Making hybrid happier: strategies for the new world of work
When it comes to hybrid working there is no one-size-fits all approach, so how can companies ensure that they’re getting it right? A new report from technology firm Spacewell provides a guide
Hybrid working is complicated. Employers must find a balance between offering employees flexibility and ensuring that face-to-face working is productive and organised. With a significant rise in employee kick-back against return-to-office mandates, many companies are feeling the pressure to be getting hybrid right, but what does happy hybrid work even look like?
A report from software and technology company Spacewell and smart building analysts Memoori, titled ‘Navigating Hybrid Work: A toolkit for building successful strategies’ sets out to provide clarity, outlining the pros and cons of different hybrid working strategies and providing a guide through the maze.
The report highlights the importance of getting hybrid right, citing Gartner’s forecast that by the end of 2023, around four in ten global knowledge workers will work in some kind of hybrid fashion. Hybrid isn’t going away, so we need better informed decision-making and a clearer path towards a happy medium.
From Spacewell’s perspective, two main models for hybrid implementation have emerged. First, there are the data-drivers collecting empirical evidence and stats to back up their decision-making and supports a clear hybrid transition. Then we have the wait-and-see group, an approach that means that companies can be flexible and reactive to new circumstances but can also leave firms hanging around not making any decisions.
What kind of approach a company takes needs to reflect their overarching objectives. What does the organisation want to achieve and what decisions will support these goals? These goals also need to be shared across all stakeholders – from the HR and facilities teams all the way up to senior management. Only then can companies establish a clear and consistent set of workplace guidelines that strongly reflect the values of the company.
Finding your metrics
Taking the time to unify decision-making across the board and identify priorities can also help establish key metrics for success and help companies monitor their progression towards a positive version of hybrid working. Alongside regular check-ins with employees, this can help companies correct course where pain-points in the current system have been identified.
However, this can take time as new expertise is needed to continuously monitor and evaluate the progress of new strategies and policies. Giving teams the time to develop this expertise internally will save money in the long run and lead to the establishment of more personalised and responsive policies as opposed to the ‘off-the-shelf’ offerings that external experts can bring.
However, establishing a policy based on values can only be effective if the process and thinking behind new decision-making is communicated effectively. Having strong change management practices is crucial for the development of a hybrid working strategy that employees support and are willing to follow.
Employees need to feel part of the process and feel their voices are being heard within the company, whether you use an app or a feedback system to include them or have open discussions where employees are encouraged to give opinions in an inclusive environment.
Find out more about how to navigate the rocky world of hybrid work and better understand the strategies available to you in the full Spacewell and Memoori report here.