The last two years have certainly been an interesting time as a career coach. Many people have faced redundancy, taking part in outplacement programs and many more have been a part of the ‘Great Resignation’, looking for career advice as they consider their next move. There have also been plenty of changes in the way that we work, including the move to remote and hybrid working environments – something that is here to stay.
Whether you’re looking for a new job or considering a career change, it’s likely that the idea of a hybrid workplace is on your mind. Many organisations are offering it, but many aren’t and it can be tricky to navigate this new landscape if you don’t understand how a hybrid workplace can benefit you or what to ask as you embark on your job search.
What is hybrid working?
The heart of hybrid work is all about finding a balance between working in the office and working remotely. While ‘hybrid work’ is one concept, it can look very different between different organisations, with many embracing different percentages of remote work with different systems for making it happen.
The benefits of hybrid work
In the search for a new job – whether through an outplacement program or simply through a desire to change careers – many people don’t consciously consider hybrid work as a possibility, falling into the trap of thinking that an office-based 9-5 is their only option. The reality is that employees stand to gain a lot from this new model of working, whether they realise it or not:
Splitting time between the office and remote work can give employees the best of both worlds, allowing them to engage in the connection and collaboration that comes with being in the office, while also being able to fit around their own schedule.
Recently I had the opportunity to career coach a young man based in Sydney who was in the process of shifting his career, taking a job in Brisbane. This kind of change can mean a lot of upheaval. His fiance works for a multi-national organisation that embraces the hybrid model of working, so she was able to follow him to Brisbane and continue working remotely, with the option of popping into their Brisbane offices if she ever needed to be onsite. This kind of flexibility can be life changing.
While there are many varied views on remote work, many people love the arrangement as it allows them to work in the most productive way for them, wherever they may choose to work. This autonomy allows employees to feel more satisfied in the way that they’re working as well as the work that they’re doing.
Work / life balance
The pandemic has highlighted the struggles that many employees face. Parents and carers in particular have experienced the struggle as children need to be homeschooled and exposure can result in periods of isolation. Hybrid work allows the natural chaos of life to happen, giving employees an opportunity to handle these situations while still remaining active at work if they’re able to.
Physical and mental health
The last two years has, of course, shown us the importance of keeping healthy. Hybrid work allows employees to take time away from the office if they are in isolation, are unwell, or simply need some time away to maintain their health. They are able to do this, without taking time off work and sacrificing their leave.
How to investigate hybrid work in your job search
Are you considering a career change and considering hybrid work? As a career coach, I can help you to know what to look out for, the questions to ask in job interviews and more. To start you off, consider asking these three questions to understand a little more about an organisation’s commitment to hybrid work:
- How often will I need to be in the office and do I get to choose any aspect of this schedule?
- What steps do you take to ensure that remote employees are kept in the loop with access to the same information regardless of whether they are in the office or not?
- How is the office set up to manage employees who are in and out – is it a hot desking environment or are there dedicated desks for everyone?
There are many other questions you can ask to find out if the organisation’s choice to embrace hybrid work is in your best interests and aligned with your values. Ensure you investigate thoroughly, to mitigate any risk of finding yourself out of your comfort zone and dissatisfied with your working environment.
Are you tackling the job search now – or thinking about it for the near future? Preparing your LinkedIn profile for the task is one of the most valuable things you can do to put your best foot forward. Take part in my mini course that gives you the best tips and tricks to showcasing your expertise and capabilities. Secure your place now.