Sub-Plenary 1-1

How to Deal with Hybrid Work:
Pros and Cons of Going Hybrid


Thursday, July 4, 2024, 16:00–17:30 CEST

U6 Building – “AGORÀ” | Room: U6-P0-07 | Piazza dell’Ateneo Nuovo, 1 | 20126 Milano

Main Organizer & Chair:
Gilda Antonelli, D’Annunzio University, Italy
Roberta Cuel, University of Trento, Italy
Barbara Imperatori, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, Italy
Aurelio Ravarini, LIUC Università Cattaneo, Italy
Teresina Torre, University of Genova, Italy
Raluca Bunduchi, University of Edinburgh Business School, United Kingdom
Tina Blegind Jensen, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark
Aurelio Ravarini, LIUC Università Cattaneo, Italy
Mari-Klara Stein, Tallinn University of Technology (TalTech), Estonia
Aizhan Tursunbayeva, University of Naples “Parthenope”, Italy

Hybrid work (HW) has become an increasingly pervasive organizational solution involving workers and organizations. The effects of hybrid work on time, space, and people are still emerging. What we have already witnessed are the first-order effects: those generally expected and intended outcomes we can plan for. For example, we now know that introducing hybrid work in a company can led to a temporary increase or decrease in productivity that changes over time and can led to overwork and loneliness. We know how to anticipate these effects and do something to mitigate the adverse effects may emerge.

Some second-order effects (a result or side effect of first-order effects, which are challenging to foresee) have also become apparent. For example, along with the widespread work-from-home practices during the pandemic, it first became the gold standard to turn on the camera in online meetings. However, as Zoom fatigue appeared, it became clear that optimal hybrid work conditions are not the same as office, tele- or remote work conditions.
Third-order effects (resulting from how we manage second-order effects) are where it gets interesting, and we can only currently speculate about these effects. For example, organizations began experimenting with different solutions to manage the unexpected second-order effects of hybrid work. A new approach to hybrid work has now begun to emerge from these experiments. Hybrid work is becoming a more radical rethinking of the nature of work to support work processes that happen simultaneously online and on-site (e.g., a meeting where part of the work is done in collaboration software and part in a room with a whiteboard) and teams that are both online and on-site (part of the team participates online and some are on-site). As a result, deep-seated work-related values also start to change, where participation (including asynchronous participation) and its support become more important than presence and visibility.
Then, on the worker's side, it is growing the search for a hybrid job as a response to the need for more balanced living conditions – in which work is not in contradiction with private life, affections, and interests.
As for employees, there are two aspects involved:

  • The first concerns technical-digital and behavioural skills. The main problems related to the digital divide mainly affect workers with limited cultural and economic possibilities and older workers, who are more at risk of social exclusion due to less digital knowledge. In general, this constitutes an obstacle to an approach to work in which digital tools can be used as default.

  • The second area concerns the individual characteristics of the worker and its relational context. Self-motivation, autonomy, problem-solving, and time management skills, ability to work towards objectives and to communicate become essential competencies for the hybrid worker, who is no longer evaluated on working time but on results.

However, the different personal situations in which each worker finds himself lead to significantly different working conditions. For those who live alone, presence-work constitutes a relationship opportunity to connect and socialize. For workers with multiple roles, the balance between them must be negotiated with the organization as a customized practice.
On the organization’s side, the ability to respond to the workers’ needs within the framework of a strengthened capacity for competitive presence represents a discriminating element of attractiveness. Effective use of the hybrid work requires a thoughtful organizational analysis and, often, a redesign of the organizational processes, which considers not only the tasks to be performed and the characteristics of the workers dedicated to them, but above all, which defines adequate HR management strategies consistent with the new organizational work mode.
The feasible solutions depend on the nature of the organization (type of Industry, public or private nature; size, and so on) but also on the organizational culture, the preferences and “maturity” of the workers, on the managerial styles, nevertheless of the social context environment in which the organization itself runs.
Overall, despite hybrid work is leading to the emergence of new forms of job characteristics, in some companies has been a “business-as-usual” operating context also before the Covid-19 pandemic, which has caused a rapid shift towards forced remote work for millions of employees. However, we still know little about the job characteristics associated with hybrid work, including their essential dimensions as job autonomy, job demands, employee monitoring, workload, and social and relational aspects, as well as the interplay between job characteristics with (perceived) job quality of such work arrangements including work intensity, working time quality, social environment, employee skills and development, earnings, or job prospects.
The panelists will be invited to reflect on the time, space and people of HW discussing in a round table on the following topics:

  1. Possible negative effects of HW and how to manage them
  2. The hybrid workers’ new competences
  3. Different approaches to changes in work practices/new ways of workings in an entrepreneurial firm
  4. Digital transformation on organi zational practice
  5. The hybrid workers
  6. New HR management strategies
  7. Remote work design and quality
  8. New organizational cultural and identity strategies


Relevance and insights that the sub-plenary wishes to convey

The plenary session aims to stimulate discussion on the time, space, and people aspects of hybrid work and to convey that:

  • Hybrid work, which involves both in-office and remote work, is becoming a more prevalent organizational solution and can have both intended and unintended effects on time, space, and people.

  • Hybrid work requires workers to have technical-digital and behavioral skills and personal characteristics such as self-motivation and problem-solving skills.

  • Effective implementation of hybrid work may require organizations to redesign their work processes and HR management strategies and consider factors such as organizational culture and the preferences and maturity of workers.

These issues are highly pertinent to the main theme of the EGOS Colloquium 2024, as organizations face crucial decisions related to time, space, and people in the context of hybrid work, and seek relevant guidance from organizational scholars.

Gilda Antonelli is a Professor of Organizational Design and Human Resources Management at D’Annunzio University, Italy. She has a PhD in Organization, Technology and Human Resources Development and has been visiting professor and research scholar for several times at The Wharton Business School, University of Pennsylvania, USA. Her research lies at the intersection of HRM and innovation, and her current research focuses on studying organizational change driven by technology. In 2023, Gilda co-organized and was a panelist of the sub-plenary at EGOS Colloquium “Good Life Means Also Good Working Life. What Can Organizations Do?”
Tina Blegind Jensen is a Professor in the Department of Digitalization at Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. Her research interests include organizational and managerial issues of information systems with a particular focus on digital transformation of work. She has published in leading journals and frequently presents her work at major conferences on topics such as digital transformation, people analytics, sensemaking practices, and institutional structures. Tina is as an editorial board member of leading IS journals and serves in various organizing capacities for major international conferences on management information systems.
Raluca Bunduchi is Professor of Innovation at the University of Edinburgh Business School, United Kingdom. Her research lies at the intersection of innovation management, information systems and organi zational research. Her current work explores how organi zational actors make sense of and use new forms of digital technologies, how digital transformation projects progress in socially complex organizations, and legitimation strategies for innovation. Raluca’s work cuts across different management disciplines and has been published in a range of journals including The Journal of Product Innovation Management, British Journal of Management, Information Systems Journa,l and International Journal of Operations and Production Management.
Barbara Imperatori is Professor of Organization Design and Organizational Behavior, Department of Economic Sciences and Business Management, Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, Italy. Her research interests are collective creativity; SHRM; sustainable employment relationships; organizational well-being, I&D and social enterprises. Her contributions have been published in international and national journals and books. Barbara has co-convened sub-themes at five previous EGOS Colloquia. In 2024, she is a member of the 40th EGOS Colloquium Scientific Committee.
Aurelio Ravarini is Associate Professor of Organization Studies and Human Resource Management at the Università C. Cattaneo – LIUC, Italy, where he was head of the CETIC Research Centre for ten years. His research, expertise is in Digital Transformation and Management of Information Systems. He has been visiting professor and research scholar at several universities in Europe and USA. Aurelio holds a Master’s degree in Management Engineering from Politecnico di Milano, Italy, and a PhD at the School of Computer and Security at ECU, Australia. He has published in international journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. He served for ten years as Associate Editor for EJIS and has been on the editorial committee of several international conferences.
Mari-Klara Stein is a Professor at the Department of Business Administration, TalTech, Estonia, and an Associate Professor at the Department of Digitalization, Copenhagen Business School, Denmark. She holds a doctoral degree from Bentley University (USA). Her research is focused on the digital transformation of work. Mari-Klara has published her work in top management and IS journals (e.g., MIS Quarterly and Journal of Management Studies). She is the recipient of the European Research Paper of the Year award from CIONET and the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Early Career Award. Currently, she serves as AE at MIS Quarterly and SE at Information & Organization.
Aizhan Tursunbayeva is an Assistant Professor at the University of Naples “Parthenope”, Italy. Her previous professional roles include Assistant Professor at the University of Twente (The Netherlands), Management Consultant at KPMG Advisory (Italy), and Manager at HSBC Bank (Canada, UK, Poland, Kazakhstan). Aizhan teaches Organizational Design, Human Resource Management (HRM), and People Analytics. Her research lies at the intersection of HRM, technology, and innovation. In 2022 and 2023, she co-convened sub-themes at EGOS Colloquia. In 2023, she co-chaired a sub-theme and co-organized a symposium at EURAM Conference.