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How Do Hybrid Workplaces Boost Employee Engagement?

July 19, 2022 | Anjan Pathak | Categories: Remote & Hybrid Working

The world came to a halt owing to the COVID-19 pandemic. It forced most of

us to try out a new working arrangement. That is when work-from-home

and remote working policies came into consideration.

However, some jobs require fieldwork and cannot support the work from

home setup. In such a scenario, a hybrid workplace can strike a balance

between the two.

This working model has enormous advantages. It gives employees a sense

of freedom and fulfilment at work. But, there are some challenges that

employers and employees are facing for the first time. At the top of this

priority list are employee engagement and employee wellbeing

But let's first reflect on the definition and advantages of a hybrid

workplace. Meaning Of A Hybrid Workplace

The hybrid workplace supports a distributed workforce. It includes both

in-office and remote workers. It is a scenario in which employees

occasionally work at the office and complete the rest of their work from

home at their convenience.

Advantages Of A Hybrid Workplace.

1. The hybrid workforce is more productive, promotes holistic well -

being, and thus more economical.

2. It attracts employees of all ages and retains them by enhancing job


3. Both your employees and your company will profit financially from a

hybrid workplace. You save money on operating expenses. Your

employees save money since they don't have to commute to work or

buy lunch.

4. By reducing the number of people in the office during a pandemic, a

hybrid workplace is a great safety protocol.

The Hidden Traps Of A Hybrid Workplace

It Is Difficult For Women, Digital Introverts And Junior Executives.

The pandemic particularly hit women’s lives massively. Because of the

pressures of home-schooling their children, many mothers chose to be

furloughed. Their male counterparts, on the other hand, continued to work

full-time, although remotely.

In the hybrid work model, there is a significant risk that men’s and women's

attendance at physical workplaces will be imbalanced. It will have more

women choosing to work remotely for a longer time. As a result, women are likely to fall behind in promotion possibilities and might lead to an

increased gender pay gap.

Meanwhile, extroverts have a greater chance of fitting in at hybrid

workplaces. They are more likely to wish to return to work. But introverts

would most likely want to continue working from home. This division of

different workplaces runs the risk of creating a digital divide.

The employees who work in the office can participate and contribute more

effectively. But those who work from home fall behind and are side-lined.

Introducing and nurturing new talent is a daunting challenge in the hybrid

workplace. There are several advantages to working in a physical location

that would be lost or lessened in a hybrid setting. For example-

  • They will have limited exposure to their colleagues and leaders.

  • They will face the inability to understand the organizational structure and culture.

  • It will affect trust due to a lack of communication and team-building activities

Lack Of Proper Equipment Impacts Productivity. Equipment can range from laptops, stationeries, mobile phones, office

supplies to internet connections and ergonomic furniture.

Let's not deny, we've all worked from our beds during the pandemic. Numerous studies suggest that working from a bed can be harmful to both the mind and the body. Poor working posture can cause headaches and back pain, affecting productivity.

When most companies provide this equipment and supplies to in-person

employees, refusing to provide or reimburse remote and hybrid employees

for these expenses is a clear sign of a hostile work environment. There Is Ever-Increasing Isolation And Resentment Among Employees. Social isolation is an evil that comes along with a hybrid workplace. This

isolation is often caused by employees' feelings of exclusion rather than a

lack of engagement with their co-workers. According to a 2020 Igloo

survey, nearly 60% of all teleworkers say they don't have access to specific

information because managers shared it in person. Furthermore, 55% say

they've been left out of meetings because they aren't physically present.

Long working hours (a supposed by-product of remote work) that result in

overwork can also lead to genuine burnout for these employees.

A Eurofound study discovered that mobile employees have much greater

stress levels. For example, 41% of them regard themselves as "very

stressed," compared to only 25% of those who do not work remotely.

Furthermore, 42% of teleworkers (at home or on the go) say they wake up

multiple times per night (compared to 29 percent of those who do not

telework). A Hybrid Workplace, If Not Appropriately Managed, Can Negatively Impact Employee Engagement.

It also has its own set of other complexities, particularly when it comes to

fostering employee engagement. It erodes the proven organizational norms

that trust, cohesion and shared experiences are necessary for culture and


It calls for the creation of two distinct cultures: one in the office and one

online. As a result, managers may find it difficult to supervise and engage

their distributed teams.

The Top 4 Ways To Keep Employees Engaged In The Hybrid Workplace

1.Encourage Creativity

We must be creative in bringing people together to facilitate a high level of

connectivity amongst distributed workforces. Managers should check on

employees to learn about their interests, hobbies, or how they spent their

weekends. Contests and activities like a fun zoom icebreaker session can

help employees feel more connected and foster team bonding. Doing these

is especially crucial for younger generations who look for meaning, purpose

and connection in their work.

2.Provide The Right Equipment

Even if employees work from home, organizations must be conscious of

their working environment. Simple things like their desk setup, availability

of a high-end microphone or speaker, and adequate lighting can

enhance the employee experience. It must promote comfort and alleviate

medical issues for remote workers. So, leaders must provide employees

with the necessary equipment ahead of time.

3.Minimize Burnout

We need to help employees set limits, especially since the current work-life

balance is practically non-existent. Advise them to turn off email and work

notifications after working hours and encourage them to take breaks during

the day. Encouraging them to participate in some wellness activities can

help them feel and perform better.

We can minimize burnout by having well-defined meeting agendas with

specific goals. Identify the people who need to attend a meeting, for

example. It can make the most efficient use of everyone's time while also

making each employee feel valued and productive.

4.Prioritize Employee Recognition

Workplace incentives and perks must be well-structured to engage the

employees. It would help if you recognized extraordinary effort, new ideas,

team contributions and leadership by implementing a great employee

recognition program.

As new technologies emerge, the hybrid workplace will continue to evolve.

However, the ultimate goal that every hybrid workplace should strive for

will revolve around the above employee engagement practices. ANJAN PATHAK

Co-founder & CTO of Vantage Circle

Anjan Pathak is the Co-founder & CTO of Vantage Circle, a cloud-based employee

engagement platform and Vantage Fit - Corporate Wellness Platform. He is an HR

technology enthusiast, very passionate about employee wellness, and actively participates in corporate culture growth. He is an avid reader and likes to be updated on the latest know-how of Human Resources. About Norcom: Established in 1997, Norcom Solutions is a leading provider of comprehensive solutions for the SME and Enterprise client. Whether your business is single site or multi-site, large or small, domestic or international, Norcom Solutions will help your organization implement solutions that reduce costs and lay the groundwork for growth.

To learn more about Norcom Solutions, contact us today at (877)-NORCOM-1 or visit


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