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The Psychological Effect of Hybrid Working

  • April 07, 2022
The Psychological Effect of Hybrid Working
 

Hybrid working has been the inevitable solution to the pandemic forcing its way into the workplace’s narrative.

From the typical 5 days in the office, to completely working from home, to a Frankensteinian creation of the two methods merging together.

This can sound like the best of both worlds, but it is not necessarily true for all.

If the numerous lockdowns have taught us anything it should be that nothing works for everyone and so everyone should be treated on a case by case basis when coming back to work.

It has been seen across an array of individuals that a mixture of hybrid working could be very exhausting for some people, having to constantly shift habits from one day to the next to accommodate for what the following day could bring.

This kind of setup can feel like a never ending stop-start routine for some individuals and though it would have once felt like a huge perk to get the luxury of days working from home, it would now mean going into the office felt more like dread than anything else.

Employers should consider how big a psychological shift this actually is for an individual.

Research has found that more than 80% of leaders in the workplace stated that hybrid setups were exhausting for their employees.

Workers tended to agree with this too, stating that hybrid working was much more emotionally taxing than fully working from home and some even said it was worse than full-time office based work. This is very surprising but shows just how it affects certain employees.

Though this was once seen to be the most desired routine (83% of people having said they wanted a hybrid work routine in May 2021) it may no longer be the case a year on.

This disturbance in psychological wellbeing was more likely when a person’s work from home days were separated, meaning there was a constant daily shift with the individual never being able to settle in their work routine for longer than 24 hours.

This incessant disruption of routine is often linked to heightened feelings of stress and an inability to cope with day to day life stressors.

Though this is the case for a lot of people, every human is complex and thrives in different situations so it is hard to treat the whole working world as though they all share the same mind.

Employers should try to connect with their employees and see what each individual in their staff truly wants. This level of communication will result in those that want to still work hybrid, to do so in a way that is best for their mental and physical health.

Aside from this, this level of communication will promote a better workplace culture as employees will not feel hesitant to discuss any other issues with their bosses.

Whether the result of these one on ones means a mixture of a member of staff working full time in the office, working full time at home, or choosing to still remain hybrid - the employees are integral to a company and so should be treated as such by their bosses.

Ultimately individuals cannot be checked into neat boxes by their bosses on a subject like this. Employees should be treated as humans with their own lives in order to get the best outcome for the whole office.

After all, happy employees will produce a productive, positive workplace.