Some of you might find this surprising. I did, at first.
Emerging data is beginning to back up such anecdotal evidence: many workers report that hybrid is emotionally draining. In a recent global study by employee engagement platform Tinypulse, more than 80% of people leaders reported that such a set-up was exhausting for employees. Workers, too, reported hybrid was more emotionally taxing than fully remote arrangements – and, concerningly, even full-time office-based work.
As I said, I was surprised, at first. The more I read however the more clearly I saw a picture emerging, of leaders implementing hybrid as the appearance of flexibility that isn’t really flexibility. How many of the stories shared are of people who are productive at home, but not allowed to simply be productive that way. Or of people who had any decision about how to schedule days in the office in a way that makes sense to them and what they need to do, taken away?
Seems like all of them, which begs the question, when employees were asking for flexibility in scheduling where, and maybe even a little of when, they work, how did you think saying “Everyone will work from home on these days, but still work the same hours and be available for meetings and other interactions during those hours.” is being at all flexible? None of these people have flexibility in their days. None of them have trust. None of them got any additional control over their work and their schedules. They just got sent home for certain days of the week by bosses who still, even now, have no idea how to trust the people who work for them if they can’t see them.
You know what? Hybrid work done this way sounds horrible. I’ll gladly stick with my full-time remote job. The one where I have some flexibility, control, and a pretty uninterrupted workday, every day.