Navigating the in-office hybrid model for working parents

According to a recent KPMG CEO Outlook survey, 64% of leaders globally and 63% of those in the UK, predict a full return to in-office working by 2026. This is slightly different from what we are currently seeing, but times are certainly changing.

The current job landscape

Companies are currently embracing a 3-day in-office hybrid working model. This marks a departure from the recent era of predominantly remote roles, during the pandemic where home often took precedence over the office. Instead, it represents a deliberate shift, a recalibration of our traditional work patterns. As this hybrid work model gains momentum, the question arises: how can we extract the maximum advantages and establish a healthy equilibrium?

For those who entered the workforce 25 years ago, the landscape has undoubtedly evolved, presenting new challenges and opportunities. One of the key considerations in this new paradigm is the impact on family life. Unlike 25 years ago, when the norm was a more structured office setting, the modern workplace is adapting to a blend of remote and in-office commitments. This evolution prompts a closer look at the logistics of managing a white-collar job while nurturing a family.

Realistic expectations

The question on many minds is whether this hybrid working model is realistic for parents, let alone a full return to the office. 

The reality is that it requires a delicate balance and a redefinition of expectations. Flexibility is the buzzword here, as companies and employees alike grapple with the practicalities of juggling professional responsibilities with the demands of family life.

For our team at The Change Partners understanding the challenges is paramount. From attending to a toddler’s needs during Zoom meetings to managing household responsibilities and meeting project deadlines, the challenges are diverse for working families. The key is to acknowledge these hurdles and work towards solutions that foster a supportive and inclusive work environment for all.

Sharing the load

Companies that prioritise flexibility and family-friendly policies are better positioned to attract and retain talent in the current climate. As recruiters we can play a pivotal role in advocating for work environments that encourage equal participation in both professional and domestic spheres, afterall returning to the office after a period of remote work can be daunting for parents. 

We feel it’s important to guide individuals through this transition. Open communication is crucial, allowing parents to express their concerns and needs. Employers can consider phased returns and flexible schedules to ease the transition, providing a buffer for parents to readjust without feeling overwhelmed. Offering resources like wellness programmes and mental health support can significantly help parents manage this shift effectively also. 

More and more employers are also adopting generous in-office perks and benefits, introducing free food, subsidised travel and social events to lure staff back to the workplace. But is this actually what workers want, particularly those with families?

What the future holds

It is evident that the job market is undergoing a significant transformation and for those who joined the workforce 25 years ago, the changes are palpable, with new considerations arising, particularly concerning family life. The logistics of balancing a white-collar job with family responsibilities have become more intricate, prompting a closer examination of how to manage these dual commitments successfully.

Realistic expectations are a focal point in this scenario, with the delicate balance between professional and family life requiring a thoughtful redefinition of expectations. Flexibility is a crucial element as companies and employees navigate the intricacies of this hybrid working model.

Understanding the challenges faced by working families is paramount, and at The Change Partners, we recognise the diverse hurdles individuals encounter. The key lies in acknowledging these challenges and collaboratively working towards solutions that cultivate a supportive and inclusive work environment.

Balancing professional aspirations with personal commitments remains at the forefront and creating work environments that align with the diverse needs of employees will be crucial in navigating the future of work successfully.

Helpful Content

Whether you need help with your CV, some tips on how to prepare for an interview or what is happening across the job market, take a look at some of our helpful content here.