9 Hybrid Work Challenges Every Leader Must Face
The biggest risk for hybrid companies is for their remote employees feeling like they are being treated like second-class citizens.
Many leaders think that running a hybrid environment will be easier to do than a fully remote environment. They also think that their pre-pandemic leadership style won't have to change. They are wrong. A hybrid environment is actually harder to lead effectively. When everyone is working remotely then “we are all in this together,” and everybody shares a similar experience. In a hybrid work environment, you have some people working in an office and others from home, which can create an “us versus them” situation. As a result of this there are a multitude of work challenges that the leaders who decide to build a hybrid work culture have yet to experience.
In comparison to the folks in the office, the people working remotely can end up feeling like second-class citizens because they:
1. Do not experience work in the same way.
2. Do not experience the company culture in the same way.
3. Do not develop the same relationships.
4. Work better asynchronously, whereas their colleagues in the office expect an immediate response to their communication.
5. Are often not included in discussions and decisions that take place in the office.
6. Are not “visible” to the leadership team (if they are office based).
7. Need to be more vocal and fight harder to be heard and recognized.
8. Do not always have the same career progression prospects.
9. Miss out on the banter and other informal communication.
To overcome the second-class citizen threat companies must build a fulfilling, inclusive and equitable remote-first hybrid work environment where there are no advantages or disadvantages in working remotely.