If you are reading this post, you either feel offended by the headline or you are curious about my extremist opinion. In both cases, welcome, and thank you for your attention!
I was once in talks with a company about a position and we got quite f ar in our negotiations. At a certain point, I asked if the company was either remote-first or office-first. Their answer: “We are running a hybrid model which gets us the best of both worlds. People who live in the same city, are supposed to come to the office at least 3 days a week and everyone who is remote, stays remote”.
Each time I visit my parents’ house, I feel like a child again. Not in a calming re-visiting the nest way, but in a way that reflects my immaturity when I was living with them. I remember that I was a different person, seemingly less of a person than I am right now, and so going back feels like a regression. The same happens to me when I see companies repeating my mistakes. In one of my start-ups, I tried to mix the remote and office worlds while trying to sell the concept as progress.
The usage of the word ‘hybrid’ creates more harm than good. Employees are told that they should be at the office ‘some’ days of the week. But which days? They might vary, depending on the department or even on the topic which they are working on. Now your employees will start talking one on one and trying to organize meetings around their in-person availability. This will, of course, happen during their most productive hours. You will literally see their time running down the drain due to the organizational overhead.