The Equity Challenge in the Hybrid Work Model and 7 Solutions

Our fourth instalment of Fresh Talent Competitions explores the additional challenges organisations encounter while acquiring talent amid the pandemic.

Our previous articles have delved into the impact of technological advancements on the workplace, affecting not only employers but also employees. Despite a preference for a brick and mortar office, remote working is becoming more permanent. Thus, hybrid working is emerging as the most practical solution for the future of work.

Hybrid working offers organisations the benefits of both physical and remote working, granting employees the desired flexibility. In essence, it is a mutually beneficial arrangement.

The hybrid working approach is accompanied by its own unique challenges, the primary one being the need to preserve team cohesiveness. It is possible that team members may hold divergent views on hybrid working, with remote workers enjoying greater freedom and comfort while office-based colleagues feel more connected to company information and growth prospects.

It comes as no surprise that an uneven playing field within a team can corrode team unity, which is integral to effective collaboration. If team members perceive unfair treatment, it can hamper morale and productivity. To overcome this, equal opportunities must be provided to all members. While this may pose a challenge, implementing these seven guidelines can help achieve this goal.

Boost Confidence in Your Leadership Through Action

Trust serves as the backbone of a prosperous hybrid office. To encourage a harmonious working atmosphere and uphold impartiality among employees, transparency must be prioritised. This encompasses sharing regular progress reports and updates about the organisation, as well as outlining clear expectations for working remotely and in-person.

Establish Guidelines to Adhere to

Your choices must always align with universally recognised norms. It is vital to articulate the reasoning behind your decisions and ensure that they are comprehensible to everyone. The parameters of the hybrid working model must be clearly outlined, including eligibility criteria for remote or in-office work, associated perks or expenses, and expected role responsibilities. These guidelines may be comprehensive or narrow depending on the requirement.

Be Accessible – You and Other Leaders

Hybrid leadership teams must strive to instill feelings of camaraderie, despite the geographical divide among their members. Remote working can cause employees to feel disengaged from their peers and leaders. To combat this, make certain that you and your fellow executives are open to all personnel. Furthermore, ensure that employees have the ability to voice their apprehensions and receive responses in an accessible and prompt manner.

Classify Tasks Suited or Not for International Delegation

The global pandemic has emphasised the need to scrutinise practices and distinguish activities necessitating physical presence from those that can be carried out remotely. After establishing a clear distinction, it is necessary to share it with employees and ensure that they are aware of expectations in the event of any need. Furthermore, remote workers must be notified of any policies that require attendance in-person, such as brainstorming exercises that are most effective through physical interaction.

Building Solid Team Connections is Vital

It is crucial to keep in mind that all team members, whether they work on-site or remotely, are part of the same team. While it may be simpler to interact with those who are present in the office, it is necessary to provide both on-site and remote workers with chances to develop personal connections. Collaborating on projects can aid in strengthening relationships and developing trust.

Address Team Issues and Unacceptable Conduct

Holding all employees responsible for their work and conduct is crucial. To guarantee impartiality and equity, it is critical to address any conflicts between remote and on-site staff members immediately when they occur. It is crucial to avoid patterns that may be perceived as demonstrating bias or unfair treatment, such as providing preferential treatment to remote teams or assigning specific responsibilities to in-office personnel.

Experiment with the Model

Acknowledging that there is no universal hybrid work management strategy is crucial. Although the aforementioned suggestions are theoretically sound and may work for your company, it is important to evaluate their viability through experimentation. Commence by devising a plan and being flexible enough to make adjustments along the way. Additionally, it is critical to encourage all team members to contribute to the work process. Employees are likely to feel happier and more valued when given the opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions regarding workflow.

Establishing Equity is a Full-Time Commitment

Considering the requirements of both employees and employers, the hybrid approach may be a desirable method of work organization in the future. Nonetheless, ensuring a just and equitable working environment for employees is an intricate and uncertain aspect of implementing this model.

Addressing this sensitive issue is inevitable since the design of the hybrid model may create difficulties in ensuring equal treatment for all workers. The only approach to establishing equity within the hybrid work environment is by maintaining transparency, adhering to a pre-determined set of standards, and ensuring that team dynamics are grounded in fairness.

It is crucial to recognise that attaining your objective will necessitate continuous effort. Due to the ever-shifting dynamics of the workplace and the diverse viewpoints of the individuals involved, success is not a foregone conclusion. The recommendations presented here should be viewed as a foundation for establishing a more equitable workplace. Progress should be carefully monitored, and modifications made as needed.

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