Hybrid anxiety: Making flexible working sustainable

By Julia Wray | Published: 10-Oct-2022

With more cosmetics companies opting for hybrid working structures for employees, how can businesses keep smashing their climate targets?

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The world’s initial response to Covid-19 – putting households under lockdown, quashing tourism and allowing only essential workers to travel into their spaces of work – resulted in a temporary cut in greenhouse gasses and aerosol pollutants.  

Today, many former office-based employees who’d found themselves working from home (WFH) during the peaks of the pandemic now do a hybrid week, spending three days in the office and two WFH, or vice versa.

Some of the world’s biggest cosmetics companies have embraced this change. L’Oréal, for example, has stuck to the hybrid model it implemented in 2020.

Here, eligible employees are allowed to work 40% of their time (or two days per week) remotely. The principles behind L’Oréal’s hybrid structure – especially the company’s understanding that its offices must provide benefits, tools, opportunities and amenities that cannot be replicated at home – have informed its new workspaces.

Its Los Angeles area office, unveiled this August, provides on-site health and wellness spaces, including an exercise studio, wellness rooms and mothers’ spaces; it is also dog-friendly.

But while hybrid models have encouraged benefits like improved workspaces, not all upshots of this new working world are necessarily positive. For example, the new status quo makes it harder for companies to track progress towards environmental targets.

Nor is it possible to furnish all employees’ homes with solar panels, for example, while pursuing admirable renewable energy goals. So what options are feasible for beauty companies?

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