Hybrid working is becoming increasingly more popular in Australia amidst the continuous recovery from COVID-19 pandemic, as companies seek to balance the benefits of remote work with the need for in-person collaboration and connection.

One of the key benefits of hybrid work is increased flexibility for employees, who can now work from home or from the office depending on their needs. This can lead to improved work-life balance and reduced commuting time and costs.

Another benefit of hybrid work is that it can help companies attract and retain talent, as employees are often more likely to choose companies that offer flexible work options. Additionally, hybrid work can also lead to increased productivity and engagement, as employees have the autonomy to work in the environment that suits them best.

However, implementing a successful hybrid work environment in Australia requires careful planning and consideration of several factors, including technology infrastructure, legal compliance, culture, and training and support. It's important to strike the right balance between remote and in-person work to ensure that employees feel connected and engaged, while also maintaining the benefits of remote work.

Maximizing a hybrid work environment requires a combination of the right technology, processes, and culture. Here are some tips that can help:

  1. Invest in technology: A hybrid work environment requires technology that enables remote and in-office employees to collaborate and communicate effectively. This can include video conferencing software, instant messaging tools, project management platforms, and cloud-based collaboration tools.
  1. Define clear processes and guidelines: Clearly define processes and guidelines for remote and in-office work, such as work hours, expectations for availability, and protocols for communication and collaboration. This will help ensure that everyone is on the same page and that work is completed efficiently.  
  1. Foster a culture of trust and transparency: In a hybrid work environment, trust and transparency are crucial. Encourage open and frequent communication among team members, and make sure everyone feels included and valued, regardless of where they are located.
  1. Prioritize flexibility and work-life balance: Hybrid work allows for greater flexibility, and it's important to prioritize work-life balance for both remote and in-office employees. Encourage employees to take advantage of the flexibility of working from home and make sure they have the support they need to be productive and successful.  
  1. Encourage in-person interactions: While technology makes remote work possible, it's important to make time for in-person interactions. Schedule regular in-person team meetings, social events, and other opportunities for face-to-face interaction.


According to a recent study of Telstra Australia, hybrid working could positively benefit industries and the economy at roughly $18.3 billion or at 6% increase in income for every organisation. This initiative is seen to generate 42,500 additional jobs over the next decade. Most employees surveyed would also prefer a hybrid working environment to a 5% pay rise.

Thinking that hybrid working may benefit every business stakeholder, how do we exactly organise a mentally healthy hybrid working environment?

Meeting legal requirements. It is important that employers understand their legal requirements when it comes to requests from workers for flexible working arrangements (e.g., see this guidance from the Fair Work Ombudsman).  

Organisations must also ensure they are aware of and are meeting their work health and safety obligations in relation to both physical and psychosocial risks when workers are working from home (e.g., see this information from Safe Work Australia).  

Organisations will want to consider any potential worker compensation risks from working from home arrangements. Comcare’s Office Safety tool has provided information on the consequences of not managing working from home risks (access it here).  

Consulting and communicating. Beyond legal obligations, organisations need to strike a balance between the challenges and opportunities that hybrid work present to their workplaces and people. This will involve exploring people’s preferences around ways of working and how an approach can be taken to ensure they align with the organisation’s needs.  

Dr Knight says tailored hybrid work models will need to be developed, depending on the nature of the organisation and individual roles and needs. “There is no one size fits all and we are likely to see many different models of hybrid work evolving,” she says.


Exploring flexible working arrangements. People may have circumstances and needs that require more time working from home. Giving people the flexibility to mould their own hybrid work model will be important for their job satisfaction, work motivation and general wellbeing. Organisations which can support different models of hybrid work are likely to be more successful,” Dr Knight says.  

This may include an organisation consulting with people and reviewing internally the different activities and work people in different roles undertake and whether hybrid or remote work is possible. It may also include reviewing the necessary infrastructure (e.g. technology and equipment) to support hybrid work.  

Organisations may also want to consult the companion guide in this series, helping people return to workplaces after extended periods working at home during COVID-19 (access it here).  

Engaging teams and managers in decisions. Involving people at all levels of the organisation in decision-making around hybrid work practices is likely to improve satisfaction with the result, with research showing involvement in decision-making is important for wellbeing and performance.

Encouraging communication and networks. Managers can promote effective hybrid work by encouraging people to communicate via virtual platforms informally and collaborate when in the office.

Offering a peer buddy system to increase support for individuals who might be more at risk of becoming isolated may also be beneficial - for example, for those who work from home more often, or report feeling isolated.  

In addition to engaging people to see what they want from hybrid work; organisations can benefit from a clear hybrid or flexible work policy. That policy should clearly state the expectations around hybrid work, and why these are the expectations. It is important to ensure consultation in the creation of this policy, so it reflects the attitudes and needs of workers and leaders.  

Organisations can also seek to empower people who are managing teams to implement the policy in a way that gets the best out of the team and the organisation. If there are to be mandated days in the office, give evidence as to why this is a requirement. Be intentional about those days. Are they for collaboration, innovation, team building or deep work? Organisations need to plan. Coming into the office because ‘the boss said so’ is not a meaningful use of a person’s work from the office day.  

Addressing friction. If friction or feelings of resentment arise within teams when some people can work from home while others cannot, potential approaches to manage this issue include:

  • openly addressing with the team and exploring options for managing the issue e.g. possibility of job sharing (i.e. parts of the role that can be done at home).
  • identifying parts of the job that could be done from home and reorganising work so these can be done in a block on one day.
  • openly acknowledging that some people cannot work from home and the manager recognises this can create a sense of injustice.


Overall, hybrid work is a flexible and effective way of working that can offer many benefits to both employees and employers in Australia. By adopting a strategic and well-thought-out approach, companies can create a hybrid work environment that supports their business goals and meets the needs of their employees.


About Northbridge

In 2010, Northbridge came to life with a vision to revolutionise workforce solutions in Australia, inspiring transformative growth in the ever-evolving recruitment industry. Our mission was clear - to be the spark that ignites profound change for all our stakeholders.

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