Getting hybrid working right

According to research by consulting firm Gartner, the lack of established norms in a hybrid work setting may increase the likelihood of workers leaving by 12%. 

Gartner identified three areas of norms found in successful hybrid work models, including norms that support visibility, flexibility, and connection. 

Sharing work preferences with team members, facilitating periodic in-person meetings and on-site work with managers, and offering employees three or more days of remote work per week can improve outcomes. 

While hybrid work can afford workers more time to focus on their well-being and balance complex needs like child care, other studies have linked it to negative outcomes such as increased rates of anxiety and depression symptoms and declining employee confidence in leadership. 

One-size-fits-all hybrid work models are more likely to lead to decreased engagement, productivity, and retention than frameworks that allow for greater employee choice and negotiation between managers and employees. As organisations create more formalised hybrid work models, HR leaders can reduce work friction and increase engagement by establishing and communicating new norms more intentionally and explicitly.

Building a great hybrid work model involves several key factors. Here are some considerations:

  1. Communication and Collaboration: Effective communication and collaboration are essential for a successful hybrid work model. Establishing clear expectations, guidelines, and protocols for communication is crucial. Provide employees with tools and technology that facilitate virtual collaboration.
  2. Flexibility: Flexibility is critical for hybrid work models. Create a framework that allows employees to choose when and where they work while still meeting their goals and deadlines. Consider offering flexible scheduling, job sharing, and part-time options.
  3. Connection: Connection is essential for building a strong culture in a hybrid work environment. Encourage team building and social interaction through virtual team building activities, regular virtual meetings, and events.
  4. Technology: Technology plays a vital role in hybrid work models. Invest in the right technology to support remote work, such as cloud-based applications, virtual meeting platforms, and collaboration tools.
  5. Performance Management: Establish clear performance metrics and goals that align with your organization’s objectives. Consider how you will measure performance and ensure that employees have the resources they need to succeed.
  6. Leadership: Leadership plays a critical role in a hybrid work environment. Ensure that managers are trained in managing remote teams, maintaining engagement, and fostering collaboration.
  7. Workplace Design: Design the physical workplace with a hybrid work model in mind. Create spaces that are conducive to remote work and collaboration, such as breakout rooms and collaboration areas.

By considering these factors and implementing them in your organisation’s hybrid work model, you can create a successful and effective work environment that benefits both employees and the company.