Hybrid work – a combination of remote work and time spent in the office – is becoming more common, although Elon Musk is not a fan of it. However, many bosses seem to be on the wrong track, favoring reverse gear.
After all, this is not surprising. Indeed, the introduction of a hybrid model is sweeping away a hundred years of experience and upending the way the workweek is organized.
A technology analyst at Gartner recently published a research-based article stating that while insisting on a strict return to the office is a big mistake, the way many companies implement their hybrid work model can also create problems.
Flexibility pays off
The most effective organization combines hybridity and flexibility, allowing both managers and employees to choose where they work.
To date, jobs that offer this flexibility, including elements of “deliberate collaboration and empathy-based management,” work best. In other words, a workplace whose purpose is not only to supervise workers.
The organization of the working week is also important: when it is well planned, employees more often want not only to stay in the company, but also to be efficient.
To reduce employee fatigue, giving them some autonomy also works well. According to the study, this allows them to maintain good performance over time. However, this does not mean that the manager is giving up his job as a supervisor. For this to work, he must ensure that his employee’s autonomy is accompanied by responsibilities.
Think about the method and the right channels of communication
The technological tools used are of paramount importance because it is very important to tailor the medium to the message.
If you’ve scheduled a meeting whose purpose is to share data, wouldn’t it be better to just send an email? Conversely, if you want to congratulate the team on a job well done, you could convert your email into a video conference or even a face-to-face meeting if possible. More generally, if some employees work on projects individually and don’t need to communicate with each other other than to exchange documents from time to time, is it really helpful to force them to come to the office?
New ways of working can make us more productive and engaged. Technology can still help us a lot: some new means of communication can help us create new messages.
While it’s undeniable that VR meetings are still somewhat awkward and can make you feel uncomfortable, they can still bring some benefits.
Of course, meeting with avatars that only slightly resemble your colleagues in an imaginary conference room can seem a little ridiculous. But it also adds a level of engagement that you don’t get when videoconferencing colleagues occupying flat boxes on the screen. It gives a sense of being there (wherever it is), which gives meaning to what a person gets when looking at the screen.
Not all meetings are meant to be held in VR, but we should consider the current state of hybrid and remote working as the current state of the art and keep experimenting and thinking about how we work.