Is an efficient and effective hybrid workplace a sustainable option for companies moving forward? Join our discussion on our Discord server via the following link: https://discord.gg/gbJ9Ta78JG
The pandemic has caused economic conditions to shift significantly. This has resulted in industries and leading institutions scrambling to achieve equilibrium within their systems and outside their workforce. Travel restrictions, health regulations, and other protocols, though warranted and essential, have been the uphill battle that business owners and top-level executives have been trying to outlast. Through this was the development and utilization of the hybrid workplace.
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A hybrid workplace is a business model that combines the virtual working space with the physical or traditional office set-up. This is similar to how schools and other academic institutions have adopted mixed learning approaches, where some classes may be done online and others in a classroom setting.
Despite the introduction of the hybrid workplace, the roadmap to success still is not clear. Questions on how a hybrid workplace may affect workplace culture or workplace experience have arisen. There are also concerns as to whether or not this situation would be more stressful to a number of employees based on their living situation. Ultimately, the way to navigate through this is to have policies and leadership strategies in place to reduce friction and eliminate pain points for both employers and employees.
Although it has been observed that employees are more productive when working remotely, it does not necessarily equate to getting the best value out of teams as a whole.
The essence of working together is the coming together of minds and ideas to develop innovative and collaborative experiences, ultimately leading to a more efficient and effective company engine. This leads us to the question:
How do you maintain a working experience that upholds the standards of productivity, innovation, and collaboration?
The answer to this begins with creating digital infrastructures that would support interconnectivity and multiple channels of communication in an effort to eliminate the “distance” between each and every employee.
The next step would be to ensure fairness and flexibility. Adjustments and compromises have to be made on both ends of the working spectrum. Employees have to keep up with their roles and responsibilities but employers also have to understand that circumstances vary from one employee to another.
Finally, there must be top-quality leadership to lead the hybrid workforce. The qualities a leader of a hybrid workforce possesses must include the following:
Awareness - The leader must be able to identify and comprehend the sentiments of his subordinates, wherever there may be. This is particularly challenging since most of the workforce would be executing their responsibilities at home or outside the office. This is why leaders must have a keen sense of their people's thoughts, feelings, and emotions through constant communication and updating.
Agility - Education and technical prowess have taken a bit of a backseat to agility for leaders. Agility refers to the ability to adapt and stay focused in spite of the constant barrage of surprises or changes to the working environment. An agile leader can effectively mold his team to an agile unit, capable of making quick pivots and adjustments in order to satisfy the job requirements.
Authenticity - Authenticity inspires others to have integrity and to be true to the mission and vision of the company they work for. This is a quality that needs further emphasis, especially in this day and age of technological operations. A leader that is authentic is an individual who believes in their craft and their team to do what needs to be done.
Accountability - Failures are an inescapable part of work and life in general. A leader must be able to accept failures and have the confidence to face upper management and find ways to solve the problems at hand. When a leader is accountable, their subordinates follow suit, and if everyone possesses the quality of accountability, work will be less about fear and insecurities and more about ensuring quality and dedication in everything that needs to be done.
Despite utilizing the hybrid workplace set-up extensively throughout the pandemic, we still see problem areas in execution. Companies are still grappling with the hybrid workplace and developing systems that can make it a sustainable approach to producing output as well as output was produced in traditional workplace set-ups.
Social cohesion may be the key to solving the problems of a hybrid set-up. It should serve as an essential aspect to maximize knowledge and efficiency.
In one of our videos, we invited Chris Diming, PhD, to discuss the potential of a hybrid workforce while considering the possibility that hybrid offices could turn employees against each other. Golden nuggets to be taken from the discussion are as follows:
1. Why hybrid offices could have a negative effect on employee morale
2. The true nature and purpose of the workplace or work environment
3. Advantages and disadvantages of virtual workshops
If you want to get a deeper perspective on the pros and cons of a hybrid workforce, check out our video at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ijEzXvY0Js&t=126s
Join our discussion on our Discord server via the following link: https://discord.gg/gbJ9Ta78JG
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