Before March 2020, only 30% of the U.S. workforce was working from home – full-time or part-time. As a result of COVID-19 precautions, that number doubled overnight as organizations prioritized the health and safety of their employees and allowed their workforce to work from home. This allowed organizations globally to see if previous sentiments about lowered productivity and remote work were true. The unintended experiment proved the opposite. Instead, employees remained productive – maybe even more so – when they had the flexibility to work when and where they wanted to via the Cloud.
As vaccines are rolled out and COVID-19 restrictions are lifted, organizations are making the decision to safely return to the office. For most, this means following a hybrid work model where employees work in the office and remotely throughout the week based on a set schedule. Even with the past year of remote work, some executives are wary of hybrid work. In Gartner’s last report, they dispel several of the top myths associated with hybrid work.
Myth 1: The existing remote work strategy will work for a hybrid workforce. Most organization’s remote work strategies were put together overnight. With a hybrid model, teams need to implement a long-term plan.
Myth 2: Employees are less productive outside the office. In most cases, the majority of remote workers were more productive while work from home and reported higher performance.
Myth 3: Businesses need to monitor and measure what employees are doing. Employees perform better when given more autonomy and flexibility. Organizations should focus on supporting employees instead of monitoring.
Myth 4: Jobs cannot be done remotely. There are some jobs that need to occur in person, but the majority of jobs can be performed remotely.
Myth 5: There needs to be in-person contact to sustain culture. Organizational values are changing. Employees are prioritizing collaboration and trust which are not confined to a physical location.
Myth 6: Hybrid workforce models hurt DEI strategy. Hybrid and remote work models increase diversity efforts as businesses can tap into a more diverse talent pool across the world.
While there will be challenges as employees transition back to the office, the hybrid work model offers the best solution to giving employees the support they need while getting back to a sense of normal. Whether businesses implement an office-occasional plan or office-first, remote allowed, having a strategic plan and strong communication will make the transition more seamless.