In recent years, the rapid onset of hybrid working has created a vastly different worker environment in the corporate world. No longer required to attend the office for five days per week, employees are presented with the opportunity to flexibly work between home and the office.
While it may seem that hybrid working would have negative effects on the workers that adopt it, it appears that the opposite is true. Perhaps, new work strategies are a prescription for improved worker well-being.
With employees feeling refreshed and less stressed, they find the opportunity to pursue further study opportunities such as an online masters in clinical mental health counseling. Let’s discover the new paradigm of hybrid working – the health benefits that have been discovered and quantified through studying this new method – as well as the potential new career paths that you might discover.
A New Paradigm – The Onset of Hybrid Working
Hybrid working arrangements are rapidly becoming the preferred form of employment, with recent research completed by McKinsey and Company identifying that nearly nine out of ten organizations are expected to offer hybrid working arrangements after the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s interesting is that while it feels like hybrid working is a relatively recent invention, it’s been around almost as long as the internet.
In the 1990s, US telecommunications provider AT&T made headlines for pioneering an ‘alternative workplace’ – allowing their nearly 100,000-strong workforce to telecommute. Over the years, more and more businesses decided to try remote and hybrid working arrangements, and as the pandemic forced many employers to send their staff home, remote work became the dominant working arrangement.
As we pass the pandemic, many employers are looking forward to having their employees return to the office. In part, this presents a complex problem for many employers – with happy staff that is productive remotely, why would anyone want to return to the office on a full-time basis?
The Healthy Habits of Hybrid Roles
As a result, the hybrid workplace has emerged as the preferred position for many employers. Employers still get to see their staff in person from time to time, while employees can enjoy the benefits of reduced travel costs, and being able to spend more time with their loved ones.
Hybrid work isn’t just about being able to work from the comfort of the couch – it’s all about having a workplace that can cater to the needs of individual employees, without being too onerous on location restrictions. Recent research has supported the idea that hybrid working can have benefits to employees that are far beyond the travel benefits.
Recent research conducted by the International Workplace Group found that there was a wide range of benefits attributed to a remote working model. These included:
- On average, workers were getting an extra 90 minutes per week of exercise, compared to when they were working full-time in an office environment.
- Workers experienced improved sleep, with an extra 71 hours of sleep per year gained, through lower travel requirements.
- Hybrid workers experienced an increase in productivity, with nearly 80% self-identifying that they were more productive due to lower workplace stress and increased free time.
Ultimately, that’s good news for both employers and employees alike, highlighting that a physical office isn’t always necessary for getting the most out of your team members.
Should I Consider a Career in Mental Health?
With the increased amount of free time as a result of hybrid working arrangements, many employees find that they have improved accessibility to study opportunities – particularly for those that are remote or online.
If you’ve got the free time, and are looking to consider a new career path, you may wish to consider a career in mental health. While hybrid work has come some way in addressing the issues that employees face in the workplace, ultimately, the personal issues that one may have are often far more wide-ranging implications.
Potential Career Pathways in Mental Health
There’s a wide range of career pathways in mental health – depending on your interests and qualifications, there can be a variety of areas where your skills as a mental health practitioner would be incredibly useful. Consider the following career pathways:
- Mental Health Counsellors are equipped with the skills necessary to assist and empower patients that are going through traumatic events such as grief, or loss.
- Financial Counsellors are well-versed in the types of financial support and assistance that are available to you through distressing periods, such as bankruptcy and loan stress.
- School Counsellors are embedded in the school environment, working with students that are often struggling to come to terms with the issues that they may be facing at school, such as bullying, peer pressure, or study stress.
A career in mental health can be rewarding – by allowing you to help individuals that are experiencing mental health distress, in a format that can turn their life for the better. There’s a wide range of career paths available, so if you’re looking to make the next step, be sure to reach out to a career advisor and start discussing the learning options that may be available to you.