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Red flags your workplace’s ‘Hybrid Office’ policy is actually toxic

Red flags your workplace’s ‘Hybrid Office’ policy is actually toxic

Hybrid work is supposed to support employee wellbeing, but not if it displays these warning signs

In the last few years, there has been a significant increase in flexible working options, but is it all it’s cracked out to be?

Since the pandemic, companies began introducing hybrid and remote work models so that they could still run during a time where many businesses had to close their doors.

With a myriad of restrictions and distance policies in place, setting up offices to only house a fraction of staff was seen as a godsend, as employers could rotate employees to be in-office on certain days and work from home on others.

It was hailed as an innovation in the way that we work, and even though restrictions have passed and some brands mandated a back-to-office policy, there were forward thinking companies who embraced hybrid and still prefer this method.

However, there are those who display some mighty big red flags when it comes to adhering to a work-life balance and employee wellbeing mantra.

Experts are now displaying these warning signs, so that if you recognise this within your own company, it might be time to get out and fast.

There are many red flags to look out for when in a hybrid role.

1. Sick days no more

According to Brianna Doe, the co-founder for marketing company Verbatim, explains that when an employer looks at sick days as being an opportunity to work from home instead, it’s a red flag.

She said: “When I took a sick day, the mindset that my manager met me with was like, ‘Well, the perk is that you get to stay home, you still have to work.’

“In a healthy culture, whether you’re fully remote, or fully in-office, or a mix of both, work-life balance is still going to be available, you’re still going to be encouraged to take care of yourself.”

2. No formal policy outlined for employees

Deirdre E. Orr, a HR consultant and talent development expert said the biggest red flag that shows the hybrid arrangement can become toxic is when there is no official policy.

This is especially true then hybrid working makes employees feel as though it can be ‘taken away’.

Orr also noted that when one employee has been able to work from home, but others can’t, it creates a feeling of favouritism.

Orr recommends a strict hybrid policy where employees know which days they should be in the office.

Not getting a promotion because of your hybrid status is a red flag.

3. Colleagues and bosses act different depending on whether you’re remote or not

Doe explained that when she used to work three days in the office, ‘everything was fine’, until she worked from home during the last two days.

According to the expert, her ‘trust flew out the window’ with her employer.

She said: “I had to send in exactly what I did all day at the end of the day, I had to compile the list.

“I felt like I wasn’t trusted. I felt like they thought I needed to be followed up on. And it was really, really demoralizing.”

4. You’re excluded from invitations to in-person meet ups because of your hybrid status

Doe said: “I would just feel worry and panic, like, ‘What does this mean? Do they not see me as a valued member of the team? Did they forget about me, which is even worse?’

“It’s just like, ‘I don’t even know if I’m safe here anymore.’”

5. Hybrid employees don’t get promoted into leadership roles

If your hybrid colleagues aren’t being put forward for promotions, even when they’re doing the best work, Doe claims it’s an ‘indicator of how remote work is actually viewed, regardless of what the official policy is.’

However, if you’re experiencing this or are about to attend an interview for a hybrid position, Doe suggests laying it all out there in the interview to really know how they feel about their hybrid workforce.

Featured Image Credit: Getty stock images

Topics: Business, Health, Mental Health, News, UK News