As organisations transition from the emergency measures of 2020 to a more permanent hybrid working model, many are designing their new approaches by asking employees how they would like to work moving forward.
While co-creation is a vital element when it comes to creating new working models, organisations that base their decisions solely on requirements gathered in this way risk making big promises which they may have to retract later once they have more data about how hybrid working affects the business.
So, how can organisations avoid this, while still embracing approaches to hybrid working based on employee needs? To start with, organisations need to equip themselves with a detailed understanding of what each employee requires to be productive in their role. This allows them to accommodate individual circumstances without threatening productivity.
Equally important is a robust understanding of the key factors that affect productivity. Foremost amongst these is time and place: how does when and where people work affect their productivity in terms of energy, cooperation, coordination, and focus? How does this differ according to role? By understanding the answers to these questions, organisations can create hybrid working guidelines in which the individual needs of each employee are accommodated in the context of what their role requires. For example, asynchronous hours may be ideal for those whose roles require long periods of focused work – but less so for those who need to collaborate with colleagues in real time.
The most important thing to remember is that we are all still in the experimentation phase when it comes to hybrid working. Guideline-based approaches provide the flexibility most organisations need to discover what works for their people and their business over time – rather than making hasty permanent decisions that may lead to disruptive change.
Read HSM Advisory CEO and founder, Prof. Lynda Gratton’s Forbes article on this topic here.
Interested in learning more about the thinking behind our approach to hybrid work? Then contact Anna to find out how we could help you.