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Homage to Digital Nomads: Hybrid Jobs Are NOT Remote Work or WFH Gigs

Has the Great Resignation shaped the way we think about remote work or is something else happening?

Hybrid vs. Remote Work vs. WFH Debacle

There’s been a lot of talk about the so-called “Great Resignation” and how it may have reshaped the way we think about remote work. Of course, this has led to speculation regarding whether (or not) it’s the “beginning of the end” of traditional office culture.


Disclaimer: an AI helped me write this post (and it still required A LOT of editing — nonetheless, thank you, You.com, for creating YouWrite and being my first real AI blogging tool! YAY! Also, I’ll write a different post about the experience and place the link → here ← when published. In the meantime, read my 5-part Innovation Series and learn about different types of artificial intelligence or its role in modern business operations.)


GIF via GIPHY

Of course, the whole topic is still up for debate and continually evolving. However, some people believe (like me, and apparently this AI) that it’s due to companies moving towards more remote and hybrid jobs vs. traditional on-site job creation. Then there’s the ever-growing gig economy, but I’ll save that for another time.

*GASP*

While there may be some truth to this theory, I think it’s also important to point out that hybrid jobs are NOT the same as remote or work-from-home (WFH) jobs.

Why is that important?

I’ve noticed many recruiters/companies/people promoting a tone that implies hybrid jobs are the same as remote and WFH jobs.

Let me (and the AI!) explain why that’s far from the truth.

There are Different Ways to Work

Although “hybrid” jobs may sound (maximal-ly?) more excellent (from a marketing perspective?) than, say, just a “remote” or “WFH” gig, they are different from each other in several key ways.

According to the AI:

  1. You still have to go into an office and work with your team face-to-face with a hybrid job. This contrasts with remote work or WFH jobs, where you can do ALL work from home.
  2. Hybrid jobs are usually shorter in duration than remote or WFH jobs. For example, they may last for just a few months, whereas remote or WFH jobs can last for years.
  3. Hybrid jobs usually pay less than other types of jobs. This is because they involve fewer hours worked and less travel time.
  4. Finally, not everyone can do a hybrid job – you need to be able to commute into an office every day.

Note (from human): for #2 and #3 on the above list, the AI tool doesn’t cite sources, so I need to investigate more…like if some hybrid jobs offer more flexible schedules than remote/WFH.

Don’t Confuse Hybrid with Remote Work or WFH Styles.

The hybrid work component that remote work and WFH don't have -- an in-office requirement
Hybrid Work, GIF via GIPHY

So, as you can see, with hybrid jobs, you still have to go into an office every day (or a set amount of days per week). But, of course, the point is to work with your project team face-to-face, which can be good or bad, depending on your situation or preferred work style. So, on the one hand, you get the benefit of working in an office environment and having all the social interaction that comes with it. But, simultaneously, you may have to deal with annoying personality types (IRL) or spend hours commuting to and from work.

Remote Work vs. WFH

WFH = Work from Home
WFH, GIF via GIPHY

On the other hand, remote jobs allow you to work from anywhere (internet access required). This can be great if you want to travel or live in a different country/city.

WFH jobs are similar but usually require staying at home most of the time. However, there may be exceptions, like being able to work in the lower 48 states but not Alaska and Hawaii.

So, is it just me, or are many employers embracing hybrid roles over remote or WFH positions? (… and NOT clearly defining roles and responsibilities?)

What remote work looks like to bosses who hate remote work and also an accurate depiction of what remote work feels like when you don't have to deal with a micromanaging boss IRL.
Remote Work, GIF via GIPHY

If so, maybe it’s because their leases haven’t expired. Or perhaps they prefer to keep the POV that employees need everything in person?

Or something else?

Corporations vs. Continuity

I (not the AI) want to point something out that companies may want to consider (and loop it back to the Great Resignation):

  • Employees no longer operate nor party like it’s 2019.
  • Unfortunately, we still don’t know a lot about COVID-19 and the long-term effects it will have on people.
    • Is rushing back to the office in an attempt to “return to normal” reality-based? If so, perhaps it’ll be as successful as you-know-who trying to recreate an Eisenhower-esque world (using a reworded version of a famous Reagan slogan).
    • The official toll of COVID (on the U.S. population and the job market) cannot be pinpointed until we figure out if overall tracking was accurate or if gross confirmation bias toward how victims vs. “expiration from underlying conditions” had been categorized and which methodology takes precedence.
    • Also, why are supply chains still screwed up?
      • Where are all those “missing” employees participating in the great resignation? How are they paying their bills?
    • Has COVID-19 led to a mass early retirement exodus of THE largest generation we’ve seen in recent history? Before the pandemic, an average of 10K Baby Boomers were retiring PER DAY. What’s that figure now?
  •  The pandemic is ongoing, and new variants are beginning to appear more often.
    • Will variants help the above items?
    • Is continuity or greed being prioritized?
  • Um, gas prices…
  • Uhhh, global warming?

But I digress.

Workers Can Read Between the Lines

The whole point here is that workers are becoming increasingly more cognizant when it comes to reading between the lines or knowing when to filter out miscommunication of failed corporate branding schemes to attract “the right worker” with buzzwords like…hybrid. Here’s a basic example:

Work Style Search Terms Comparison 2021-2022

The Great Reassessment

GIF via GIPHY

It almost seems like the Great Resignation/Reshuffle is more of a Great Reassessment/Rejection of blatant disregard for the well-being of human workers who value their lives over paychecks that don’t keep up with inflation. But, on the other hand, perhaps they’re simply more privy to different ways of working and now have a new preference. Maybe both?

Or that could just be me.

(OR THE AI?!)

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