Thanks to the events of the past year, hybrid work is here to stay. According to a recent McKinsey survey, 9 out of 10 organizations will be combining remote and on-site working. Yet only a fraction of these companies have a detailed plan in place. “It is clear that hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace, but it remains to be seen if companies are adequately preparing for this transition,” said Sara Sutton, CEO & Founder of FlexJobs. “Job seekers and workers should be aware that hybrid workplaces can be toxic on a number of levels if they’re not being carefully managed,” added Sutton. If you are wondering whether your current company or a future employer has a healthy hybrid work culture, FlexJobs identified ten red flags to watch out for:
1. There is no plan in place
Winging it isn’t an option when it comes to creating a high-functioning hybrid workforce. If your company doesn’t seem committed to building a hybrid work culture or treating remote and in-office workers inclusively, it is unlikely that it will be a healthy, equitable place to work.
2. There are no senior leaders who work remotely
A company that values remote work will have people at all levels of the company working remotely. If only mid-level employees are allowed to work remotely, and the senior leadership team works in the office, you can assume that remote workers will have difficulty advancing professionally.
3. Digital communication tools have not been prioritized
In a hybrid or remote work environment, people can’t just pop into someone’s office to have impromptu conversations. This can put remote workers at a disadvantage. If digital tools have not been implemented or prioritized by management, they are not equipping teams for success.
4. Praise only happens in the office
A big part of company culture is making employees feel valued. With platforms like Slack and Zoom, it is easy to share praise and encouragement online. There are also many events and activities that can be done virtually. Companies that take the time to implement these are showing their commitment to the remote work environment. If praise only happens in the office, it could be a red flag.
5. Your manager doesn’t have a solid communication plan
Hybrid teams need to pay special attention to communication, ensuring remote employees are included in any meetings or activities being held at the office. It is vital that the remote employee and in-office manager have a clear communication plan. If you feel your communication with your manager is lacking, then there is a problem.
6. Team or company-wide meetings are scheduled at odd hours
Companies that allow employees to work remotely need to consider time zones and schedule important company meetings to accommodate everyone. If management holds events at very early or very late hours, they’re not valuing or respecting their remote employees’ time.
7. Information isn’t easily accessible
Lack of information for remote employees is a sign of a toxic hybrid work environment. A company that excels at hybrid work will share information widely. This could be through an internal email newsletter, company intranet, shared drive, or another digital platform.
8. There is no career path for remote employees
If career advancement for remote workers is more difficult than for in-office workers, there’s a problem. When opportunities to learn and grow within your company are reserved for in-office workers, that’s a sign that your hybrid workplace doesn’t value remote workers or see them as part of the company’s larger strategic plan.
9. Employees are penalized for working remotely
If a company asks you to use personal time off or take a pay cut to work remotely, that’s a red flag. Working remotely should count as a regular workday. An employer genuinely committed to the hybrid work model will do all they can to treat remote workers the same as on-site employees.
10. Remote workers aren’t given the necessary equipment
With a hybrid work model, companies need to consider employees working remotely and provide them the same tools and resources they would for in-person employees. This could be through a home office stipend, loaning of equipment or providing accommodations at co-working spaces. A successful hybrid work culture will ensure that employees everywhere have access to the technology and resources they need to do their jobs successfully.
With 83% of workers preferring hybrid work, organizations should be examining their current practices and integrating hybrid work into their long-term plans. A variety of factors influence an employee’s ability to thrive, whether they’re onsite or off. It’s time for corporations to move beyond physical office space and shape the new era of work by giving people what they need to be satisfied and productive.