setups?
Fostering a culture of belonging at work keeps employees engaged and motivated. To lose this by having two parallel cultures risks impacting employee productivity and, importantly, their happiness at work. Hybrid working has the potential to create a clash of the ‘innies’ and the ‘outies’ – those who come into the office and those who don’t.
3. For many, hybrid working is a luxury they can’t afford
It can be easy to assume that hybrid working is purely a choice, but there are significant and unmanageable aspects of hybrid for many people.
Working from home isn’t possible for everyone for a lot of reasons. That choice is taken away for those without the right home environment to do it effectively. Affordability comes into play too. While commuting costs are down, ONS reported it’s more expensive for renters and parents through increased spending on utilities to cover energy bills and internet access. Could hybrid working be widening a societal gap and leaving certain demographics behind?
4. Women spend more time than men on childcare while hybrid working
ONS found that during lockdown, women provided two-thirds more on childcare than men in the UK. While schools are open and childcare needs may have been reduced, there is still a risk of widening the gender pay gap.
Flexible working has been seen as an opportunity for women with children to close the gender pay gap, but McKinsey reports find that mothers in dual-career couples are twice as likely as men to spend more time on household chores. And with fewer women wanting to return to the office than men, the BBC reports offices could risk becoming ‘male dominated’.
5. Hybrid working isn’t as environmentally friendly as we all think
Studies on hybrid working reveal the power needed for an individual working from home can amount to more than what’s used to power an office. Therefore, increasing the negative impacts on the climate.
For all employees to heat their homes during winter produces more emissions than the combined emissions from commuting and heating an office. Carbon calculations are complex when it comes to hybrid working, and for companies striving to lower their carbon footprint, it can be almost impossible to keep track.
Steps to building an inclusive hybrid working model
Hybrid undoubtedly has many positives to offer employees and businesses. From the clear flexibility benefits to workplaces being less toxic. Over a third of employees reported less toxic workplace behaviours since transitioning to hybrid or remote working reported Capterras 2022 Company Culture Survey.
But, it’s important to remember the hidden truths to hybrid working for societal gaps, demographics, and even environmental policies. Speak to us about redefining your hybrid model to move towards an inclusive way of working for all.