Dispelling 7 Myths About Hybrid Work

Every day we’re bombarded with stats about the future of work, especially when it comes to what percentage of people and/or organizations plan to adopt hybrid work. What’s interesting is that in most cases these articles and reports tend to look at one side of the equation – either the employees’ preference for remote/hybrid work OR the organizations’ actual plans for enabling flexible work – depending on how the surveys were structured. 

For example, the recent Accenture report “The Future of Work: A Hybrid Work Model” reveals that 83% of employees would prefer a hybrid model. Granted, those people could “prefer” a hybrid model, but they may not get to ultimately decide, depending on their company’s policy choices. 

But then again, from the organizational perspective, there are also reports like McKinsey’s “What executive are saying about the future of hybrid work” which state that 90% of executives are planning on a hybrid work strategy after the pandemic. Within that 90% it breaks down as such:

  •  40% expect their people will be in the office 51-80% of the time
  • 40% expect people will be in the office 21-50% of the time
  • 7% expect their people will be in the office less than 20% of the time
  • 3% plan to have their people fully remote

Granted, these are just two examples. But the reality is that, regardless of which perspective you approach it from, hybrid work is here to stay. And that’s a fact that still makes a lot of people nervous. Which is why we really enjoyed Gartner’s recent eBook – “Redesigning Work for a Hybrid Future” – which you can download for free here.

Gartner begins by walking you through a model of seismic shifts throughout history that have fundamentally changed the way we work – like the invention of electricity which led to the industrial revolution. It then discusses the role of the global pandemic in ushering in the Hybrid Revolution, and at that point the Gartner analysts state in no uncertain terms that hybrid work is and will continue to be the reality moving forward. 

But the meat of the eBook, and in my opinion the most meaningful and actionable part, is Gartner’s exercise to define seven of the key myths that still exist about hybrid work, and then systematically disprove each of those myths. 

Dispelling 7 Myths About Hybrid Work

According to Gartner, here are seven persistent myths about hybrid work that need to be banished, followed by the reality that organizations need to prepare for in order to truly succeed in the future of work:

  1. MYTH: Pretty soon, work will go back to normal
    • REALITY: “Executives who reimagine where, when and by whom work gets done are in a better position to generate both business outcomes and talent outcomes: a win-win for organizations and employees. But first, you have to pick your journey forward — and acknowledge the risks of not adopting a hybrid working model.”
  2. MYTH: Employees are less productive when remote
    • REALITY: “Data shows radical flexibility (not monitoring of productivity inputs) is what drives performance — but it requires a culture of trust, empathy and empowerment. It also means managers must focus on work outcomes, rather than activity metrics.” 
  3. MYTH: Serendipity is the best driver of innovation
    • REALITY: “Leaders must hardwire intentionality into collaboration as a key team norm in order to drive innovation, especially in the hybrid environment. Providing access to four different modes of collaboration (see next page) is critical to innovation.”
  4. MYTH: Our jobs just can’t be done remotely
    • REALITY: “By mapping employees’ activities, you can spot opportunities for flexibility even when location isn’t flexible. Most jobs fall somewhere on a spectrum between fully portable and fully nonportable.”
  5. MYTH: We need in-person contact to sustain our culture
    • REALITY: “Employees don’t magically imbibe culture simply by entering a physical workplace. And so far, more remote and hybrid employees report higher culture satisfaction than on-site employees.” 
  6. MYTH: Hybrid workforce models hurt diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI)
    • REALITY: “The imperative is to facilitate flexibility while ensuring that all employees have an equal opportunity to participate. A fully on-site return is actually a risk to DEI. This type of sustainable DEI approach will make you an employer of choice for diverse candidates — whether you deploy a hybrid workforce strategy or not.”
  7. MYTH: A hybrid workforce model duplicates our IT infrastructure
    • REALITY: “Resilient organizations continuously reengineer their IT strategies and infrastructures anyway. Resilient, future-fit organizations need “Everywhere Enterprise” strategies — which go beyond enabling a workforce with mobile devices and remote access alone. Everywhere Enterprises use technology, team structures, processes, skills and tools to empower dispersed workforces, harness distributed infrastructures and serve ubiquitous customer bases.”

There is a ton to unpack for each of these myths, and some are more complicated than others, especially depending on variables like what industry you’re in, etc. But Gartner does a good job of identifying the universal threads that run through each of these myths, and how leaders can & should address those myths in order to plan successfully for the future. I highly recommend downloading the free report and reading through it all (it’s 19 pages, but a quick read and presented in a very easy-to-digest format). 

Let’s take a moment to double-click on the seventh myth – “A hybrid model duplicates our IT infrastructure” – though. One thing that Gartner’s report highlights, and that we discuss a lot here at Cameyo, is the need to start off by establishing a baseline of the requirements of the different types of users in your organization. 

For example, you may have 5-10% of your users whose jobs involve regular use of graphic-intense applications (like video editing), and those people may need access to a full Virtual Desktop to support their workflow. But the other 90% of your users likely have what Gartner refers to as “normal requirements”, and providing that 90% with virtual desktops would be way too costly and complex to manage for it to make sense for your organization. For those users, you would utilize a Virtual Application Delivery (VAD) platform which would give your people access to all of the business-critical apps they need to access on any device while increasing security, reducing cost & complexity, and adding flexibility compared to Virtual Desktops. 

If you’re curious about how organizations are evaluating this choice between Virtual Desktops (VDI/DaaS) and Virtual App Delivery (VAD), take a look at this recent survey data.  And if you’re wondering how VAD can help simplify your infrastructure and reduce the cost of enabling widespread hybrid work, check out this case study that shows how Klarahill selected Cameyo and reduced their costs by 85% compared to their previous Virtual Desktop provider.  Or see how Baldwinsville Central School District decided to replace VMware with Cameyo to reduce cost & complexity while delivering a better user experience. 

And if you’d like to see Cameyo in action for yourself, you can schedule a demo with us here and we can provide a personalized demo to illustrate how we can help reduce cost & complexity in your environment. Or if you’d prefer to just test it out yourself first, go ahead and start your free trial here – no credit card required.