Ethical Considerations of Hybrid Work

Deborah Oluwumi
By Deborah 6 Min Read

Since the 2020 pandemic, the global workplace has undergone significant transformations, such as the widespread adoption of Remote work and the emergence of Hybrid work models, that is, combining onsite and online activities.

As a sequel to our previous article on the 7 Ethics of Remote Working, in this piece, we shine the light on the dynamics of Hybrid Work, the latest trends and statistics shaping its evolution, and its implications.

A report by Forbes revealed that as of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, and 28.2% work a hybrid model, while 98% of workers want to work remotely at least some of the time. Similarly, more data from a survey conducted by Gitnux reveals that:

  • Australia and Africa lead in hybrid companies with remote work flexibility, surpassing North America by 60% and 59%, respectively.
  • 80% of companies plan to embrace hybrid work while 63% of high-growth organizations already adopt hybrid work models.
  • 56% of hiring managers foresee hybrid work becoming the norm.
  • The ability to work remotely influences job decisions for 62% of employees and 57% of remote workers consider transitioning to a hybrid model.
  • 55% of employees wish for remote work at least three days a week.
  • 64% believe hybrid work has positively impacted their physical health.

HYBRID WORK MODELS

Various hybrid work models exist, tailored to different organizations and work types. Here are the four most prevalent ones:

1. Flexible Hybrid Work Model: This model empowers employees to choose their work location and hours based on daily priorities, fostering freedom and flexibility. It cultivates trust among employees, enhancing loyalty and job satisfaction.

2. Fixed Hybrid Work Model: Organizations set specific days and times for remote work or office presence, promoting in-person collaboration but potentially restricting productivity during mandated onsite days.

3. Office-First Hybrid Work Model: Employees are primarily expected to work onsite but can select a few days for remote work, balancing flexibility with company culture preservation. However, predicting employee onsite availability can be challenging.

4. Remote-First Hybrid Work Model: Employees predominantly work remotely, occasionally convening for collaboration or training sessions. This model may lack a central office, relying on local gatherings for team interactions. While enhancing productivity and satisfaction, it may pose challenges such as isolation and cultural cohesion maintenance.

5 Ethical Considerations for Hybrid Work

Whatever model your company is adopting when considering hybrid work options, you must put the following into consideration:

Clear Communication

Image Source: Limeade

As you navigate the transition to hybrid work, remember that effective communication is your team’s lifeline. Just like in the traditional office setting, maintaining strong communication channels is crucial for clarity and cohesion.

Take the initiative to collaborate with your team on selecting the best communication tools and establishing timing protocols that work for everyone. This proactive approach will ensure that everyone stays informed and connected without being bombarded with constant notifications.

Cultivate Team Trust

Image Source: The Citizen 

Despite transitioning to hybrid roles, maintaining strong relationships within your team is vital. It’s crucial to remain productive and present during your designated onsite days.

Avoid absenteeism, lateness, or unavailability without valid reasons, as these can erode trust and result in penalties. Invest time in building relationships through team events, one-on-one conversations, and informal chats before diving into work.

Embrace Digital Collaboration

Image Source: business2community

Traditional collaboration involved face-to-face meetings, but as workplaces evolve into hybrid models, waiting for all employees to be onsite simultaneously can be impractical. Instead, leverage interactive tools like board portals to brainstorm and share ideas effectively. Some board portals even offer live presentation features, mimicking in-person collaboration. This approach fosters openness, creativity, and flexibility in the workplace.

Preserve Your Company’s Culture

Organizations often fear that transitioning to hybrid and remote work roles may lead to employees forgetting the company’s culture. However, this concern is misplaced. In fact, hybrid work provides opportunities to reinforce the company culture.

When employees are onsite on designated days, especially in groups, the company’s culture can be reiterated and emphasized within each team. Moreover, if the hybrid model involves localized team meetings, like in a home office setup, it offers an additional chance to underscore the company’s culture and values during these gatherings. As an hybrid worker, endeavor to reinforce your organization’s culture during onsite days and team meetups. 

Have a Considerate Behavior

During your onsite work days, be mindful not to overload remote colleagues with tasks, considering they’re not in the same workspace. Likewise, on your days off, resist the urge to overwork just because you’re at home. Strive to maintain a healthy balance, both for yourself and your teammates, as overworking can negatively impact your health and theirs.

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