The Importance of In-Office Days for Hybrid Employees
One of the most common misconceptions among hybrid employees — or fully-remote employees for that matter — is that the thought of going into the office is a dread. While that is certainly true for some employees for reasons such as an inconvenient commute, or perhaps being anxious during small talk, there are plenty of benefits to in-person interactions even if it's just once or twice a week.
Many employees that were suddenly required to work completely off-site may have enjoyed the perks initially when the world seemingly shut down abruptly back in 2020, but came to realize the value of what they were missing out on. While benefits of working from home can include fewer distractions (depending on the setup), there are still opportunities that are missed by not physically being in the office. Work Design Magazine outlined a few of these opportunities as key reasons for why hybrid employees can still deeply benefit from even just one trip to the office per week.
Training and Development
When it comes to optimizing processes for how things get done, there’s no substitute for in-person opportunities. Even if an employee is hardworking and efficient, there’s a good chance at least some part of their everyday workload isn’t being done optimally if they are fully remote. An example could be teaching a quicker way to navigate through client databases for finding leads as a distributor salesperson, or a more efficient method of crafting proposals. On the development side when talking about short and long-term goals, those conversations are better done in-person as well. It’s harder to detect negative body language over a video call, so even if something is bothering an employee, it can’t always be detected and therefore resolved.
A remote employee can commit consistently to virtual events and make a vital effort to participate in different organizations within the company such as party-planning committees — but inevitably, the lack of physically being there will always take its toll on the quality. When there aren’t happy-hours, lunches, or simply stopping by the water cooler a couple times of day to catch up, it’s hard for relationships to develop past the base-level knowledge stage. The benefits of those in-person interactions aren’t just morale-centric either; they can be pivotal to idea generation both within and beyond particular departments at companies. Simply walking by someone who was sharing a really interesting approach to finding new clients or closing deals, for example, can spark up a conversation that never would have happened in a remote environment.
Always an interesting matter of debate, but one survey noted that one day per week is suitable for many employees to enjoy the aforementioned benefits. This recommendation, however, will always vary depending on job requirements, industry, and how long a particular employee has been with the company.
For related content, check out these tips for preventing employee burnout.