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Hybrid workforce challenges & effective solutions


August 1, 2023


September 6, 2023

After working under fixed and strict ways for decades and then being locked down at home for months, the push for new working methods was inevitable. A flexible approach is the best solution for both businesses and employees. Yet, like any other model, hybrid working has its own challenges.

For example, remote staff regularly complain about not having clear guidelines and finding it complicated to create genuine work connections behind a screen. From an organization’s point of view, paying for a half-empty office is definitely a downside of flexible work that can be a  financial burden.

So, what are the solutions

Let’s be straight from the beginning, asking your team members to return to the office fully isn’t one of them. However, as the professional world is changing, employers’ visions of work must evolve too. The best word to describe the future of work is flexibility

Keep in mind that these are the most common obstacles hybrid companies can potentially experience. It doesn’t mean you will face them all. Moreover, every problem has a solution, doesn’t it? You will find the best practices to crush these disadvantages at the end of this article.

Hybrid working challenges for employees

Lacking clarity in a hybrid work environment

A mistake businesses often make when adopting a hybrid work model is skipping the creation of clear guidelines and team expectations. This results in the team being unsure about what they are supposed to and are permitted to do regarding scheduling and collaborating, for example. Do they have to stick to their working hours like in the office, or is flexitime allowed? Should they be on Slack continuously, or can they check messages only from time to time throughout the day? 

Drawing a clear boundary between professional and personal lives

When working from home, doing other tasks, such as putting laundry on before starting the day, is tempting. Multitasking might make you believe you are being more efficient, but it has the opposite effect. A few minutes later, we hear the “bip, bip, bip” indicating the washing machine is done and our clothes need to be hung on the rack. Meanwhile, we don’t do our job as efficiently as we can because we keep being distracted. Remote work is great. Yet, it can sometimes be challenging to set barriers between private and professional tasks, especially without a dedicated workspace at home.

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Remote worker with family

Interacting and building relationships with colleagues

The rise of remote work has forced everyone to learn how to interact differently and, most importantly, virtually. But virtual often means less spontaneous or personal. It’s easy and natural to stop for a little chat when you pass by a colleague in the office corridor before heading back to your tasks. For hybrid staff who aren’t on-site at the same time, it gets more challenging. This is why “87% of employees believe working in the office is important for collaborating and building relationships with team members”1. As Mathew, who works for a large payroll company in New Jersey, said in an interview for Vox: “If I go into the office and there are people but none of them are on my team, I don’t gain anything besides a commute.” 2

Collaborating efficiently and seamlessly

Do you provide your hybrid team with the right tools to “work from anywhere” as efficiently as on-site? Working from different places and times sometimes creates coordination issues if team members don’t have access to the resources and equipment they need. While remote workers are more productive than their colleagues on-site,  if hybrid work is not implemented thoughtfully, they will be more stressed and less efficient. 


Depending on your hybrid work policy, employees who don’t come on-site often and therefore have fewer in-person interactions are more likely to feel isolated and alone.

We spend a lot of time working in our lives. The office is not only a place to work but also a meeting and collaboration hub to socialize and connect with people. For some team members, not having this opportunity can have a real impact on how they feel at work and in their private lives.

📆 Request a free demo of the deskbird app and discover how you can improve employee experience, save costs, and manage your hybrid workspace efficiently all at once!

Challenges of hybrid work for employers

Finding the right balance between remote and on-site work

Some companies are forcing employees back into the office, but, as highlighted in our recent article, they are shooting themselves in the foot. The vast majority of workers no longer see flexible work arrangements as a “nice-to-have” option. You might think, “Alright, we will switch to hybrid work then and ask team members to come on-site two days a week. Voilà, done!” We wish it was that easy, but it’s not. Every company, industry, and team is different. What works for one doesn’t for another.

Let’s say you have a multigenerational workforce. Baby Boomers, Gen X, and Millennials prefer to be on-site 1 to 2 days a week, whereas Gen Z expects to meet their colleagues in-person 3 to 4 days a week. This kind of information is important to consider to plan a successful hybrid work strategy.

Building a strong corporate culture and maintaining workplace connection

The office plays a central part in fostering organizational culture. So how do you keep sharing and promoting your corporate values when people aren’t coming on-site as often as they used to? The decrease in corporate culture is one of the most common pieces of feedback from managers and employees regarding remote work. This goes hand in hand with the loss of workplace connection. If you don’t find ways to boost these two aspects, employees start to feel less connected to their colleagues, their job, and the company.

Leading a hybrid team

Managing a remote, hybrid, or distributed workforce isn’t the same as leading a team that you see in-person every day. It requires some adjustments from both sides, yet it is the managers’ role to promote remote work best practices and an employee-centric approach to make it work. Not only do you have to know who is working where and when, but you also have to keep a close eye on your employees’ needs and well-being. For instance, noticing symptoms of workplace burnout is easier when you meet your staff daily than when you see them only once a week.

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Hybrid team leader

Creating a fair and inclusive work environment 

“41% of employees feel that remote workers don’t have equal opportunities for career growth.”3 Biased behaviors can easily rise in a hybrid work environment. For example, on-site workers might know about new job openings before their home-office colleagues just because they’ve shared a coffee with the right person. Moreover, some managers struggle with the idea of not seeing their staff working when they are at home. This can also lead to unfair treatment as they might have the feeling that people who come more to the office work more than remote employees (which is not true at all, and often the opposite). 

Mental health issues and burnout

As mentioned, allowing more flexibility at work usually has a positive effect on employees’ mental health, but it can have the opposite effect in some cases. For example, a poor corporate culture or micromanagement practices often increase. If flexible work is not implemented thoughtfully, stress and frustration might also arise among your team as they can’t perform to their best ability. This frequently happens when companies don’t have a clear hybrid work policy and don’t provide their staff with the equipment they need (collaboration and communication tools, hybrid office solutions, etc.). 

Keeping a high cybersecurity 

When working from home, cybersecurity becomes even more crucial for IT teams and companies. Keeping the workplace safe and secure is more difficult when employees work from different locations with unsecured internet connections and personal equipment. The development of remote work practices and technology opens a new door for hackers to attack your network and access your private data. This makes cyber risk management an even higher priority than it was already.

👋 Are you looking for more information about cybersecurity? Read our article about hybrid workforce security and learn the best practice to protect your digital work environment!

Solutions to overcome the potential disadvantages of hybrid work

Ask your employees for feedback

The best way to create a successful hybrid work model is to do it with your employees' feedback. They know what works for them and what doesn’t regarding this new working style. You can collect information during an informal conversation, send anonymous employee satisfaction questionnaires specifically targeting this topic, organize team meetings to discuss areas of improvement, and so on. Most importantly, don’t assume that a certain idea will work without consulting your team first. 

Check your workplace analytics

If you’ve intended to build a smart office, there is a high chance you use different technologies. These tools constantly gather data about your staff’s behaviors. By checking these workplace analytics, you can observe if:

  • they tend to use more this or that communication channels;
  • they often come on-site or not;
  • they book more collective workspaces than single desks;
  • and so on. 

These are key resources for all leaders, especially for those working in CRE (Corporate Real Estate), HR, IT, and Finance.

📊 Try our hybrid office calculator to know how much money you could save by optimizing your physical workspace!

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Optimized workplace

Create tailored-made hybrid work policies and guidelines

We believe a hybrid work model can be a great solution for many businesses and workforces, provided that the organization and the employees’ needs are taken into account. Once you’ve collected your workers’ feedback and have a clear understanding of your areas of improvement, you can develop tailored-made hybrid work policies and guidelines. The next step is to share them with your team and explain any unclear rules so everybody is on the same page. Lastly, remember that both the business’ and staff’s requirements evolve constantly. Therefore, it is important to update these regularly.

Optimize the physical workplace

The office's purpose changes when you work with a hybrid workforce. Consequently, redesigning the workspace to match the new needs of your team members is fundamental. For example, you might notice on your desk booking software that there is a higher demand for meeting rooms and other collective areas. This is because hybrid employees tend to prioritize working on collaborative projects rather than individual tasks when they come to the office. Also, with fewer people coming to one-site daily, your space needs are smaller. This allows you to downsize the office space and reduce various costs.

Build a hybrid-friendly digital work environment 

In every workplace, technology plays a key role in employees’ daily lives. So, as much as you need to adjust your physical workspace to the new requirements triggered by hybrid work, you have to adapt to the digital one too. With hybrid workplace technology, you boost employee productivity and satisfaction. By using AI in the workplace, they can concentrate on more purposeful tasks, gain efficiency, and lower human error. Thanks to proper communication tools, they are more effective. Hybrid work solutions such as desk booking apps enhance better collaboration between team members, and so on.

Although this article focuses on hybrid working challenges, allowing flexibility at work has more benefits than downsides for both employees and employers. When you introduce this working model thoughtfully, by creating policies and guidelines that match your organization and your workforce’s needs, the disadvantages of hybrid working disappear. The key is always to promote an employee-centric approach and stay alert to the new trends of the future of work. Discuss with your employees regularly to continuously improve and help them and your business thrive.

Are you looking for a solution to manage and optimize your hybrid workspace? Start a free trial of the deskbird app and discover our user-friendly features, from desk booking to workplace analytics and week planning!


2 Why the return to the office isn’t working, Vox;

3 Remote work statistics: What do the numbers say?, deskbird.

Hybrid workforce challenges & effective solutions

Paulyne Sombret

Paulyne is a highly respected expert in hybrid work. She's known for her writing on sustainability in the hybrid office, flexible work models, and employee experience. With a strong background in content and SEO, her work explores the exciting trends and latest news in the world of work.

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