As Technologists Return to Office, Home Care Remains a Concern

Across the country, companies are deciding how to best re-open their offices to workers. While many teams plan on returning to the office on a full-time basis, many executives are also embracing a hybrid schedule for their workforces, allowing employees to work from home for part of the week. 

Surveys suggest that many technologists prefer a hybrid schedule, which combines the flexibility of remote work with the camaraderie of the office. But as a new study by Blind suggests, many of these technologists are anxious about leaving full-time remote work behind, especially if they have dependents at home.

According to Blind, which anonymously surveys technologists on a variety of issues, some 47 percent of technologists have a dependent at home (which could mean a child, elderly person, or someone with health issues). Of those with a dependent at home, some 54 percent said they needed a flexible hybrid schedule to meet their personal obligations.

Another 37 percent said they needed a combination of a hybrid schedule and flexible daily hours for optimal work-life balance. Depending on their role, that could potentially create scheduling headaches for managers who are already attempting to balance all the different factors for re-opening offices—however, it can be done, given enough advance planning. 

A handful of tech’s largest companies have already announced their plans for a hybridized work model, including GoogleMicrosoft, and Salesforce. Moreover, companies such as Salesforce seem intent on giving their employees multiple options—full-time remote and full-time office work are also available. Smaller companies tend to emulate the corporate habits of the biggest ones, which means that even startups could soon embrace remote and hybridized work. 

Managers and executives shouldn’t fear this paradigm shift; studies show that hybrid work can provide benefits to both individuals and teams, provided that everyone follows some clear rules regarding workloads, communication, and schedules. The prevalence of technologists with dependents, though, suggests that companies will need to plan as thoroughly as possible to ensure that everyone on their teams maintains optimal work-life balance—no matter what they’re facing at home.