As offices begin to reopen and workers wish to hold on to flexible ways of working, Moira Dunne outlines three steps to achieve successful hybrid working.
Pandemic restrictions are easing. Businesses are preparing to return to the office. Many employees have enjoyed the flexibility of working from home.
So, it is likely that a “hybrid” working model will be the new way of working. In this article we present 3 tips for successful hybrid working.
“Tasks that require a high level of focus are more suited to a quiet home environment. Time in the office enables group work such as problem-solving, innovation or coaching”
Hybrid working is a mix between remote and office working. Ideally the model provides the best of both worlds. If successful, employees and employers can benefit from:
- Flexibility working from home
- Collaboration in the office
To make this happen, it is important to plan for the new way of working. Let’s review our 3 tips for successful hybrid working.
This is a good time to reflect and reset. Due to the sudden onset of the pandemic in 2020, people adjusted quickly to home working. Hybrid working will involve permanent home working, albeit part-time. So, it is important to review the following:
- Do I need a better routine working from home?
- Can I optimise my workstation and equipment?
- What distractions cause me to lose time and focus?
This review can help people optimise their home working environment. For tips on productive home working, check out our blog section.
To get the most benefit from hybrid working, consider how to split the work between home and office. Tasks that require a high level of focus are more suited to a quiet home environment. Time in the office enables group work such as problem-solving, innovation or coaching.
Consider the time and location dependency of the work. Is there a requirement to support others at set times? Is there a need to access office-based files or systems? Which tasks are independent of time and location?
Each employee can plan for:
- Time dependent tasks that must be done during core hours
- Location dependent tasks that require access to files or systems in the office
- Collaborative tasks that require interaction in the office
- Solo Tasks that can be done individually, independent of location or time
If a team gets together to plan their schedules, they can create a rota to cover all responsibilities. They can also optimise collaboration time in the office.
Successful hybrid working is enabled when each person take responsibility for delivering in their role. This can build trust. It can help to remove residual stigma about remote working. It helps shift assessment of performance away from presenteeism.
Both employees and managers have a part to play. Productivity is improved when:
- Employers provide clarity about what needs to be delivered. This helps people work independently at home.
- Employees seek clarity if not clear about expectations. They report on progress and discuss any issues that arose
Open communication is beneficial in any working environment. But it is particularly important in a hybrid working model.
Hybrid working offers benefits for both the business and the employees. There is a collective responsibility for making it work. It may take time for the new model to settle down.
It is new territory, so it is best to take an iterative approach. Encourage people to adopt a continuous improvement mindset by:
- trying the model
- reviewing it
- modifying it and
- improving it
With these 3 tips for successful hybrid working businesses can achieve both productivity and flexibility in their businesses.
Written by productivity consultant Moira Dunne, founder and director of beproductive.ie
Published: 16 June 2021