The post-pandemic world is seeing a drastic departure from traditional work models. One of which is hybrid work - a.k.a the flexibility to choose between working at the office or at home.
According to the Securing the New Hybrid Workplace study, Entrust said most companies are transitioning to a “long-term hybrid workplace approach”(1). Results show that 85% of leaders and 87% of employees report that their company is currently working under a hybrid model or is fully remote and considering a hybrid work model.
There’s a new world of work ahead of us. One of which bestows us great flexibility and autonomy. But of course, there will also be obstacles that employers and employees will need to navigate together. So, let’s dive into how we can embrace this hybrid dynamic so that everyone can thrive both in the office and at home.
The Ultimate Guide to Hybrid Work
The adoption of hybrid work arrangements has encouraged companies to reevaluate their organizational systems. At the same time, employees are learning to adapt to this post-pandemic landscape of work. Here, we’ll bring forth some methods to help people embrace this fresh dynamic on both an individual and organizational level.
1) Redefine productivity
Events in recent years have catalyzed rapid transformation in the way we work. Employees, managers, and even societal expectations have changed. This means what defines productivity has changed too.
Gone are the days where we reduce productivity to the number of hours clocked in or the amount of emails sent. Productivity today should be inclusive of wellbeing, collaboration, and learning. New-age productivity is not just about what we’re doing for work. It’s also about how, when, where and why we’re working. Redefining productivity starts with a plan to help employees adapt to this new meaning. Ask questions like,
How are people doing?
What tools do they need?
Who will be able to work remotely?
Who might have to come in? And how often?
Analyze the answers to these questions and formulate a protocol that will empower people to adopt these new changes.
2) Equip tools for performance
While hybrid work has a lot of the same needs as remote work, an added layer of complexity is present because your workforce is now both at home and on-site. Hence, we need to ensure that our employees have the tools they need to equally contribute from wherever they happen to be.
One example is designing hybrid-ready meeting rooms. Prepare an AV setup and software for your meeting room to ensure those attending online are equally considered as much as those attending in person.
3) Combat digital exhaustion
In a 2021 global survey by Microsoft, 1 in 5 respondents say their employer doesn’t care about their work-life balance (2). 54% feel overworked and 39% feel exhausted. More so, trillions of Microsoft 365’s productivity signals point to the precise digital exhaustion workers are facing.
Clearly, addressing digital exhaustion caused by two years of remote work must be a priority for organizations today. This includes monitoring employees’ workloads, embracing a balance of synchronous and asynchronous collaboration, and creating a culture where breaks are respected.
4) Reestablish social connections
The era of hybrid work also means fewer chances for hallway conversations, small talk over coffee, and spontaneous idea-sharing. This makes it tough to feel connected to our immediate team, much less build meaningful connections across the company.
Therefore, organizations must approach network-building from a proactive stance. This means encouraging managers to prioritize building social capital at work, and cultivate a culture where social support thrives. Companies can begin by ensuring that no matter where employees work, they’re being included in conversations, and that everyone’s diverse needs and work styles are being supported.
The hybrid work model is likely here to stay. Although these ever changing work trends may seem daunting, they actually harness the opportunity for teams to reform traditional workplace norms. This is a chance to not only lead to greater work satisfaction for employees but also spearhead better business outcomes. At the end of the day, regardless of whether we’re working from home or at the office, it’s all about leading teams from the standpoint of cultivating a sustainable and healthy workplace.
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