How To Do Hybrid Right

As more and more office workers start returning to work, Prof. Lynda Gratton and the HSM Advisory team have been focusing on what it means to get hybrid working right.

In Lynda’s recent Harvard Business Review article, on the magazine front cover, we looked at the practical issues organisations needed to consider when it comes to hybrid working, such as developing an understanding of time and place, defining jobs, tasks and how work gets done and prioritising fairness.

Three months on, we’re already observing opportunities emerging from these foundations. Here are some of our favourites:

Upskilling – The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that many more people have embraced online learning and become more innovative, creative, and collaborative. Organisations can take advantage of these new learning habits to help employees build resilience against current challenges and guard against future shocks – for example by helping them re-skill so they can fill emerging skills gaps and secure better, or higher-paying roles.

Crafting individual work experiences – One of the things we’ve all learned over the past year is that our capacity to operate at peak productivity and performance varies dramatically according to our personal preferences. Organisations need to understand and accommodate these differences to maintain engagement and productivity in a world where the office is no longer the only option.

Promoting empathy – The pandemic has promoted empathy in several ways. Firstly, empathetic leadership has become something many people look for. Secondly, successive lockdowns brought many leadership teams face to face with the home experiences of their employees and helped workers see a different side to their colleagues. This has paved the way for greater empathy and inclusivity towards those who have home and caring responsibilities, allowing many to feel more at ease in discussing caring responsibilities and non-work commitments – and to find healthier ways to balance them with the needs of their team.

Learning to experiment – Each and every one of us has experienced some element of experimentation over the past 18 months, and we now have the opportunity to deepen our approach to new initiatives. Start small, tweak as you go, and bear in mind that positive results may take time to emerge.

Wherever your organisation is along its journey, successful hybrid working means putting people at the centre of your approach and engaging employees in the design process. Above all, ensuring that your chosen framework accentuates your organisational culture and values will ensure you are fit for the future.

Contact Harriet to find out how we can help you design an approach to hybrid working that is productivity led, whilst also empowering your teams to experiment and find what works for them.