Hybrid work is not the future, says Meta’s former director of remote work: It’s an ‘illusion of choice’


The article discusses the challenges and problems associated with hybrid work arrangements, where employees split their time between working remotely and working in the office. The author, Annie Dean, co-founder of workplace consultancy company Werk, argues that hybrid work can lead to increased inequality, lack of inclusion, and decreased collaboration and communication within teams. She suggests that HR leaders should address these issues by implementing clear policies and guidelines, fostering a culture of trust and flexibility, and investing in technology and tools that support remote collaboration.

Key Takeaways for HR leaders:

1. Inequality and lack of inclusion: Hybrid work arrangements can exacerbate existing inequalities in the workplace, as certain employees may have more flexibility and resources to work remotely, while others may be required to be in the office. HR leaders should ensure that remote and in-office employees have equal opportunities and access to resources, and that remote employees are not left out of important meetings or decision-making processes.

2. Decreased collaboration and communication: Remote work can hinder spontaneous interactions and informal communication that often happen in the office, leading to decreased collaboration and innovation within teams. HR leaders should encourage regular communication and collaboration among team members, both in-person and virtually, and provide tools and platforms that facilitate virtual collaboration.

3. Clear policies and guidelines: HR leaders should establish clear policies and guidelines for hybrid work arrangements, including expectations for remote and in-office work, communication protocols, and guidelines for scheduling and availability. This will help ensure consistency and fairness across the organization and provide employees with clear expectations and guidelines.

4. Trust and flexibility: HR leaders should foster a culture of trust and flexibility, where employees feel empowered to make decisions about their work arrangements and are trusted to deliver results regardless of their location. This will help create a positive and inclusive work environment and promote employee engagement and satisfaction.

5. Technology and tools: HR leaders should invest in technology and tools that support remote collaboration, such as video conferencing software, project management tools, and virtual whiteboards. These tools can help bridge the gap between remote and in-office employees and facilitate effective communication and collaboration.

Overall, HR leaders play a crucial role in addressing the challenges and problems associated with hybrid work arrangements. By implementing clear policies, fostering a culture of trust and flexibility, and investing in technology and tools, HR leaders can create a more inclusive and collaborative work environment that supports the success of remote and in-office employees.