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Hybrid work: Should you go into the office today?

Ring Central Blog

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Jun 04, 2021

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Once upon a time, the workday routine was pretty clear: get up, commute, go to work, go home, and then repeat all week long. But that’s all changed now that hybrid and remote work models are the norm.

Unlike purely office-based work or all-remote arrangements, hybrid work allows employees to split their time between home (or anywhere they can do their jobs) and onsite. 

But different organizations have different opinions about what this split should look like and several different models for structuring these flexible working arrangements. 

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While some companies and managers may take a highly prescribed approach to hybrid work—for example, with scheduled days for working from home and the office—others may leave the decision of where to work up to employees. 

If you have the luxury to choose your schedule, you might end up contemplating whether visiting the office is worthwhile or not. And it’s not as simple as how much sleep you got the night before. There are legitimate reasons to go into the office, even if you have the freedom to work from home.

Let’s look at several scenarios in which hybrid workers may want to consider coming into the office:

1. Important meetings

Video conferencing has made work meetings accessible from anywhere. But attending by video is not always the best call. 

Some meetings are simply better in person. Whether it’s a client meeting, the rollout of a large sales initiative, a major product rebrand, or other important events, attending in person can be a powerful way to signal the importance of a meeting, and that it’s an important use of your time.

2. Projects that require in-person collaboration

From screen sharing to annotations, there are many new features that promote engagement and participation in video meetings. But for tasks that require collaboration, attending in-person is sometimes still optimal. 

That’s because the camaraderie of working together in a physical space can help to grow trust and a sense of connection between teammates, ultimately improving the outcome of a project.

3. Interviewing job candidates

There are certainly benefits to utilizing remote screening tools as part of the recruitment process. Interviewing a larger pool of candidates remotely can save time and money as you identify those who may be the best fit for the job. 

But for hybrid teams, it’s never a bad idea to conduct the final stages of screening in person. Interviewing job candidates face-to-face can help to give you a better understanding of their personality and how well an individual might fit with the team.

4. When you’ve already worked from home several days in a row

In an ideal world, the shift to hybrid work would also erase some misconceptions around productivity, such as the idea that the amount of time people spend at their desks is a useful gauge of performance. 

But this doesn’t mean showing your face at work is useless. Working closely together with colleagues can help to keep teams connected and promote greater organic sharing of information, reducing silos and other barriers to teamwork. 

If you’ve been shut away at home working for several days in a row, coming into the office can help to renew bonds with colleagues and ensure you stay in the loop.

5. Team or company socials

There’s no denying the links between company culture and employee engagement and productivity. In order to maintain bonds between colleagues as they work remotely, teambuilding and social activities are areas many hybrid companies will invest in—and some of these may occur in person. 

While it may be tempting to skip in-person social events—especially if they’re scheduled during a busy time or at the end of a long day of work—it’s often a good idea to attend. Team building and social events can help to grow trust and personal bonds between colleagues, and this can, in turn, boost teamwork and improve collaboration and communication, both in-person and remotely.

6. When you need a place to focus

While employees tend to report that they’ve found remote work to be highly productive, working from home can also be distracting sometimes. Family members, pets, and household chores can all steal focus, and it may be difficult for some employees to find a quiet space to concentrate. 

When you really need to hunker down and work, sometimes there’s no better place than the office. 

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Highlights 55% of employees want to work remotely at least three days a week. Hybrid work can help to boost team morale and reduce staff turnover, helping employers retain experienced and talented employees for longer. Hybrid work comes with potential challenges as well, including in relation to communication and collaboration. Employers should make special efforts ...

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