31Jan

The world of work continues to change (and will continue to do so).

Probably the biggest change in recent times has been the move to Hybrid working.

The landscape has changed, whether you want it to or not!

Data from Investors in People shows 59% of workers now regard hybrid working, flexibility and autonomy over their day as a higher priority than salary when they are considering their employer choices.

The truth is that the work landscape has now conclusively changed for everyone. There is no going back. The onus is now on employers to engage, adapt, adopt and thrive.

So, how’s it going with your business?

When it comes to hybrid working, you’ll probably be in one of the following three categories, unless it’s all gone perfectly well.

  1. You’re resisting the request for hybrid or flexible working, because you believe if people aren’t in the office, they’re not working?
  2. You’ve now moved to hybrid working but you’re still not sure what that means in terms of people’s productivity or effectiveness?
  3. You’ve embraced it and it’s working, but your policies and procedures haven’t followed suit to reflect that it’s now a permanent arrangement – or you just don’t know if you’re now compliant.

However, we’re here to help. Through this blog we’ll:

  • Firstly, we set out what we believe to be best practice in hybrid working to drive better performance and higher productivity. 
  • At the end, we offer a checklist for you to complete. We guarantee, do the things on there and there’ll be guaranteed productivity from a hybrid workforce

Hybrid working – the biggest challenge is productivity

Productivity and time are inextricably linked, so our focus – as it is with our clients – is very much on how hybrid working can optimise time and, thus, productivity. That why we’ve produced this blog with our partners at TimeSmart, with whom we help to release our client’s people potential through better time and self-management.

Effective Hybrid working – the fundamentals are exactly the same 

We believe that the fundamentals are the same for any team working in an office, working fully remotely, or within a hybrid framework. We just think having a more distributed team now exposes some of the gaps in companies’ ways of working. Keeping things as simple as possible, when looking at individual and team performance, we always use Stephen R Covey’s model. 

If You and your employees are able to answer the following questions with a “YES”, then they will know what is expected of them, and you have both a readymade training program, and the clarity to manage their performance too.

  • Do they know WHAT to do, WHEN, and WHY, and the TARGETS and RESULTS expected
  • Do they know HOW to do their job, having the relevant SKILLS
  • Are they MOTIVATED and WANT to do their job

The following questions can be asked of Business owners/ managers to cover these three areas:

  • If I had to come in an do your/ their role for a week, would I know exactly what I have to do for each hour of the day though the week, and would I know what I am expected to achieve/ deliver?
  • And would I be able to see a written training plan, with schedules development time, and access to relevant training resources and company processes?
  • And knowing the job as you do, do you genuinely believe I am going to want to do that job? What is likely to get in my way and/ or slow me down? Who and what is in place to support me?

By you as a manger – and your team – understanding these factors and applying them to everyone’s role – then it’s a sure fire way to boost time management and productivity!

Dealing with the weight on our backs, that are now bigger than before.

In life, we all carry the weight of increasing challenges which we face in our personal lives, which unknowingly slow us down. To name a few:

  • Physical health
  • Mental wellbeing
  • Finances
  • Relationships

We are not prepared for these kinds of difficulties that we face in adulthood, while we are at school, and so how are we expected to development our own knowledge and skill to master these problems? 

We believe if we support our Team Members in dealing with / managing better some of these areas in their personal lives, we’ll have more relaxed, less distracted, and happier people, who ultimately perform at a higher level in the workplace. 

What does this mean for you and your managers?

From our experience, because everyone is busy being busy, key activities such as weekly 1-2-1’s, training time, monthly reviews and team updates become with last minute requests, missed deadlines, and email requests for information. For this reason, finding ways to communicate rather than physically approaching somebody in the office is vital.

Everybody on your team should have a weekly 1-2-1, to review the previous week and to ensure they are set for the current week, as well as monthly and quarterly reviews of performance to agreed targets, and a review of progress towards those agreed targets.

As for day to day chat, make use of tools such as Teams and Twist, utilising the messaging features within apps like Asana, but set the culture where you will reply when it is convenient, but within agreed timeframes, i.e. same day. Employees will work in a more focussed way with limited interruption – you can always call someone in an emergency.

The employee’s working environment away from the office

  • There are three things a business should do to support their team working from home, in terms of their environment: 
  • Home Environment – If a Team Member has the appropriate space, and wants to work from home, then the business should ensure they have all the necessary equipment.
  • The Option to Work from Home – Doist provides their team with the option to have some space rented in a shared office for them if they do not wish to work from home.

Support your Team Members to Learn how to Work Remotely Effectively – It is a big change to go from in-office work to working from home, and you should be ready to support your team in the changes that they will take on.

Going online….

Establishing the right tool, processes, and rules for communicating online will be essential. Make use of new online tools. Try not to limit yourself to Office 365 or Google Drive.

Tools like Slite, Asana, Twist and Trello can be used far more effectively and should be explored before deciding on the right tool for your business.

Repurposing Office Space

If a business is going to retain their current office space, it’s likely they will not require all of the space as it is currently organised, so they might considering adapting some spaces for a better purpose.

Moving to a Hybrid way of working doesn’t mean the end of everyone being together, you can still have a fixed day a week or a month where everyone works from the office on the same day, to ensure everyone gets to see each other in person, and provides the ideal opportunity for in-person updates, training, and social activities

Your checklist to achieving effective hybrid working 

We’ve just skimmed the surface in this blog on the key elements in our experience of effective hybrid working, So, a good starting point for you to understand how effective your hybrid working practices are compared against best practice. 

That’s why we’ve produced the following checklist.  

Policies:

  1. Do you have a remote / hybrid working policy?
  2. Do you have a flexible working policy? 

Support:

  1. How do you support your hybrid/remote working employees? 
  • Weekly company meetings
  • Social events 
  • Furniture allowance for office equipment
  • Social networking budget
  • Slack/ Teams channels or similar
  • Regular pulse surveys
  • Increased personal development/ training allowance
  • Workspace suitability checks
  • Access to wellbeing apps
  • Access to online specialists for health and wellbeing challenges and check ins
  • Updated policies and employment contracts for remote and hybrid workers

Employee performance:

  • Do you have roles and responsibilities clearly defined?
  • Is their daily and weekly activity clearly mapped out?
  • Do they have clear activity targets??
  • Do they have clear results targets?
  • Is there a training plan in place?
  • Are training resources and materials easily accessible?
  • Do new employees have a nominated Trainer / Buddy / Mentor?
  • Do you know how motivated or not your team are; if not, do you know what is impacting this?
  • Do they have access to company policies and procedures and FAQ’s?

Your next steps

Hybrid working is here to stay. It’s those employers who adapt and adopt it who will thrive.

So, if you feel that you’re falling short on any of the points on your check list, then let us know. Just contact us here. We can help.

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