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I’m currently in the market for a new job, but I am most interested in a hybrid work environment. Are there any pros and cons I should be looking at? And how should I evaluate a potential offer as a remote or hybrid employee? Elaine Varelas examines

Many companies are starting to return to the office while offering a hybrid work schedule. Elaine Varelas examines the pros and cons of this type of work environment and what factors to consider when accepting a hybrid offer.

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Q: I am looking for a job in a hybrid environment, but I have a couple of questions. What are the pros and cons of working in a hybrid environment, and how do I approach the subject of compensation as a hybrid employee?

A: Every individual at different stages of their life will have to decide if a hybrid environment is beneficial or if it causes more challenges to their career and work/life balance than a standard 9-to-5 position in the office. Some people welcome the flexibility of turning work on and off at different times throughout the day while others love the consistency of standard work start and end times. At the same time, organizations are looking at what works best for them to maximize productivity and profitability. Right now, it seems both businesses and employees are in a state of evaluating the optimal solution.

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For junior employees or employees new to the company, a hybrid environment may prove challenging as it will take you longer to observe the culture and it will limit your interaction with senior leaders that could help you learn faster and grow your career. If you have the option and you are early in your career, working from the office in the vicinity of senior leaders (if they are there) will offer you greater opportunities. This will allow you to be available and it will enhance your visibility. It could be by attending impromptu meetings or being asked to support a project that you may have not known about had you not been in the office.

In terms of compensation, transparency is also at the forefront of employment news. New laws in Colorado and New York City are requiring salary transparency in job descriptions, and hiring organizations and recruiters are prohibited from getting information from you concerning your previous salaries. Many companies have used and continue to use salary bands that offer broad compensation ranges, and most likely, we’ll see more and more early visibility into what positions are paying. Historically organizations have set compensation based on the value of the position to the business, the competitiveness of capturing people with specific skill sets, and the cost of living in a specific geography. Before the pandemic, many businesses calculated salary ranges using a few additional key factors, including geographic location of the business, the associated costs of living, and tax rates. Because employees may decide to change geographies more frequently (or even seasonally) based on hybrid or an all-remote work schedule, this may change.

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Technology as an industry has always led the way for flexibility, whether it was programmers working any hours they wanted as long as they delivered product or administrative writing specialists in industries such as public relations or journalism. These were and are mostly solitary activities where productivity is easy to measure. According to FlexJobs however, there are other industries that have increased the hybrid working model as of 2021. These industries include sales, project management, computer and IT services, medical and health services, accounting and finance, marketing, and education and training (https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/top-companies-for-hybrid-jobs/). Additionally, there are some companies that are adjusting pay for hybrid or remote work. According to the research done at FlexJobs, those companies include Google, Facebook, Stripe, Twitter, and VMWare.

In any industry, the ability for hybrid work really depends on your function. If your job requires more team collaboration, a hybrid environment might prove difficult for those important team events that generate productivity. Many companies have utilized remote workers for decades very effectively and we can learn from them. In the end, it is important for you to review the entire picture to decide whether remote work, hybrid work, or an in-person position would be best for your particular situation. Make a list of pros and cons of all the options available to you and see what would work best. Examine your compensation based on where you live, what factors may benefit or complicate a hybrid work schedule, and approach the idea and an employer with valuable data.

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