Even as pandemic restrictions ease and begin to disappear, the one change that is here to stay is not so much work-from-home, but rather, hybrid work arrangements. It could have existed prior to the pandemic–and it did in certain industries–but mostly it wasn’t a viable option, till it became one.
When recruitment and onboarding practices shifted to virtual, many new hires never had the opportunity to meet their teams in person. This led to unexpected opportunities as well as new challenges. Nevertheless, this trend will continue and many employers will continue to interview prospective candidates online even as we move into a post-pandemic world.
This approach has a number of benefits. Firstly, it reduces the barriers of entry for prospective teammates who may not be able to relocate for a job. Secondly, it allows for cross-cultural teams to be more easily assembled.
The challenge, then, is to create a more consistent onboarding process for virtual and in-person hires. While job training generally does not vary significantly between in-person and virtual hires; in an office, it’s easier to gleam information about the way that a team operates and works.
The learning curve is far steeper for remote hires than those who go into the office regularly. Physical distance can and at times did lead to psychological distance. It’s much easier establish a rapport with colleagues when sharing a physical space.
Proximity to the leadership team generally increases the possibly of a promotion. This is sometimes caused by a relationship between productivity and visibility, even though no such relationship has ever been concretely established. At the end, it always boils down to the measurable outputs as it pertains to productivity and performance. It is these barometers that determine pay, promotion and future opportunities.
In a post-pandemic world, will we see gaps between those who work remotely and those who work from an office? It will take years of research before definitive results come through.
In a hybrid working world, one’s home environment will play a key factor in productivity. Those who have a dedicated home office may be more productive than those who work in a less-than-ideal space. This has also routinely caused another problem: weak Wi-Fi bandwidth. Many had to use their phone as a hotspot in order to avoid connection disruptions.
Whether children are in the working environment also impacts productivity. Those with childcare responsibilities reported that their caregiving responsibilities were making it somewhat or much more difficult to attend to work. At the same time, this opens up new opportunities for work-life balance.
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