Ida from Spark!

Work-from-home? Office life? Hybrid?

Illustrated person sitting at desk with laptop in their home office
Work from home has become one of those things nobody seems to agree on. What used to be a special circumstance for specific jobs and industries became standard operating procedure almost three years ago. Today, as the threat of a global pandemic wanes, the decision to return to the office has become a bit of a hot button issue for many workplaces. 

Locally in the Treasure Valley, St. Luke’s Health System, Idaho Power, and Micron1 have adopted a range of hybrid schedules including options for two remote days per week, and flexible task-based location choices. Obviously, a surgeon can’t conduct open-heart surgery from the comfort of their bedroom-turned-office, and lineworkers might have trouble servicing electrical repairs from their home workshop, but when the opportunity is available, some positions allow for more flexibility in working locations. 

There are obviously benefits to various styles of work spaces. In-person office work affords companies more robust supervision, and provides employees with more collaborative working environments to connect with potential mentors and colleagues. Working from home provides workers with the most amount of freedom and flexibility to complete their work while attending to the chores of daily life, but requires strong manager-employee trust and independence, losing the social benefits and camaraderie. Hybrid-style plans often meet somewhere in the middle. 

At Spark!, we’ve adopted a hybrid approach with an office available for in-person work, and the freedom to choose to work remotely. We think this method works well for our organization, strengthening the way we work internally and externally with clients to collaborate on big projects. 

But how did we at Spark! decide which approach was best for our organization? Simply put, we used Human-Centered YOUnityTM. Our chief empowerment officer, Shannon McGuire, and chief operating officer, Cristina Froude, identified what was needed as a company and then talked to each team member to understand their unique perspectives and needs. The conversations we had helped our team get to know each other better and also provided insight for what work environment works best for the team and individuals.  We found that for some, the community of an office might be more conducive to their happiness and productivity, while others on the team may thrive independently at home.

The only way to find out what will work best for you and your team is to ask and listen and then make adjustments as needed.

At Spark!, we believe everyone has their own story, their own strengths to be nurtured and challenges to be addressed. And we believe the approach to work should be just as unique as the humans who make up your organizations, tailored individually to meet their needs and hone their strengths. 

Whether that means full-time in-person work, permanently remote, or somewhere in between, the best strategy for your business is the one that works best for your team.
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1 Rusby, E. B. (2022, February 26). Once a luxury, work from home policies here to stay for many employers. Idaho Press. Retrieved August 17, 2022, from
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