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More than 75% of employees and managers said they believe hybrid work will become the norm within the next three years. This comes on the back of mass resignations, clamor for better work flexibility and more focus on employee well-being. 

But despite the growing popularity of hybrid work models, there remain many hidden challenges, including proximity bias and unfair treatment, high operating costs, and poor interpersonal relationships.  

Leslie Tarnacki, SVP of Human Resources at WorkForce Software, spoke to Reworked about potential drawbacks that organizations must recognize and mitigate in order to achieve a truly effective hybrid workplace. 

Proximity bias is perhaps the most talked about challenge of hybrid work. It refers to the tendency for managers to show favoritism or give preferential treatment to employees who are closest to them physically, such as in an office environment. 

“Employees that do not work face to face with their co-workers and managers can be overlooked when company-wide decisions are made or promotions are considered,” Tarnacki says. 

One of the most essential ways to tackle the challenges of hybrid work is to continuously gather employee feedback. Doing so helps ensure fairness in dealing with proximity bias. 

Tarnacki adds, “To overcome the challenges of implementing a hybrid work model, leaders need to think about how they can build technology to engage and support — not just manage — their employees, no matter where they are in the world.”