Hybrid or traditional work? Beata Drzazga on the pros and cons Hybrid or traditional work? Beata Drzazga on the pros and cons

On management in an era of 5% unemployment rates and a dispute over the superiority of work models-hybrid over stationary and stationary over hybrid. About which model turns out to be more effective and what are their pros and cons, tells – founder of BetaMed SA – Beata Drzazga.

Entrepreneurs today are in a dilemma whether to allow hybrid work and attract or retain employees or yet return to tradition?

Some see more benefits in hybrid, while others argue that, unfortunately for businesses, there are definitely more negatives, but in light of the labor shortage, employers are often forced to adopt this model and sometimes even agree to work exclusively online. In my opinion, working in the office has its advantages, many more advantages than remote, both for the employer and the employee. People need physical contact that creates opportunities for spontaneous conversations and interactions that lead to new ideas. From a psychological point of view, when contact between employees is less direct, isolation and loss of a sense of belonging to the team can occur. Of course, there are situations in which hybrid work is beneficial, especially in projects that do not require constant presence in the office.

What benefits, if any, do private entrepreneurs see from hybrid work?

Of course, I also see the benefits of hybrid work. Each model has its pros and cons. For the employer, they are, for example, less demand for office space. Many of them today can afford to free up a few hundred meters of office space which is also combined with savings on rent and, for example, electricity. There are fewer costs to operate the office. However, in times of labor shortages, above all, entrepreneurs must give choices. Employees strongly prefer it because we can adjust the working hours to our individual needs. For some employees, this may mean more time with family, while for others it may mean more flexibility in planning their day. Online work also allows us to recruit talent from different locations, regardless of location, which in a situation of unemployment is just a big plus because we can reach out with employment not only to other regions of Poland but also abroad. Hybrid work, on the other hand, opens the door to flexibility and allows employees to tailor their schedules to their life needs. However, I always emphasize that when part of the team works remotely and part in the office, we need to make sure that everyone feels involved and informed. This requires careful, often even empathetic communication management, as remote communication is definitely more prone to miscommunication, even using remote working tools such as video conferencing platforms.

What can be done to maintain creativity and discipline in a team working traditionally vs. remotely?

Personally, I try to organize regular meetings and creative sessions that help employees stay engaged and inspired. This is also what I advise budding entrepreneurs who ask me for advice. In addition, I support the development of interpersonal and communication skills, which are key in teamwork. Face-to-face meetings and cooperation continue to be the foundation of our work. In contrast, the key to effectively managing a hybrid team is flexibility and very clear communication. We need to be able to understand the different needs of employees and ensure that everyone has access to the necessary tools and information. Regular online meetings and clear goals and expectations are key. Some companies require an online connection throughout the day in order to control the commitment of their team’s working hours in this way, but to me it resembles something like “eavesdropping” in offices and I don’t quite agree with it. I am rather in favor of selecting people for the team in such a way that they can be trusted, however. This is already a job for HR’ers, which is why, in my opinion, today’s HR’ers need to be better psychologists than ever before.

Do you see the pros and cons of the hybrid model in the context of work-life balance, the fashionable “work-life-balance” today?

Of course, there are some aspects of hybrid work that can help you maintain a better work-life balance. For some employees, this may mean the opportunity to spend more time with family and reduce commuting to the office. I am of the opinion that work-life balance can be achieved in both hybrid and traditional work, provided that time and priorities are properly managed. In the traditional model, I see it in such aspects as: a clear separation of work and personal life, because when you work in an office, you have specific working hours, which makes it easier to set boundaries between work time and leisure time. Physical separation from professional responsibilities, because leaving the office, you can leave work behind and focus on private matters. Working in an office provides an opportunity to meet and interact live with colleagues, which can be important for building interpersonal relationships and emotional support.