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Why hybrid work is emotionally exhausting

0 2 years ago

When Klara was offered a hybrid working arrangement, she thought it would be the best of both worlds. The account manager had initially joined her London-based firm on a full-time office contract, only for successive waves of Covid-19 to force her to work from home.

Klara’s boss introduced the hybrid policy in September 2021, when UK government guidance recommending home working came to an end: Tuesdays and Thursdays would be home-working days, with the remainder of the week spent in the office during normal contracted hours.

“Having a permanent hybrid set-up initially came as a relief,” says Klara, whose surname is being withheld for job-security concerns. “After years of full-time office work, it felt like I finally had control over my work schedule and busy home life.”

As the months rolled by, however, the novelty of hybrid work soon gave way to hassle and a jarring one-day-in, one-day-out routine. “I feel settled and focused on the days that I work from home,” says Klara. “But by the evening I dread having to go back in: sitting at my desk for eight hours a day in a noisy office, staring at a screen, readjusting to exactly how it was before Covid.”

Klara feels she now has two workplaces to maintain – one in the office and one at home. “It involves planning and a stop-start routine: taking my laptop to and from the office every day, and remembering what important things I’ve left where,” she adds. “It’s the psychological shift – the change of setting every day – that’s so tiring; this constant feeling of never being settled, stressed and my productive home working always being disrupted.”


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