Full-time, part-time, half-time, remote, hybrid – so many options exist today for employees. But with these multiple on-site and off-site choices, one question is not being asked enough. What’s the best option for YOUR business? And can you really make a blanket determination for all employees without considering individual skill sets and job tasks?
When you stop to think about it, all employees are not created equal. There will always be high-level producers, those who do the bare minimum and many in between, as well as those with more stress points in their personal lives.
As a business leader, you will constantly be confronted with changes in your employees’ lives, like the birth of a child, a marriage, a divorce, or a request for a once-in-a-lifetime bucket-list extended vacation. And as their personal circumstances change, and if they’re worth keeping, then you may need to adapt. There are also other variables you may need a plan to deal with, including commute time, daycare obligations, etc.
The key is finding a way to strike a balance between what is best for your employees as well as what is best to maximize their productivity and not spending productive hours in the car commuting every day when they could be working from home – that’s counter-intuitive thinking in the 21st Century.
At my company, we have had to adapt. Some of my employees are now covering a different geographic client area that we have expanded to, which made sense based on where they reside. We have offered others a hybrid option so that they can handle the workload but also take care of personal obligations. The better question is, how do you stay true to your business principles by encouraging in-person work?
Many companies have found that creativity and collaboration must be done in person. It’s why Microsoft, Meta, Twitter (X) and even Zoom have called their people back to the office. But if you’re in an IT role or offering some form of tele-service where you only need a computer, then by all means, work full-time remotely.
I was never a big proponent of full-time remote workers and never bought into the multiple obituaries written for physical commercial office spaces. I feel it’s fundamentally detrimental to an organization’s culture if its employees are not physically assembled. While I try to be flexible to workers’ needs as long as we’re all clear on the goals of that flexibility, I’m still a big proponent of in-person work.