Parents are desperately trying to integrate a healthy professional life with a meaningful personal life. The pandemic fast-tracked the opportunity to reimagine the workplace, so it better reflects their lives. A workplace in which employers value their employees for the work they do, not where they do it from.
Done right, hybrid work is the game-changer you need to rebalance work + life on your terms — without sacrificing career success. It’s a positive change that accommodates the demands and challenges of professional life and parenthood. Finally.
Hybrid Work Is the Future
Hybrid work means working part-time in the office and part-time remotely, typically three days and two days respectively. As part of return-to-office plans, some companies choose an enterprise-wide schedule while others allow individuals or teams to decide their schedules. Pros and cons exist for each option which balances worker autonomy and organizational goals of safety and an inclusive culture where all employees have opportunities to succeed regardless of work location.
90% of companies plan to offer hybrid work as a strategy to compete for and retain talent and increase productivity. Taken together, hybrid work is the future of work. High-achieving overloaded professionals will leverage hybrid work to redefine how they work, parent, and achieve financial freedom — on their terms.
Experts championing the benefits of hybrid work discuss how it:
- Allows greater control of worker productivity.
- Focuses on results and not butts-in-seats presentism.
- Improves employee self-care.
Undoubtedly, these are real and important benefits. But the following ten benefits of hybrid work need more airplay because embracing them helps you:
- Take charge of your career proactively.
- Increase your success by rebalancing work + life.
- Lead as an early adopter.
Hybrid Work Is Good for You at Work
Done right, hybrid work fuels your career success by increasing productivity, focusing on results instead of facetime, and highlighting how you show up for the team, grow, and lead. All factors your employer cares about deeply.
Make hybrid work positively impact your career by:
- Managing workflow to minimize chronic overwork. Workflow — aka the pace and quantity of work — is one of the significant factors impacting your sense of work-life balance. As a high achiever, you expect periodic/seasonal changes in your workflow, and you meet the moment to unequivocally demonstrate your talents and commitment. When you’re appropriately invested in the results of your work, you consider episodic overwork an acceptable part of the job. If it’s offset by more reasonably paced work seasons and recharge time, you can maintain a healthy relationship with work. Alternatively, chronic overwork makes it challenging to create room in your daily and weekly schedule for your most important work — causing unrelenting stress and burnout. Hybrid work allows you to organize the pace and quantity of your work by strategically choosing which work you complete in the office and which you complete remotely. Greater control of how, when, and where you work is a better way to manage energy instead of time, weave self-care into your work week, and focus on mission-critical work and not low-priority tasks that tend to fill hours spent in the office.
- Gaining quiet time for focused work. Creating routine quiet time for planning, writing, building, etc. isn’t always easy — especially in today’s 24/7 instant turnaround workplace where you’re always connected and often interrupted. The barrage of communications has workers feeling pressure to keep up and needing stronger boundaries between work + home — resulting in digital exhaustion. You can use hybrid work to hunt and gather information while in the office, so you do your best thinking work distraction-free remotely.
- Improving self-management. Autonomy is one of your instinctive psychological needs. When it’s thwarted, your motivation, productivity, and happiness plummet. When you have greater control over how, when, and where you work, you’re more productive, have greater job satisfaction, less burnout, and higher levels of psychological wellbeing. In short, hybrid work helps you achieve more and feel more engaged and fulfilled.
- Working with a work-life perspective. A work-life perspective is sensitive to and respectful of how you communicate and work with your coworkers. Your behaviors impact their work-life boundaries, either positively or negatively. Done right, hybrid work facilitates better communication protocols to help you choose the best tool for the message content and urgency, such as sending an email to be less disruptive than an IM for a non-urgent message. When you honor your and your coworkers’ work-life boundaries you show up as a team player, increase trust, and lead by example.
- Taking charge of your career development. Detractors of hybrid work correctly voice concerns that its out-of-sight, out-of-mind nature can hurt career advancement. As an antidote, seek mentoring proactively, send clear career signals, grow your broader network with routine connections, and explore options for learning and development. In addition, ask for performance feedback at least quarterly and regularly discuss progress toward professional goals to increase your visibility with your boss.
- Deepening trust. Trust is typically earned, however, hybrid work done right requires a mindset of confident trust in your coworkers from the start. Two types of trust build strong work relationships: relational trust — learning about others’ families, hobbies, experiences, heritage, and culture — and transactional trust — task-focused involving work quality, timeliness, adherence to expectations, responsiveness, and technology use. Team members who trust each other feel psychologically safe and aren’t afraid to speak up, be themselves, admit to their mistakes, or offer honest feedback. This authenticity spurs productivity and wellbeing.
- Enhancing your boss’s reputation. During this time of unrelenting change, demonstrating that your boss is part of the solution by leading well and delivering results will be appreciated. When you consistently contribute to a high-performing hybrid team that achieves outcomes, cultivates an inclusive culture, and retains talent, your boss shines, which reflects positively on you too.
Hybrid Work Is Good for You at Home
Done right, hybrid work can level the playing field at home by breaking down gender roles and expectations about how families should operate.
Make hybrid work positively impact your home life by:
- Prioritizing fairness with your lifelong partner. Infusing your relationship with reciprocity reduces resentment and boosts trust. Each partner is empowered to conceive, plan, AND execute caregiving and home management tasks based on agreed-upon minimum standards of care. Hybrid work and the autonomy it fosters underscores the need for each partner’s time to be valued equally.
- Growing capacity for caregiving and home management. When partners have greater control of how, when, and where they work more communication and independence are needed to step out of gender roles and into more responsibility for what’s collectively good for the family. In addition, no one partner (typically the wife/mom) gets left behind making family members’ needs and wants magically possible.
- Developing hobbies. Done right, hybrid work permits time and energy to pursue interests that bring joy and feelings of staying true to yourself — thereby improving mental health. Hobbies inherently produce more creativity, confidence, and ways to expand and express your passions. As you build hobbies in one area of your life, they can’t help but infuse other parts of your life. And your chosen activity gives you the calm and rest to step back and assess all aspects of your life with a new perspective.
Make Hybrid Work a Triple Win at Work and Home
The time has arrived for overloaded parents to rebalance work + life so both better reflect the lives they deserve. Done right, hybrid work provides the path forward.
Organizations need to place more emphasis on choice for all employees and accept that requests for flexibility in how, when, and where to work don’t equal less commitment. In fact, it’s the secret sauce to attracting and retaining top talent who deliver results and cultivate an inclusive culture where all employees have opportunities to succeed at work and home.
Admittedly, the data aren’t all in and more testing and tweaking remain. That said, don’t wait to make hybrid work work for you and your family. Start with the goal of triple wins.
You can design a triple win at work so it’s:
- Good for you.
- Good for your work.
- Good for the people you work with (internally and externally).
You can design a triple win at home so it’s:
- Good for you.
- Good for your lifelong partnership.
- Good for your family.
As you consider the 10 benefits of hybrid work you can leverage, which one might help you achieve a triple win at work or home? What would it take to make progress?