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The new working world – Hybrid roles, working in the office and from home.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work in unprecedented ways, and one of the biggest changes has been the rise of hybrid work. Increasingly we have seen in our collective, and in broader society, a rise in working both from the office and remotely. At our latest wine bar conversation, we discussed how this has given rise to employees having more flexibility and autonomy over their work. However, we also discussed, that given the rise in burnout we are seeing, are the two trends intrinsically linked?

While hybrid work has many benefits, including improved work-life balance and increased productivity, recent research suggests that employees may be overcompensating for the flexibility they have been given, leading to potential burnout and negative mental health outcomes. Studies have shown that employees who work from home tend to work longer hours than those who work from the office, and this trend has continued with the rise of hybrid work. One study found that employees who worked from home during the pandemic worked an average of 48.5 minutes longer per day than those who worked in the office.

The reasons for this overcompensation are complex and multifaceted. Some employees may feel pressure to prove their worth and productivity while working remotely, while others may struggle to establish boundaries between their work and personal lives. The blurring of work-life boundaries can be particularly challenging for employees (more often than not women!) who have caregiving responsibilities or other commitments outside of work.

While hybrid work has many benefits, it is important for employers to be mindful of the potential downsides and take steps to support employees' mental health and wellbeing. We at the collective encourage the introduction of resources and support to aid employees in establishing a healthy work-life balance. These can include the encouragement of breaks and time off, and fostering a culture of trust and transparency around work expectations. If these are not already implemented at your workplace, we encourage you to discuss it with your fellow employees and higher ups! You may wish to even rely on our blog post [here] on the importance of taking breaks for productivity.

Hybrid work is not something that is going away any time soon. As such it's so important to manage the benefits, as well as the potential downsides of this shift in work. Ensuring that employee wellbeing and mental health is not negatively affected, then hybrid work can be a sustainable and productive solution in the workforce.


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