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Benefits and challenges of remote and hybrid working environments

A remote work culture is a culture that puts connection and sense of belonging of remote workers front and center.

Companies with remote-first work culture transcend geographic boundaries and time zone differences. They’re built on values like trust, inclusivity, autonomy, and transparency. Remote has revealed ways to build an effective work culture, outlining the benefits and challenges of remote and hybrid working environments. 

Opportunities and benefits of building a remote-first work culture

The shortest way to summarize remote-first benefits: empowering every employee to do their best work.

When we unpack that, we’ll find many layers to what makes that happen. True remote work culture is intentionally inclusive and creates equal opportunities for everyone. Without geographical and other barriers, people can bring their knowledge, life experiences, self-expression, unique capabilities, and talent to work.

As a result, employees in a remote-first culture are:

  • Productive and efficient because they work during hours that match their energy and on their terms
  • Happy and easy to retain because they feel valued and rewarded as an important piece of the company puzzle
  • Rested and balanced because they can live their preferred lifestyle and support their family
  • Connected thanks to the deep trust and belonging with coworkers and managers

There’s also the reduced fixed costs of running a remote company compared to a traditional, office-based company, meaning you have more resources to empower, support, and reward your employees for their impact.

Challenges of hybrid and remote working environments

In Buffer’s State of Remote Work report, 45% of people said they’re working more since starting to work remotely. On top of that, 52% are in more meetings as a result of the shift to remote work.

Without an intentional approach to collaboration, meetings, and expectations, people in remote and hybrid positions can feel overworked, overwhelmed, disconnected, and ineffective. For example:

  • Employees who feel isolated and lonely won’t contribute their best ideas to projects
  • Those with decreasing work-life balance will struggle to support their family and seek a less demanding job elsewhere
  • If people feel they can’t switch off as it risks their chance of a promotion, they will burn out, and their efficiency and performance will drop

This is harmful to your success as a company and to employees’ satisfaction and happiness at work.

The full study is accessible here.