The One Big Problem with Hybrid Work
If the pandemic has taught us anything over the last 18+ months is that remote work is here to stay. Even the companies long opposed to working from home opportunities have found value in supporting a remote workforce. According to data from LinkedIn, 87% of employees want to remain remote most of the time. With only 13% of employees desiring to be in the office the majority of the time, employers must offer hybrid working models to attract new employees. However, there is one big problem with hybrid work that has been prevalent (and surprising to many): working from home is damaging many people’s work-life balance.
Remote work job openings are increasing
Like many others, you probably expected remote work to plateau as COVID-19 restrictions lifted and our lives slowly returned to normal. Surprisingly, the opposite is occurring. Over the last 12 months (from May 2021 to 2020), remote job openings grew by 240% globally. As a result, total job posts with words like “remote” or “work from home” now account for almost 14% of total job openings. This is a massive jump and is changing the future of recruiting strategies for most employers.
Work-life balance continues to be an issue
In the early days of the pandemic, many workers struggled with maintaining a healthy work-life balance. After working from home for nearly a year and a half, it can be more challenging to separate your work life from your home life. If you are one of these people, you are not alone. 32% of remote employees are more likely to struggle with work-life balance. That may surprise many employers as remote work eliminates many of the stresses that in-person working generates, such as traffic, long commutes, endless meetings, and many other things. However, burnout is on the rise, and with the quit rate at an all-time high, employers must be creative to improve their staff’s work-life balance.
Maintaining a hybrid workforce with a healthy work-life balance
If you are looking to attract (and retain) your remote workforce this summer, you are going to have to do your part to offer a healthy work-life balance.
Support their need to take time off
First of all, support your staff members and their need for time off. Many workers put off taking some much-needed R&R during the pandemic. As things continue to open up with restrictions lifting, your staff will be more likely to request some time off. Instead of making your workers feel bad about taking time off that they earned, support their need to step away from work for a few days or a long weekend. Some employers, like Bumble and LinkedIn, are even closing their doors for a week and giving all of their employees a paid week off. Whatever your PTO policy is, encourage your employees to use the time to relax and take a step away from work.
Regularly check in with your staff
Communication is essential when managing a hybrid workforce. Schedule one-on-one check-ins to see how they are handling their workload and watch for signs of burnout. If you don’t encourage open communication with your staff, it can be hard to pick up on cues of a poor work-life balance.
Optimize your hybrid work schedule
If you really want to support your staff in this new hybrid schedule, you can be more selective with the days they work from home and the days they work from the office. Depending on your industry and the role, some days may be more beneficial to work from home than others. Here are the best days to work from home for most employees to boost your work-life balance.