How to Properly Organize Hybrid Remote Work
Since the pandemic, businesses have quickly embraced the idea of virtual working and begun applying the hybrid remote work. The individuals are recognising the benefits of having more flexibility in their working hours and locations.
Managers must also consider individual human concerns, in addition to corporate ones, when creating work arrangements if they hope to successfully implement hybrid working.
Elements of Hybrid Remote Work
Place and time are the two axes of hybrid remote work.
Place is the axis that’s getting the most attention currently with thousands of workers in Bulgaria making a sudden shift from being place-constrained (working in the office) to being place-unconstrained (working from anywhere).
The transition many people have made from being time-constrained (working synchronously with others) to being time-unconstrained (working asynchronously whenever they choose) has largely gone unnoticed.
Many businesses have focused on flexible working arrangements as we begin to recover from the pandemic since they can greatly increase production and employee satisfaction. To do this, managers must consider the problem from four different angles:
- Tasks and jobs
- Preferences of employees
- Workflows and projects
- Inclusion and fairness
Jobs and Activities
When considering jobs and activities, it is important to understand the critical drivers of productivity which are: energy, focus, coordination, and cooperation. Then considering how these drivers will be affected by changes in working arrangements along the axes of time and place.
In this section, we look at a variety of jobs, their main motivators, and the timing and location requirements that each one involves.
A critical driver of productivity for this role is focus as planners often need to work undisturbed for periods of at least three hours on a particular task. The axis that best enables focus is time, specifically, asynchronous time. If planners are freed from the scheduled demands of others, then place becomes less critical, and this work can be performed from home or at the office.
Here the critical driver of productivity is coordination. Managers must regularly provide feedback with their teams, exchanging best practises, coaching, and mentoring their team members. Once again, time is the most important axis, but in this instance, the time must be synchronous. If synchronisation can be arranged, then location once again loses importance.
Cooperation is the key motivator in this job and place is the crucial axis. Face-to-face interaction with co-workers, associates, and clients, who will come up with ideas in a variety of ways will stimulate innovation.
The best environment for fostering this kind of collaboration is a common space, such as an office or a creative hub where staff members can interact and get to know one another. Cooperative tasks must therefore be carried out simultaneously and in a common area.
To be productive in this position, you need constant energy. Here, time and place can both be important. We’ve learned from the epidemic that staying at home can be energising for many people because they don’t have to worry about making long journeys, they can take breaks during the day to exercise and go on walks, they can eat healthier, and they can spend more time with their families.
The difficulty in creating hybrid work environments is not just in maximising the positive aspects but also in minimising the negative aspects, such as isolation and decreased collaboration.
Preferences of Employees
Our ability to perform at our very best differs greatly depending on people’s preferences. You must consider your employees’ preferences while creating hybrid work environment and make it possible for others to recognise and respect those interests.
Workflows and Projects
You must think about how to successfully complete your project if you want hybrid working to be successful.
One way is to significantly increase the use of technology to coordinate activities as employees move to more-flexible work arrangements. Examples include video and digital tools.
Other businesses are taking advantage of this time to rethink workflows. As was the case decades ago when businesses started automating work processes, new hybrid arrangements should never repeat undesirable workflow patterns that already exist.
Three critical questions that businesses should explore while redesigning workflows are:
- Which team tasks are redundant?
- Are there any jobs that could be automated or given to individuals outside the team?
- Can we rethink a new design for our workplace? It could be conceivable to redesign their current office space in a way that would foster collaboration and creativity, and to increase their investment in tools that allow individuals to work productively and cooperatively from home.
Inclusion and Fairness
Businesses must pay close attention to issues of fairness and inclusiveness when creating new hybrid practises and processes as workplace injustice can harm productivity, raise burnout, diminish collaboration, and lower retention.
When businesses first started experimenting with flexible work arrangements, they frequently gave individual managers the freedom to run the process as needed. As a result, various divisions and teams were given various levels of flexibility and freedom, which unavoidably led to claims of unfairness. Additionally, many employees had positions that were time and location sensitive, making hybrid arrangements either unfeasible or exceedingly undesirable, and they frequently felt mistreated compared to other employees.
To move your company closer to a productive hybrid working model:
- Start by selecting the most important jobs and tasks, then figure out what motivates each one’s performance and productivity and consider the arrangements that would work best for them.
- Involve workers in the process by learning about their needs and wants through interviews and surveys.
- Use your imagination to think broadly while keeping the goal of streamlining and improving your current work arrangements.
- Spread the word so that everyone knows how hybrid arrangements will increase rather than decrease their productivity.
- Provide leaders with training in managing hybrid teams and invest money on coordination technologies that will enable your teams to coordinate their calendars.