Prior to COVID-19, only 30% of the U.S. workforce was working from home at least some of the time. In the first weeks of the COVID-19 pandemic, that number doubled overnight as enterprises prioritized the health and safety of their employees and enabled their employees to work remotely. The unintended experiment proved to organizations that their workforce is productive – maybe even more so – when they have the flexibility to work when and where they want to.
As executives make the decision to safely return to the office, move fully remote, or follow a hybrid work model, there are several questions that arise and many myths that need to be debunked about remote work. In research conducted by Gartner, they dispel seven myths to unleash the potential of a hybrid workforce.
Myth 1: The existing remote work strategy will work for a hybrid workforce. The reality is that hybrid workforce strategies go far beyond remote work. In a true hybrid model, employers and employees work together to find the right flexibility of work.
Myth 2: Employees are less productive outside the office. As we’ve seen in the past year, this is rarely the case. In fact, most remote workers work longer hours and have reported higher performance.
Myth 3: Companies need to monitor and measure what employees are doing. Instead, employees thrive when given flexibility. An average company’s top performers fall into the category of “radical flexibility” where they perform better when they get to choose when, when, and how much they work.
Myth 4: Jobs just can’t be done remotely. Most of the world’s jobs were able to be performed remotely as we saw in the past year. In a hybrid work model, employees get the best of both worlds. There can be work done on-site and certain responsibilities done off-site remotely.
Myth 5: There needs to be in-person contact to sustain culture. Cultural values are changing. Collaboration and trust are coming to the forefront of organizational values and those are not confined to a physical location.
Myth 6: Hybrid workforce models hurt DEI strategy. In reality, a hybrid work model fuels diversity efforts. With a hybrid strategy, companies can tap into a more diverse talent pool and flexibility is an imperative recruitment effort.
Myth 7: A hybrid workforce model duplicates IT infrastructure. Future-ready organizations need to implement “Everywhere Enterprise” strategies to enable a workforce that works remotely, on-site, and with mobile devices.
Overall, the hybrid workforce model reflects the kind of business response needed for business to support their employees and remain competitive in the current environment. To sustain business growth, it is important to debunk your hybrid work myths and start giving employees the support they need.