5 Lessons From Hybrid Work (So Far)

Global research has shown that 72% of organisations see themselves adopting a hybrid model of working post-pandemic. That’s astonishing when you consider that most of those companies have shape-shifted in the past two years.

At this point, many organisations have begun the journey of building a hybrid workplace that aligns with their company culture and allows our employees to be at their best. While some companies have experienced remarkable success,  others have had more of a bumpy transition.

Nevertheless, hybrid working has already taught us some valuable lessons.

Lesson 1: Employees do not need to be seen to be effective

The presenteeism culture has come to a great awakening as it has shown that hybrid and remote employees can not only survive, but also thrive in different locations. The focus has shifted from desk time to overall output and performance measures. The hybrid work arrangements require a clear competency model and employees who share the company’s values ​​and vision.

Lesson 2: Technology is non-negotiable

Hybrid work is not possible without the right technology in place. In a digital age, it should be a given that the right meeting tools are enabled so that all employees have a consistent experience. Hybrid moves from the mentality that the person at home is ‘unique’ and empowers employers to use technology to effectively blend the physical and virtual workplace.

Lesson 3: Employees must be engaged in the transformation

It should not be assumed that all workers will approach the ‘new way to work’ the same or that everyone will be enthusiastic about new business decisions. Generating employee surveys to understand preferences, concerns and suggestions is essential to designing the right level of flexibility and finding a balance that works for both employers and employees. If only the needs of one group are met, it will be really difficult to achieve success. 

Lesson 4: Equality and inclusion need more focus

We know that flexible forms of work can support inclusion. However, if implemented carelessly, it can exacerbate old problems and create new ones. We can learn here from research into remote work during the pandemic, including the potential for out-of-sight to mean out of mind when it comes to career profession and pay, and the problems of flexibility stigma. Identify and monitor equality, diversity and inclusion results to raise awareness of unconscious bias.  Be aware of the stigma associated with hybrid work and take immediate action on emerging issues.

Lesson 5: The talent pool just got a lot bigger

Organisations who cast their recruitment net beyond what they deem a commutable distance, from their office, or even look abroad, give companies far more access to diverse and better-qualified people. Clearly, this benefits employees, but the real winners are employers who will no longer suffer the same skill shortages based on their own remote location.

Your invitation to a new world of work

Hybrid working is perhaps one compromise, where employees retain flexibility and employers still feel they can operate effectively and meet customer needs.

It is also a common myth that teams need to share the same workspace every day to be successful. The hybrid workplace still enables creativity to flourish in online meetings and for collaboration to be enhanced across different locations. 

The hybrid work models may not have been on the agenda two years ago, but today it is driving new ways of working for all generations now and in the future.