Pioneering the New Norms of Hybrid and Remote Work

4 min read

In the modern professional arena, a profound shift is taking place. The traditional 9-to-5, five days a week in-office work model is being steadily replaced by hybrid and remote work arrangements. This transition, accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, is not a transient change but a substantial evolution in our work culture. It’s a move that’s reshaping the organizational landscape, bringing with it a myriad of benefits and challenges. I delved into the intricacies of this transition through insightful dialogues with three industry leaders: Nino Cornish, Director of Human Resources at eCore, Evelyn Lee, Head of Workplace Strategy and Innovation at Slack, and Bryan Porcher, Head of Workplace and Real Estate at Next Insurance.

Reaping the Rewards of Hybrid and Remote Work

One of the most salient points that emerged from the discussions is the consensus on the myriad benefits of flexible work models. Nino Cornish elucidated on how hybrid and remote work models foster enhanced work-life balance, focused concentration, and significant savings in commute time and costs. These advantages ripple through the organization, creating a conducive environment for attracting and retaining talent, thereby reducing turnover and driving profitability.

Evelyn Lee broadened the narrative by highlighting the potential of hybrid models in fortifying diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives. By transcending the geographical constraints of a traditional office, companies unlock doors to a broader, more diverse talent pool. This inclusivity extends to historically underrepresented groups and working parents, fostering a more inclusive and equitable workplace.

Bryan Porcher underscored the essence of “Community, Communication, and Collaboration” that a well-structured hybrid model can nurture within an organization. Bringing people together regularly not only builds a strong community but also facilitates seamless communication and sparks the kind of innovation that often stems from in-person interactions.

Addressing Challenges in Hybrid and Remote Work Models

The transition to hybrid and remote work models is not without its set of challenges. All three leaders acknowledge the hurdles that organizations need to navigate to make this transition successful. Evelyn Lee stressed the growing need to better support middle managers as they venture into the relatively uncharted territory of leading distributed teams. She also highlighted the necessity for transparency in the workplace, a sentiment that resonated with the insights shared by Nino Cornish.

On the other hand, Bryan Porcher shed light on the importance of customizing hybrid policies to fit the unique demands of different roles within an industry. He shared how Next Insurance has crafted its hybrid policy with a keen eye on the diversity of work roles, creating a flexible framework that caters to the varying needs of different departments.

A standout insight from the dialogue with Bryan Porcher was the significance of leading by example to foster a successful hybrid work culture. He shared how the leaders at Next Insurance, including the executives, model the collaborative in-office behavior they wish to promote, thereby aligning actions with expectations. This leadership lens sets a tone of authenticity and commitment, creating a ripple effect that encourages the entire organization to align with the hybrid work plans.

Technology, Transparency, Adaptation

The digital realm forms the backbone of successful hybrid and remote work models. Evelyn Lee and Nino Cornish emphasized the judicious adoption of digital tools to foster collaboration among distributed teams. Evelyn pointed out a stark statistic: only 23% of companies are currently channeling investments into productivity-enhancing technology. The lack of investment in the right digital tools could stymie the potential benefits of hybrid work models, making this a crucial area of focus for organizations aiming to thrive in the new normal.

The narrative from Bryan Porcher shed light on the importance of an evolutionary approach to hybrid work models. He shared that while Next Insurance currently mandates two office days, there’s anticipation of a gradual increase based on evolving business needs. This evolutionary approach, characterized by careful iteration and responsiveness to changing circumstances, emerges as a pragmatic strategy for navigating the complex landscape of hybrid work.

A notable point from Bryan was the role of recognition in boosting engagement and reinforcing the value of hybrid work initiatives. Celebrating employee successes, whether through peer recognition programs or other hybrid initiatives, helps cement the culture of hybrid work, making it a valued aspect of the organizational ethos.

The Cognitive Undercurrent: How Biases Shape Our Work Models

As we traverse the terrain of hybrid and remote work, it’s imperative to acknowledge the cognitive biases that subtly influence organizational decisions and individual preferences. Two such biases – the status quo bias and anchoring bias, play significant roles in how companies and employees navigate the shift to new work models.

The status quo bias, a preference for maintaining current states or adhering to previous decisions, can impede the transition to hybrid work models. Leaders and employees alike may cling to traditional work arrangements, viewing them as a safer or more reliable option, even in the face of compelling evidence showcasing the benefits of hybrid or remote work.

Conversely, the anchoring bias, which occurs when individuals overly rely on the first piece of information they encounter when making decisions, can also sway organizational strategies. For instance, if a company’s initial experiences with remote work during the pandemic were negative, this could anchor their perception and lead to a reluctance in adopting hybrid work models, despite the potential long-term benefits.


The rich insights shared by Nino Cornish, Evelyn Lee, and Bryan Porcher paint a promising yet pragmatic picture of the hybrid and remote work landscape. As the tectonic plates of traditional work models shift, these insights offer a roadmap for organizations keen on fostering a flexible, inclusive, and collaborative work culture in the post-pandemic era. Through a blend of thoughtful leadership, judicious adoption of digital tools, an evolutionary approach to policy-making, and a strong emphasis on community, communication, and collaboration, organizations can navigate the complex waters of hybrid and remote work, steering towards a future that’s not only adaptive to the new normal but also poised for success and growth. Indeed, these are the kinds of points I highlight when I advise leaders about adapting their organizations to hybrid work models.

Key Take-Away

Embrace hybrid work for diverse talent, innovation, and work-life balance, but address challenges with technology, transparency, and adaptive policies. Leadership example and recognition reinforce its value, while acknowledging and mitigating… Share on X

Image credit: Tima Miroshnichenko

Dr. Gleb Tsipursky was lauded as “Office Whisperer” and “Hybrid Expert” by The New York Times for helping leaders use hybrid work to improve retention and productivity while cutting costs. He serves as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts. Dr. Gleb wrote the first book on returning to the office and leading hybrid teams after the pandemic, his best-seller Returning to the Office and Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage (Intentional Insights, 2021). He authored seven books in total, and is best know for his global bestseller, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019). His cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 650 articles and 550 interviews in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, USA Today, CBS News, Fox News, Time, Business Insider, Fortune, and elsewhere. His writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and other languages. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training for Fortune 500 companies from Aflac to Xerox. It also comes from over 15 years in academia as a behavioral scientist, with 8 years as a lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill and 7 years as a professor at Ohio State. A proud Ukrainian American, Dr. Gleb lives in Columbus, Ohio. In his free time, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid his personal life turning into a disaster. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on LinkedIn @dr-gleb-tsipursky, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook @DrGlebTsipursky, Medium @dr_gleb_tsipursky, YouTube, and RSS, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace by signing up for the free Wise Decision Maker Course at