5 reasons it’s surprisingly high
One of the greatest concerns our clients have had about hybrid work is that it would be difficult to maintain employee engagement. There was an expectation that we would lose the benefits of the proximity principle and the social connections made by simply being in the same physical location.
Certainly that’s true to some extent. Hybrid work provides fewer opportunities for casual conversation and spontaneous collaboration. Younger emplovees are less likely to pick up on cultural cues and people skills by observing more seasoned employees in action. And developing a best friend at work, one of Gallup’s key measures of engagement, is more challenging from afar.
Yet according to Gallup, hybrid employees in the US feel more connected to their organization than employees overall. One reason could be that companies have made a greater effort to support culture and engagement through various strategies and channels. Another might be that the positive benefits of hybrid work outweigh its cultural challenges.
Here are five ways a hybrid work model might actually benefit engagement:
Improved digital expereince
The pandemic made intranets, collaboration platforms and other digital solutions a top priority for many companies. As a result, dusty intranets have been upgraded, Teams or Zoom meetings have replaced conference calls, and DMs often shortcut long email strings. A better digital experience helps employees engage with the organization and each other.
Hybrid work, coupled with a better digital experience, gives evervone equal access. If most of a team Is sitting in the same office, those working remotely or in other company locations are often sidelined in meetings or excluded from spontaneous hallway discussions about projects. When everything happens online, everyone Is Included, no matter what city or country they re in.
Greater sense of thriving
Employees in hybrid work environments enjoy a sense of control that reduces stress – whether that means more easily managing family demands or the ability to structure their time to best fit their energy levels during the day. Skipping the commute also provides an extra hour or two in the day for many, allowing more time for exercise, sleep and other personal care.
Less job hopping
Several studies have found that employees in a hybrid work model are less likely to be looking for their next job. Depending on the study, they’re 25% to 60% less likely to leave. Employees who expect to stick around are more likely to engage in the behaviors that increase engagement, from building close work relationships to anticipating a career path within the company.
Permission to be themselves
With entire families quarantined at home, employees grew accustomed to seeing their colleagues’ significant others, kids, dogs and cats, as well as the art on their walls or the clutter on kitchen counters. This has a humanizing effect that can increase a feeling of acceptance – and possibly extends to employees comfort revealing other parts of their lives as well.
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