Hybrid working : 4 take-aways
Hybrid working is the future, as almost everyone agrees by now. The idea has been adopted within organizations for some time now and has only gained momentum due to the corona crisis. Given the current situation, homeworking has even become the norm today. It will remain so for some time to come. The big question is: how are you going to organize yourself as a company when the storm has passed? Now that the pros and cons of homeworking are becoming increasingly visible, there are plenty of opportunities to further optimize the balance between the two. In my opinion, four points of attention are crucial.
- Develop a broad framework with room for flexibility
People need clarity and guidance. Certainly now, but also in the future. It is important to pay attention to what your employees want. There is no ‘one size fits all solution’, since in a hybrid work culture not only the location is decisive, but also parameters such as the type of work, the desired degree of interaction and personal preferences. Every employee, every team, every department has different tasks, needs and expectations. That is why there is a need for a broader framework, in which sufficient freedom is created to work partly at the office and partly at home. No rules, but principles
- Co-create with your employees
Give your employees a voice: let them participate in finding a supported solution. Over the past few months a lot of insight has been gathered, not only from you, but also from themselves. How do they see the work-life balance evolving? Do you opt for one work day at home or for a few days that are free to choose per week, month or even trimester? Or maybe homework can also be included in half-days? By asking the right questions and understanding the situation together, you create a policy tailored to your work floor.
- Link to mission & values
Because of the state in which we find ourselves, it can feel that the switch to hybrid work comes from a crisis situation. This does not have to be the case. Many organizations say something about ‘sustainability’ in their values or mission and is therefore a hot topic in this respect. Hybrid working thus becomes part of your mission and values: don’t motivate change as a response to a threat, but offer it as an opportunity that makes employees and management better and happier.
- Sufficiently check how hybrid working fits within your organization
Every organization is different: a different culture, technical infrastructure, type of work, you name it. The question is therefore not how much time your employees now spend at home and in the office, but to what extent your company is ready for the transition. To boost and further materialize virtual work, there are four alternative and above all more fundamental questions.
- To what extent is ‘asynchronous working’ feasible?
In order to avoid clicking from one online meeting to another, it is important that there are sufficient working arrangements in place that ensure that we are not ‘all together’ all the time. Technology in abundance, on the other hand embedded habits since 1830 you don’t change instantanously. This counts for remotely and in the office.
- How solid is the feedback culture in your organization and which (online) channels do you use to optimize it?
Giving feedback and asking questions is not easy, when the common coffee machine and non-verbal clues disappear, it is important to consciously create habits and channels that focus on this.
- Is leadership aimed at giving your employees more autonomy?
There must be a basis of trust before you partially ‘let go’ people. Leadership within your organization should strengthen autonomy.
- Do your ICT infrastructure and office environment facilitate hybrid working?
From cloud solutions to cyber security: the right technology is necessary to improve the effectiveness of a digital workplace. And the bricks, do they stimulate connection in and between teams ?
Now is the moment
The key question: does it make sense to start working now, in the intermediate phase in which we find ourselves? That is certainly the case. By taking time and space to prepare for the moment when we are ‘allowed to come out’ you create perspective. In that respect, this short film by Jitske Kramers is perhaps the pertinent summary.