Why hybrid work models fail: neuroscientist
To succeed in hybrid work requires organizations to establish clear expectations and guidelines for their employees. And unlike Disney and Twitter, it’s very important that they don’t change their minds randomly when the leadership changes.
However, a recent survey conducted by Mercer found that only a third of organizations have formal rules in place for managing flexible work. Mercer assessed 749 organizations and found that 48% rely on informal and ambiguous guidelines to manage flexible work, 17% are completely hands-off, and only 34% rely on clear and transparent formal rules. This lack of clear communication and expectations has a serious impact on both retention and recruitment efforts.
And how effectively do companies communicate about the policies they do have? Fishbowl recently conducted a survey, with about 7,300 professionals surveyed about how well they understand their company’s plan for hybrid work. 50.8% did understand their company’s hybrid work guidelines, but 49.2% did not. Not a good outcome!
Hybrid work guidelines should outline expectations for coming to the office, for communication, collaboration, and work hours, as well as providing a clear framework for how to handle issues that may arise.
Effective communication is a key element of hybrid work guidelines. When employees are working remotely, it can be difficult to get a sense of what everyone is working on and how their contributions are impacting the team. Clear communication guidelines, such as regular check-ins and virtual team meetings, can help ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Effective collaboration is another important aspect of hybrid work guidelines. Collaboration tools like video conferencing and project management software can help facilitate collaboration, but employees need to be trained on how to use them effectively. Additionally, guidelines should establish expectations for how and when team members should be available to work together.
Effective hybrid work guidelines must consider work hours and time management. Without a clear framework, employees may feel pressure to work longer hours or to be available at all times. This can lead to burnout and resentment, and can negatively impact both productivity and employee satisfaction.
Without clear guidelines for data security and privacy, remote workers may inadvertently expose sensitive company information to cyber threats. This can result in costly data breaches and loss of business.
Another challenge that companies may face without clear hybrid work guidelines is managing employee engagement. When employees are working remotely, it can be difficult to keep them connected to the company's mission and goals. Hybrid work guidelines should include strategies for fostering employee engagement, such as virtual team-building activities and regular communication from leadership.
Hybrid work guidelines should be flexible and adaptable. As the world continues to change and evolve, so too should the way companies approach hybrid work. Guidelines should be reviewed and updated regularly to reflect the latest best practices and changing employee needs.
One way to ensure that hybrid work guidelines are effective is to involve employees in the process of creating them. This can help ensure that guidelines are tailored to the specific needs of the organization and that employees are more likely to buy into them. Additionally, it's important to provide employees with the necessary training and resources to be successful in a hybrid work environment. This can include things like virtual communication and collaboration tools, as well as training on time management and data security.
It's clear that hybrid work guidelines are essential for effective communication, collaboration, and time management. A lack of clear expectations and guidelines can lead to confusion, resentment, and high turnover rates. By establishing formal written guidelines and communicating about them clearly to employees, organizations can ensure that their employees have the support and structure they need to be successful in a hybrid work environment.
Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is the CEO of the hybrid work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts, and authored the best-seller Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams
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