Article: Red flags of a toxic hybrid workplace

Culture

Red flags of a toxic hybrid workplace

While the hybrid work model sounds promising, it is not without its flaws. Knowing if you’re joining an organisation that has a healthy work environment can save you from ending up in a toxic space.
Red flags of a toxic hybrid workplace

Despite a huge improvement in the COVID-19 situation in many countries, most people are still sceptical about working at the office on a full-time basis. If remote working works, then why fix what isn't broken?

Business leaders, however, see things differently. While it’s true that remote work has been effective on some fronts, having staff in the office helps managers feel more secure and in control from an operations standpoint.

The validity of both perspectives has given rise to the hybrid model, which allows employees to work remotely on some days of the work week and come into the office on other days. 

A McKinsey survey revealed that 9 in 10 companies plan to combine on-site and remote working – but 68% of these companies don’t have a clear, detailed plan yet.

Maintaining a healthy hybrid workplace culture can be difficult. Shifting to a hybrid workplace requires discipline and commitment, from both the managers and employees to make the work model work.

“It is clear that hybrid work will define the post-pandemic workplace, but it remains to be seen if companies are adequately preparing for this transition,” FlexJobs CEO & Founder Sarah Sutton said.

“At the very core of all successful remote and hybrid workplaces are leaders who are taking very conscientious efforts to intentionally consider and then thoughtfully build their company's work environments,” Sutton added.

The hybrid work arrangement is not safe from “toxicity,” Sutton said, stressing the importance of having managers who know how to engage people physically and virtually.

Read more: How to handle a toxic boss

What are the red flags of a toxic hybrid workplace?

There’s no clear plan.

Building a hybrid workforce isn’t just about combining the aspects of remote and in-person work. Communicating a crystal-clear plan for employees is crucial to maintaining a healthy and transparent workforce. If the company doesn’t seem serious about making a coherent set of policies to integrate hybrid teams properly, then it’s more likely to be an unhealthy workplace.

There are no equal opportunities.

Businesses who value equality at work will have people at every level of their work receiving the same benefits. Integrating equal opportunities for everyone helps maintain a balanced and healthy workplace. If only senior employees are allowed to advance their careers professionally and work in the office, then it could be a red flag.

Digital communication tools have not been implemented.

In the hybrid working environment, co-workers can’t just randomly come up in someone’s space. This can put remote workers at a disadvantage. If digital tools have not been integrated properly, then the team is not equipped for success.

Read more: Want to run from a toxic workplace?

Recognition happens only in the office.

Making employees feel valued is important to creating a work culture. Virtual platforms like Zoom, Discord, and Slack make it easier to share recognition and encouragement online. Companies that commit to implementing these show their commitment to the remote work environment. If recognition only happens in the office, it could be a red flag.

While the hybrid work model sounds promising, it is not without its flaws. Knowing if you’re joining an organisation that has a healthy work environment can save you from ending up in a toxic space, which will only make you feel stressed, unmotivated, and unproductive.

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Topics: Culture, Life @ Work

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