In recent years, remote working has become the new norm for many social sector organisations, with many moving towards hybrid working models. While the shift towards home-working has come with several benefits, it also presents unique challenges for both employees and employers. In this insights article, we’ll explore the key challenges faced by both parties and share practical strategies for overcoming them. With a focus on office space and hybrid working, we’ll delve into the importance of fostering a healthy work-life balance and maintaining a strong sense of community despite the distance.


Addressing the Employee’s Struggle with Work-Life Balance and Mental Health

It is easy to ignore mental health struggles within a team when they are not seen or vocalised, which is common with a fully remote working environment. Things like unintentional extended work hours, burnout, and social isolation are significant challenges faced by remote employees. To overcome these obstacles, employees will need to work on establishing clear boundaries between their work and personal life. This might include designating a specific office space within their homes and setting specific work hours. 


A hybrid working environment goes a long way to tackling this problem by providing teams with the opportunity to surround themselves with others to socialise within the office, in a way that technology can not offer. 


It is also important to employers to encourage their employees to prioritise self-care, stay connected with their colleagues, and seek out support from friends, family, and mental health professionals when needed. 


Ensuring Professional Development and Continuous Learning in a Remote Environment

In a remote setting, osmosis learning and professional development may take a backseat resulting in the natural absorption of knowledge that takes place when employees are physically present in an office space. While it is important for employees to be proactive in seeking out opportunities for growth, employers can also facilitate training and development programs that are accessible within the office and remotely. 

Strengthening Communication and Fostering a Connected Company Culture

Lower communication and disconnection from company culture are significant concerns for employers in a remote working scenario. To address these issues, organisations should adopt a variety of communication channels to cater to different needs and preferences, such as video conferencing, messaging apps, and project management tools. Regular check-ins, virtual team-building activities, and transparent communication from leadership can help create a sense of unity and maintain a strong company culture. Furthermore, adopting a hybrid working model, where employees occasionally work from a shared office space, can provide opportunities for face-to-face interactions and strengthen relationships.


Enhancing Work Quality and Managing Performance in a Remote Setting

One of the concerns employers face in a remote work environment is the potential for compromised work quality. To ensure that employees continue to deliver high-quality work, employers must implement clear performance expectations and maintain open communication channels. Regular feedback and performance reviews can help employees stay on track and address any potential issues. Additionally, investing in technology and tools that streamline remote work processes can boost productivity and maintain work quality.


Nurturing Positive Relationships and Resolving Conflicts Remotely

Remote work can sometimes lead to fractious relationships among team members, as the lack of face-to-face interactions can make it difficult to resolve conflicts effectively. Employers should encourage a culture of open and honest communication, where employees feel comfortable discussing their concerns and addressing any conflicts. Virtual team-building activities can help strengthen relationships, while having a well-defined conflict resolution process in place can minimise potential issues. It may also be helpful to offer training in conflict resolution and emotional intelligence to support employees in navigating these situations.


The Role of Office Space in the Future of Hybrid Working

As companies embrace hybrid working, the role of office space is evolving to meet the needs of employees who work both remotely and in-person. The physical office space should be designed to facilitate collaboration, offer flexible workspaces, and provide opportunities for employees to interact and build relationships. Employers should consider offering access to coworking spaces or shared office locations for remote employees who may not have a dedicated workspace at home or who prefer occasional in-person interactions with their colleagues. By adapting office space to the changing needs of the workforce, companies can effectively support the success of their hybrid working model.



As the world continues to embrace hybrid working, it’s crucial for both employees and employers to acknowledge the challenges that come with this way of working. By prioritising work-life balance, supporting professional development, and fostering effective communication and a strong company culture, charities and social sector organisations can successfully navigate these challenges and create a productive, healthy, and fulfilling work environment for all.


To learn more about how you can get the best out of your team through implementing a hybrid working model, Canopi can help share what options are available and how many of the members are thriving in this new way of working.