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An empirical analysis of facilitators and barriers to the hybrid work model: a cross-cultural and multi-theoretical approach

Brinda Sampat (NMIMS Global Access School for Continuing Education, NMIMS University, Mumbai, India)
Sahil Raj (School of Management Studies, Punjabi University, Patiala, India)
Abhishek Behl (Management Development Institute Gurgaon, Gurgaon, India)
Sofia Schöbel (University of Osnabrück, Osnabrück, Germany)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 26 September 2022

Issue publication date: 13 December 2022

994

Abstract

Purpose

This paper examines the influence of facilitators and barriers on employees’ preference to work in a hybrid model. The study uses the theoretical lens of stimulus-organism-response (SOR) and dual factor theory (DFT). It examines the influence of health consciousness (stimulus), facilitators (e.g. work flexibility, work–life balance and team building) (organism) and barriers (e.g. pandemic and travel stressor and role overload [organism] on employees’ preference to work in a hybrid model) (response). Further, it tests the moderating influence of organizational culture.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was conducted among employees in India, Sri Lanka and Germany, obtaining 281 usable questionnaires. Structural equation modeling (SEM) using Warp PLS 7.0 was used as the analytical technique to examine the model fit and test hypotheses.

Findings

The findings reveal that health consciousness is essential in enhancing facilitators and motivating employees to prefer a hybrid working model. The study’s findings also prove the positive influence of work flexibility, work–life balance and team building as facilitators. The results suggest that pandemic and travel stressors inhibit employees’ preference for working in a hybrid model.

Research limitations/implications

The study is based on a cross-sectional research design to generalise the findings. Future researchers can utilize longitudinal design to decipher the variation in response over time. The study has developed a model combining SOR with DFT; the authors suggest that future researchers use other theories in combination with SOR, like self-determination theory (SDT), to decipher the influence of intrinsic and extrinsic motivation of employees in the context of the hybrid working model.

Practical implications

This study identifies the need for open communication with the employees to overcome their concerns regarding the hybrid working model. The study also suggests that human resource (HR) managers need to prioritize the task that needs to be accomplished from the office versus working from home. The authors recommend various measures, like water cooler breaks and a buddy system, to motivate employees to work in a hybrid model.

Originality/value

This study is among the first studies focused on the hybrid working model. The current study adds to the limited literature on the facilitators and barriers of working in a hybrid work model.

Keywords

Citation

Sampat, B., Raj, S., Behl, A. and Schöbel, S. (2022), "An empirical analysis of facilitators and barriers to the hybrid work model: a cross-cultural and multi-theoretical approach", Personnel Review, Vol. 51 No. 8, pp. 1990-2020. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-02-2022-0176

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited

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