The Inside Scoop on Hybrid Work Schedules—Is it the Right Career Choice for You?

by Isabel Dorfman on September 29, 2021 in Career Advice

 

Hybrid work schedules. No doubt you have read articles or talked with coworkers about this topic. But what does having a hybrid work schedule mean? Is it the same across the board, or are there different models? Will all businesses offer this benefit? And most importantly, is a hybrid work schedule the right fit for you and your career goals in the DC area? By defining a few terms and examining the current market, you can discern if a hybrid schedule is the right choice.

 

Defining Terms

By the simplest of understandings, a hybrid work schedule combines both remote and in-office work, but every company balances these dynamics differently. The variations can be summarized into three basic categories:

A split between employees: In this structure, some employees work in the office while others stay remote. A model like this can work well for a pharmaceutical or engineering company that only requires a certain percentage of its workforce to be onsite to interact with the equipment and facilities. The rest of the team (payroll, marketing, compliance, etc.) can often perform their roles well from home.

A split between days: This means employees can work from home for a few days while being required to be in the office at times. Companies may require you to come in on specific days or simply ask for a certain number of in-office hours per week. This hybrid model can work well for any number of businesses, like a marketing and ad company or accounting firms.

A combination of the two: Certain branches may be required to be onsite 100% of the time while other branches may be more flexible and allow for hybrid options. This can happen with large manufacturing companies have different locations in various states.

The benefits of hybrid schedules appeal to many but come with unique challenges too. But before we examine the pros and cons, let’s look at some examples of companies that are offering hybrid work opportunities in the current job market.

 

Current Market

First, it’s worth noting that employers aren’t in unison on adopting hybrid work models. Research shows a mixed response from leaders. For example:

– Forbes shows that 70% of employers anticipate returning to the office by the end of the year.

– According to McKinsey,  nine out of ten executives plan on a hybrid model going forward.

So what will the trend be for the future? Who is modeling positive hybrid structures? A recent article by Microsoft reveals insightful feedback.

With the influx of hybrid work schedules, Microsoft leaders asked their employees to rate their feelings on inclusion, team dynamics, and communication, and they didn’t find a clear-cut answer. “Our new data shows there is no one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid work, as employee expectations continue to change. The only way for organizations to solve for this complexity is to embrace flexibility across their entire operating model, including the ways people work, the places they inhabit, and how they approach business process.”

 

The DC Market

Microsoft may be leading the way internationally, but what about industries outside of technology. Are DC companies even offering remote and hybrid schedules? Here are a few examples.

  • Danaher Corporation offers products and services in life science, environmental sciences, and diagnostics. They offer remote positions for senior network security analysts and senior biostatisticians.
  • Lockheed Martin, a global leader in defense and aerospace technologies, offers remote full stack software engineers and IT cyber security engineers.
  • Fannie Mae makes mortgages available to low- and middle-income individuals and is hiring for remote  communications and IT security positions.
  • American National Red Cross, a well-known nonprofit that serves communities across the globe, has DC roles for remote salesforce developers and forecasting managers.
  • United Nations Foundation, a nonprofit that supports clean energy, women’s rights, and global health efforts, is searching for professionals to work remotely in health communications and business strategy.

The current market shows leaders are listening to employees’ feedback and offering continued hybrid opportunities. The question is, are these the right job openings for you?

 

Will a hybrid schedule be a benefit for your career?

If you are inclined to think a hybrid role is the best career choice, you may want to list the pros and cons as you research. Here are a few thoughts to get you started.

Cons: Hybrid models can provide more challenges to communication. Company culture and recognition of employees’ hard work could require a different level of intentionality from leaders. Additionally, the role will still have deadlines, projects, meetings, etc. Will the dynamics truly give you the schedule and benefits you are hoping for? Ask detailed questions about expectations. If your ideal job can only happen in a building (manufacturing, healthcare, certain roles in non-profits or government), an in-office job may still be the best fit. Technology has provided many advantages, but not all careers offer remote options.

Pros: First and foremost, this structure gives employees the flexibility to better balance their work and home life. The workforce can leverage resources in new ways while cutting down on overhead costs. If your skills transcribe well into a hybrid model (tech, accounting, marketing, etc.), you may be an ideal candidate for a hybrid position. This flexibility can allow you to focus on work at home, touch base with coworkers in the office, and balance home life responsibilities.

If you are currently employed and don’t have a hybrid option, first try talking with your manager. They may have a plan but have yet to publicize it (currently only one in ten organizations have communicated hybrid plans well).

If you are ready for a new, hybrid opportunity, you have options! Pinpoint the type of hybrid model you like best and ask what the onboarding/training will be like (that part may need to be completed on-site) Make these key questions in your upcoming interview.

Not sure where to start your search? Contact 1 can show you what options are available to you in the DC market.

 

Related Articles:

Heading Back to the Office? What You Need to Know About Returning to Work in DC

The Do’s and Don’t of Communicating for Remote Employees

The 5 Work From Home Best Practices that Will Increase Your Productivity in 2021