10 Signs of a Toxic Hybrid Workplace


Nine out of ten businesses plan to move to a hybrid-working model. This was the finding of a survey by McKinsey, which confirms the move to combine remote and on-site working is verification of the productivity and employee satisfaction of remote working.

Despite the rush to offer hybrid ways of working, 68% of businesses don’t have a detailed plan in place on what new office set-ups will involve, the McKinsey report found.

To help businesses be better prepared for long-term hybrid models, FlexJobs, online job service providers for professionals looking for flexible work, identified ten red flags of a potentially toxic hybrid workplace.

Signs of a Toxic Hybrid Workplace

To help avoid creating a toxic workplace and to ensure for a more productive, streamlined, and happier hybrid set-up for employees, take a look at FlexJobs’ ten red flags.

There is no real plan for creating a functioning hybrid workforce within the company.

Instead of winging it, businesses need to have a solid plan in place to help build a successful hybrid culture.

There are no senior leaders who work remotely.

All levels of employees need to be allowed to work remotely, including senior leaders, for the system to work well. FlexJobs’ advises that businesses examine every level of the organization to see if remote employees are found throughout the organization’s hierarchy.

Digital communication tools have not been prioritized.

Communication and collaboration tools should be used and embraced to help address any issues and gaps in remote operations and nurture maximum success.

Celebration, praise, and rewards only happen in the office.

Employees that feel valued are generally happier at their place of work. This should include remote workers. It is therefore important that celebration, rewards and praise take place both in-house and remotely via the likes of Zoom and Slack.

Your manager doesn’t have a solid communication plan for remote team members.

Hybrid teams need to pay particular attention to communication, advise FlexJobs. Managers should have a clear communication plan, so that every employee in hybrid set-ups are kept in the loop about important issues.

Team or company-wide meetings are scheduled at odd hours.

Remote work often involves different time zones. Businesses should be mindful of this and plan work and meetings around the different time zones so that every employee feels valued.

Information isn’t accessible.

Another red flag highlighted by FlexJobs as a sign of a toxic hybrid environment, is failing to make information accessible. Information should be shared on a digital platform, so everyone has access to it.

Lack of career path for remote employees.

A lack of career path for remote workers is another sign of a toxic hybrid environment according to FlexJobs. Instead of looking like promotion opportunities are only for in-house employees, career paths should be available to everyone in a hybrid setting.

Employees are told they need to use PTO or take a pay cut to work remotely.

Employees should not be “punished” by choosing to work remotely by having to use Paid Time Off or take a pay cut.

Remote workers aren’t given the appropriate equipment.

Failing to provide remote workers with the appropriate equipment can also lead to a toxic hybrid environment, according to FlexJobs. Businesses should make sure all employees are provided with the same tools and resources so ensure hybrid working satisfaction and success.

Of course, not all businesses will exhibit all ten signs of a toxic hybrid working culture. As Rachel Pelta, content coordinator for FlexJobs, comments: “It’s important to note that a toxic workplace may not have all ten of these red flags. Some may only have a few. Likewise, if a company has one of these red flags, that’s not necessarily proof of a toxic workplace, but rather an indication that the transition to hybrid is still bumpy.”

Image: Depositphotos

Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead Gabrielle Pickard-Whitehead is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. She is based in the United Kingdom and since 2006, Gabrielle has been writing articles, blogs and news pieces for a diverse range of publications and sites. You can read "Gabrielle’s blog here.".