The pandemic has opened people’s eyes to exploring the possibilities of fulfilling personal goals. During times of isolation and working remotely, people felt disconnected from each other while realizing how much daily living is centered on in-person social interaction. The abrupt changes experienced during the pandemic has made working individuals across various industries rethink about how their time is spent, including work for their employers and responsibilities at home. Some say having the option to work from home is a blessing, while others say they prefer in-person interaction. The concept of hybrid working has helped people learn more about themselves including their capabilities, self-worth, and presented another perspective on the significance of creative productivity.
Hybrid Work and Mental Health
Hybrid is a workplace trend that’s here to stay as it continues to grow in popularity among companies. It’s a footprint from the COVID-19 pandemic you can’t overlook due to its challenging mix of in-person and remote work expectations. Companies that switched to this trend learned early on that things are not perfect in the beginning. It is essential to balance the needs of the employer and employees for hybrid to be successful.
The pandemic brought difficult challenges that put employers and their employees to the test. Many companies maintained productivity levels when work went remote, but unfortunately, employers were met with backlash from employees when they were called back to the office. Workers experienced a dramatic shift in work culture including aspects that promote employee productivity and well-being. Companies that transitioned to hybrid saw employees engaged more in healthy living habits such as regular exercise and better sleep. Employees also experienced less stress and anxiety due to reduced commuting.
Mental health advocates say hybrid work brought a hidden advantage with many workers admitting they saw an improvement to their mental health. Hybrid allowed workers to spend more time with family and friends and use the extra time gained to engage in activities that improved their wellbeing. More people took advantage of mental health resources such as online therapy and engaged in hobbies that helped grow their social connections.
Employers offering hybrid work are more likely to have a healthier and happier workforce with productive and engaging team members. It appears that hybrid working is playing a significant role in building and sustaining a healthier workforce while helping companies put their employees first by offering flexible scheduling. Hybrid gives workers more independence, which boosts morale and improves work satisfaction. Productivity has increased as workers feel it is easier for them to concentrate on their work at home without interruptions such as impromptu meetings and colleague distractions. Hybrid work is a welcomed change for employees looking to escape a toxic work environment.
? Limitations and How Employers Can Make Mental Health Improvements
Hybrid work does have limitations on mental health worth noting. It’s common for workers to feel lonely or isolated without direct human interaction. Some workers may work long hours because they find it challenging to pull away from work. Others experience burnout when using extra time gained from less commuting to do more work tasks such as replying to emails. Moreover, some employees feel like they are micromanaged by their employers and experience more stress to meet expectations or to avoid the perception of being an underperformer.
Employers can create opportunities to encourage mental health improvement in a hybrid scenario. A workplace should show support to their employees by listening to their ideas, concerns, and opinions about scheduling and what works for them most. Employers can outsource tasks to reduce workloads such as by hiring an SEO company for content writing. Employees should be encouraged to connect with colleagues virtually and physically through opportunities provided by the employer such as project collaborations that can reduce loneliness and isolation for remote workers.
? The Importance of Creativity in a Hybrid Setting
Allowing employees to be creative with their time can help workplaces be more productive. Employees build confidence and connections with people they care about the most and still enjoy office work and being home. Companies can be so focused on meeting expectations they may not allow time and space for healthy and productive creativity among their employees.
Creativity helps diversify a workforce and makes it easier to find the right people for job roles. It can help with focusing more on what people bring to the table as far as talent, skills, and value without their location being a factor. It becomes easier to collaborate with others by distributing roles and releasing certain work constraints to create a more inclusive work environment.
Employees following a hybrid schedule can avoid burnout with support from their employers. Allowing flexible scheduling can encourage collaborations to happen at any time including virtually or in-person. Living situations such as being a caregiver and distance from the office can also help structure flexible work hours. Making changes to employee duties to ensure deadlines are met can also help reduce stress. Such changes may include hiring SEO services to handle company blog posts or a digital media service to handle the company’s social media pages.
Employers can get more creative with employee performance evaluations. High productivity and high performance are not the same. If an employee produced a high number of blog posts, did it result in increased sales? How well customers’ needs were met compared to the previous year? Changing up how employees are evaluated can encourage better job performance. More emphasis can be on the outcome versus the output. An employee can assess their work performance to determine if they are a team player and determine what values they have that represent their employer.
Being creative in hybrid work can be rewarding and it makes taking initiative more significant. Creative thinking can contribute to ideas for solutions essential to problem-solving and decision-making. Employees are encouraged to be the change they want to see on the job.
? How Else Can the Hybrid World Encourage Creativity?
Continue using videos for meetings. Sure, during the pandemic people made things interesting by using video to meet with friends for happy hour. Sometimes video in the workplace is more effective or preferred because some employees are more likely to participate in meetings while others find it easier to listen and focus with video.
Encourage creativity by adding or enhancing job duties in line with company goals. Companies offer hybrid work to expand work opportunities to individuals with diverse skillsets. A company making changes to their marketing plan may consider hiring an SEO content marketer that understands their brand with a new approach to reaching their target audience. Some people are willing to change locations to enjoy a new environment that can encourage creativity and innovative perspectives at work. For instance, if you’re a professional writer with experience using search engine optimization or SEO, Chicago offers career path opportunities for SEO specialists such as a business marketing consultant or a marketing analyst.
?Hybrid Work Inspired People to Take Special Interest in Others and Themselves
For some, hybrid working is the new normal after the pandemic. For others, changes in the labor market have led to seeking new opportunities for different reasons. Some remote workers decided to start a side gig to earn more income. The side gig may actually be something they’ve wanted to do for years and the pandemic made them realize now is the time to make it a reality. People don’t see themselves just as employees, but as real people who have needs and interests that include being treated fairly no matter their personal preference as it relates to their lifestyle and goals.