A strong vision of hybrid work will make you stand out in the labor market. It's not about making minor changes. Rather, it's about daring to enter into a dialogue with your employees and customers about a new way of working. Formulate a new, clear long-term vision that anchors your organization-specific vision of the future as well as the benefits won from mandatory working from home due to Covid-19. Sounds like a tough, unclear task? We're happy to explain it for you.
"Dare to enter into a dialogue with your employees and customers about a new way of working."
Hybrid work is generally understood to mean location-independent work with a significant digital component. Some organizations also look at this more broadly and add an element of flextime. This type of work provides different benefits as long as the work is well organized.
For example, employees generally experience more autonomy and a better life balance, which gives them a boost, and ultimately, better job satisfaction. Work is often more efficient and result-oriented. Moreover, an organization may eventually be able to reduce its office space and associated costs. Well-thought-out positioning also ensures retention of your employees and attracts new talent. This is particularly important in the current war for talent. Finally, reducing travel also reduces the pressure on traffic, which has a direct impact on the climate. This is an important benefit for organizations actively committed to corporate social responsibility.
Hybrid work goes beyond being a tool for online collaboration. It is a shift in thinking and culture. This is often still looked at very conservatively. Organizations are willing to increase an employee’s number of working days at home, but that’s usually where it stops. Or they use hybrid work as a cover for a cost-saving story or as an empty recruiting slogan.
It is not surprising that many organizations do not yet dare to fully commit all the way. A focus on results – rather than on hours as in the old ‘normal’ work method – requires a lot of trust and a different kind of leadership. Leading hybrid teams is about inspiring, providing autonomy, building bridges, active listening, and assigning responsibility.
"The labor market is moving toward a setting that rewards employees for goals achieved rather than time worked."
- The Future of Work & People 2021 report, SDWorx
There is no hybrid work model that you can apply one-to-one in every organization. So, you’re confronted with a strategic thought experiment to develop a customized model. In any case, it is an exciting time to be an HR professional. What works best is a balanced mix of employee expectations, customer expectations, HR vision, and organizational identity. Another essential component is technology. The right digital reflex will further empower the employee in this scenario.
Every organization is unique. Moreover, every organization consists of different teams that, in turn, consists of individuals with unique needs and desires. You can take a clear stand as an organization while also building in enough flexibility. For example, with location-independent work, you could stipulate that each time an employee travels to the office should have added value. To this end, you can provide guidelines to help employees make a well-considered choice. Such guidelines create enough freedom to allow each team or employee to assess whether the travel involved adds value for themselves and/or the organization. In any case, posing the question within a team creates a dynamic conversation resulting in agreements that are welcomed.
In an ideal scenario, everything is voluntary, nothing is imposed. After all, you can’t demand that everyone does everything exactly the same way. For example, some people find it difficult to draw the line between home and work when they always work from home. There is no model that you can blindly adopt, so we like to inspire you to have your own vision.
A survey of our employees showed that 86% did not want to return to the pre-coronavirus situation where you could only work from home up to a maximum of two days a week. After all, they discovered things could be done differently after being forced to work full-time at home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our HR department went to work with this insight and formulated a new hybrid work vision.
Our vision on our Way of Working, or WOW, has six components. These define what hybrid work means to our company. They invite dialogue. Our ultimate goal is to create an enjoyable workplace for our people. So that they, in turn, can support our customers in achieving a Positive Digital Flow.
Our six principles:
Establishing a well-thought-out hybrid work vision that helps people work together successfully is a process with several phases and steps. As a business partner, we are here for you, no matter where you are in this strategic thinking exercise.
Be sure to review our checklist for a well-thought-out vision, discover our brand-new talk show now where HR experts shed light on this topic, and you can soon read here which digital tools and technological building blocks are indispensable for making hybrid work succeed in reality.