The future of work – why hybrid is your next step

Hannah Stampke
September 10, 2021

“The future looks chaotic, and hybrid work is here to stay.”

Ahkil Palta

 

Most workforces will continue to work remotely, even with 80% vaccination, even post-pandemic. Why is this? People have realised that efficiency and freedom can co-exist. The ‘one size fits all’ approach isn’t going to cut it anymore. Let’s explore and break down the growing case for hybrid work in today's businesses.

 

Man in a home office waves at co-workers on a video call.

The Benefits of Hybrid Work

Hybrid work allows employees to be people. Flexibility is the new nine-to-five. The physical office is becoming more of a collaborative, social hub in the rise of alternative workspaces. Businesses are turning to hybrid work in the vacancy of stability to ensure that every person in the company, from team to c-suite, is supported and accessible.

Digital platforms allow workers to sit at the same desk, share content and ideas, and solve problems in both synchronous and asynchronous workflows. With these functions being engrained into our normality over the past year and a half, it would be difficult, if not absurd, to re-introduce workers into the archaic, office-based, nine-to-five workflow.

 

Having a finger on society’s pulse, EY released their 2021 Work Reimagined Survey in which they received over 16,000 responses. This survey discovered that more than half of employees are already thinking about leaving their organisation if flexible work isn’t well managed.

EY Findings:

  • 9 in 10 want flexibility from work
  • Millennials are twice as likely to quit as baby boomers
  • 50% think workplace culture has improved

With nine out of ten employees seeking flexibility from their workplace, businesses will need to focus on creating a positive, hybrid environment for their teams if they wish to maintain low turnover rates and heightened team culture.

Already, we are seeing more offices turning into open, collaborative spaces to combat the new understanding of work ethic. Nowadays, employees are using office spaces to attend meetings and collaborate with their teams, not to partake in the monitored, archaic work environment.

Many managers are responding to this hybrid shift in a positive and bold manner. Teams are seeing flexibility in work hours and heightened support from superiors. Management and c-suites are realising that workspaces aren’t stagnant anymore, they have become a spectrum of locations, platforms and timelines.

 

Hybrid Work: The Death of Micro-Management

COVID is the meteorite which decimated micro-management. Now, with our new-found ability to work remotely, managers can’t look over shoulders and directly supervise.

This is fantastic! Micro-management often leads to low employee morale and dismal job satisfaction as it is usually perceived as alack of freedom within the office. Removing this toxic trait boosts employee wellbeing, which is dire to productivity and culture.

But we need to know what is going on within our teams, right? Managers need to see what their employees are doing and if it aligns with the overall goals, but it doesn’t have to be controlling and toxic.

To counteract the lack of direction and understanding, managers and their teams are finding better ways to measure productivity in the virtual space.

 

The Fear of Hybrid Work Meetings

Daily meetings are becoming a regularity, with hybrid teams connecting via platforms to discuss the days tasks and goals. This is extremely efficient until failure lurks within the workplace. Meetings can become severely inefficient when your employees portray a fear of honesty.

Fear of honesty is when employees avoid telling others in their workplace about needing support or current failures. Workers don’t want to share negative outcomes, so they hide them from others as they feel that pushing forward on their own is the better alternative to sharing their issues.

Fear of honesty is common, and it certainly doesn’t make employees dodgy or untrustworthy. They are most likely scared of failure due to negative repercussion. Managers need to be aware of this fear and what behaviour they are displaying to their team. A team is always a WE. We secured the new deal. We did amazingly. We failed to reach our KPIs. The status of your team should never change, even in the light of negativity.

If employees understand that failure is human and that they won’t be reprimanded, the team will benefit. Managers will be able to gauge how their projects and employees are doing, and if the workload is being evenly and fairly distributed amongst the team.

 

How To Embrace Hybrid Work

Embracing hybrid work is a lot easier than many think. Here is a checklist to make sure hybrid work is right for your business.

My Business –

  • Is a technophobic company
  • Depends on a lack of freedom
  • Opposes employee flexibility
  • Relies on a distorted team culture
  • Prefers a high staff turnover
  • Believes there is no ‘we’ in ‘team’, only ‘me'

If you answered yes to any of these, hybrid work isn’t for you. Honestly if you answered yes to any of these you should be concerned for your own psychological safety.

If you couldn’t tick anything on the list, congratulations! Your business is primed for shifting into a hybrid workspace. Get ready for streamlined team productivity, with the added benefits of flexibility, asynchronous work and employee wellbeing.

 

For a deep dive into hybrid work and the new ways of working, watch The New Ways of Working webinar featuring two of the worlds lead thinkers in management.