There have been many interesting first-time experiences for all of us since early 2020. Most of us had never faced a global pandemic, and those who had were likely very young during the last massive outbreak. To say we have had to rethink the way we go about many parts of our lives feels like an understatement.
Now, almost two years later, businesses have had to face another challenge – the idea of returning to the workplace. Employees have not been shy about their preference. They prefer remote as much as possible, leading most employers to implement a hybrid work policy.
This preference for flexible work was confirmed in the first iteration of Workhuman®’s Human Workplace Index. This survey found that “flexible work arrangements are a need to have,” citing 34% of respondents want flexible work arrangements. When you look at just the female population, that number is even higher.
Most businesses will need to consider hybrid work policies for the foreseeable future. Working parents, caretakers, and those with busy lives outside of work have reaped the benefits of flex schedules for more than a year and are just not ready to give that up.
The good news is that hybrid work policies can be as varied as the companies that implement them; there is no one-size-fits-all approach. A few of the more popular arrangements center around a mixed approach to accommodate different preferences, such as two days in the office and three days at home, or even four-day work weeks. Companies can be as creative as they want with the schedule, as long as it is applied fairly and consistently.
There are many benefits to taking a more flexible and human approach to the office reopening. Many consider the broader talent pool a huge advantage to hybrid work environments – but the benefits to employee satisfaction and overall mental health may prove even greater.
While the pandemic was challenging in many ways, one silver lining of jobs that could be done remotely was that people could be present with their families and still get their work done. Beyond the time saved on commuting and the cost-of-living savings, people can better manage when they do their work and when they focus on their family. They no longer have to choose between life and work.
It’s also important to acknowledge that too much isolation can have a detrimental impact on mental health. A hybrid option allows employees to have the best of both worlds: collaboration and face time when necessary, while still having days at home to decompress.
Hybrid work environments are not without their challenges. provides a competitive advantage and sends the message to your employees that you see them as human beings. You see their needs and want to help facilitate what is best for their personal and professional lives. More than anything else, bringing more humanity to work is what is needed most right now.
About the AuthorMore Content by Sabrina Baker