What exactly is the hybrid working model? The webex definition is: "Hybrid work is a flexible work model that supports a blend of in-office, remote, and on-the-go workers. It offers employees the autonomy to choose to work wherever and however they are most productive."
However, when we think of hybrid working as an employee, the first thing that comes to mind is not the freedom of choice, but the common practice in Hungarian companies - that two out of 5 working days we can work from home. In the best case, we choose which of these two days we work, but most of the time it is a top-down decision.
It's a different question of who is effective within this system, but as managersand leaders, our aim is to provide the right environment and the best conditions for our employees in which they can do their work smoothly and not overwork themselves or neglect tasks. Coordination of home office and office work is critical when tasks need to be completed at team level.
According to a recent study, the biggest problem from a management perspective is the deterioration in efficiency and teamwork, and the hybrid model is also negatively impacting corporate culture and communication.
What is the solution that respects the freedom of the employees but does not compromise on the quality of work and the quantity of tasks to be done?
The first thing to look at is the tools - what technological background is available to do the work? What softwares are employees using and for what purposes? Which of these are specifically designed to enable teamwork?
Look at what's available and, if necessary, choose a different software that offers the best user experience and ensures smooth communication. The aim is to make work just as smooth, whether in the office or out of the office.
Employees should be familiar with these applications and softwares and be able to use them properly. If necessary, have a short training session to update everyone's knowledge from time to time or do the same when new, relevant functions become available.
In addition to clarifying technical knowledge, you can reduce tension by clearly communicating expectations - for example:
- Expectations for online meetings (whether a camera should be switched on, how to indicate an intention to contribute, etc.)
- Questions about breaks - when the employee should be available, how long they should respond to a message
- How to answer questions, how to escalate issues (through which channel and from whom to ask and expect help from)
No two organisations are the same, it's not about how to overcome the challenges of hybrid working, but how to turn them to your advantage and create a working environment that both retains employees and builds your employer brand.
Joe Galvin, INC.