• from the Think Tank

Shaping The Hybrid Workplace?

Updated: Apr 14

While it's tempting to stick our heads in the sand and wait for all this to pass, the reality is that at this point, there is a real sense of impatience growing. Employers and employees are calling for new work practices to be defined so we can get on with it!


There are many views and opinions, from around the world on what the best way of ‘doing’ hybrid is? It's helpful to have this insight, to help guide our thinking. However, there is no one size fits all solution. Some believe that we are as or more productive working from home, while others are feeling the impact of limited interactions.


If you are still feeling stuck, you might consider the approach you or your organisation generally adopts for decision making. Are you acting to type or has the impact of change knocked you out of step?


These three lenses might help you reflect on how you can move forward with more awareness and confidence. Do you see your organisation here?

 

The democratic organisation:

“Let’s ask all of our staff what they want ”. In principle, this is a great idea. We know that people feel valued when consulted.


However, without a clear set of parameters, such as a common definition of what productivity looks like, the outcome is more data with no vision or path forward. The result is at best a few tough conversations, telling your people they can’t have exactly what they want, and at worst... more paralysis.

 

The ostrich organisation: No decisions on return to work, no policy decided. A recent survey (Jan'22) showed that 48% of workers had not had a ‘return to work’ discussion with their employer.


We appreciate that the lack of a decision can feel safe in times of uncertainty. However, in the absence of same, people will fill in the void by a) also disengaging in decision making or b) feeling frustrated and potentially leaving.

 

The ‘laissez-faire’ organisation:

On face value, these organisations look like they are being agile and responsive. In the early days of the pandemic, they showed great trust in their employees to do what needed to be done. Commendable!


However, this strategy long-term has a few holes in it. More than two years on, the need for a retrospective and formulating an informed approach is critical as one moves through an agile workflow. Perhaps now is time to move towards the democratic approach, using learnings gained to set the parameters.


Are you where you want to be?


There are key actions leading to successful remote and blended work strategies that we are seeing come through. In addition to being more aware of the approach you're taking, there are two common factors worth considering;

1. what productivity means to you, your team, and the organisation, and

2. the nature and timing of your communications.


Contact us to explore how we can help your organisation find the best way forward info@distinctions.ie


Author: Peter McDermott

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