By: Catherine Saar & Amy Maranowicz
As we emerge from the pandemic, new ways of working together are evolving, especially the hybrid model which enables more flexible options for how teams work together (in-office and/or online). This new frontier provides the opportunity for leaders to consider how to craft an approach to their hybrid environment that is both fair and productive.
There is much discussion about the possibilities that this situation creates along with possible challenges it may present. Harvard Business Review recently published an article by Lynda Gratton called “How to Do Hybrid Right”. Her article makes some excellent points about what and how to think about designing your hybrid work plan so that it takes into account human-first concerns. Because it is very similar to what we have implemented here at Integrated Work, we thought the following highlights may provide some guidance for how to transition to hybrid well.
Gratton suggests that leaders think about place and time, as follows.
Using this framework, the author suggests evaluating the following four distinct perspectives:
(1) Jobs and Tasks
(2) Employee Preferences
(3) Projects and Workflows
(4) Inclusion and Fairness
A summary of Gratton’s approach follows, “Start by identifying key jobs and tasks, determine what the drivers of productivity and performance are for each, and think about the arrangements that would serve them best. Engage employees in the process, using a combination of surveys, personas, and interviews to understand what they really want and need. This will differ significantly from company to company, so don’t take shortcuts. Think expansively and creatively, with an eye toward eliminating duplication and unproductive elements in your current work arrangements.” This is also the opportunity to explore if any tasks are redundant or could be automated in these new working arrangements. It is also important to re-imagine new purposes for your existing places of work – can an office or conference room be redesigned to support spontaneous collaboration, cooperation, and creativity? Could a room at the office or at home be redesigned to support hybrid collaboration?
Gratton goes on to say, “Communicate broadly at every stage of your journey so that everybody understands how hybrid arrangements will enhance rather than deplete their productivity. Train leaders in the management of hybrid teams and invest in the tools of coordination that will help your teams align their schedules.
Finally, ask yourself whether your new hybrid arrangements, whatever they are, accentuate your company’s values and support its culture. Carefully and thoughtfully take stock: In the changes you’ve made, have you created a foundation for the future that everybody in the company will find engaging, fair, inspiring, and meaningful?”
The team at Integrated Work also suggests that you listen carefully to your team members. This includes hearing from as many voices as possible, even those who may not typically speak up during times of change.
We hope your journey to your hybrid model brings much success and satisfaction to you and your teams. For more thinking about going hybrid, check out these additional resources:
Anxious About Hybrid Work? Ask Yourself These 4 Questions
Figure Out the Right Hybrid Work Strategy for Your Company
What Executives are Saying about the Future of Hybrid Work
Employers Launch Hybrid Work Plans, Identify Early Obstacles