Many people don’t realize that roughly 30% of workers in the U.S. worked remotely, at least part of the time before the pandemic hit. Others may recall former Google executive Marissa Mayer banning work from home at Yahoo in 2013. It’s safe to say that prior to 2020, the idea of entire teams working from home was not widely accepted. However, after the past year, remote working has shown it works, but not everyone is convinced it can work in the long term. Even hybrid arrangements are subject to questioning. Below we look at myths of hybrid working.
Whether we realize it or not, the mindset from before the pandemic is still there when it comes to long-term workplace decisions. Long-standing ideas of where, when, and how people should work are hard to dislodge even with the evidence of how effective remote working has been during the pandemic. In reality, flexibility is the key. Being able to pivot, scale up or down quickly, and adapt to changing conditions is paramount for success.
A recent eBook from Gartner states, “Composable thinking — architecting your business for real-time adaptability — is a key accelerator of digital transformation and part of the culture of highly resilient organizations. It will increasingly shape leadership decisions at all levels, and hybrid workforce models are consistent with that type of flexible thinking.” Let’s look at some of the myths that may be holding you back.
Our Existing Remote Work Strategy will Work for a Hybrid Workforce
We have just scratched the surface of what successful working arrangements will look like moving forward. We can’t assume that normal will look like pre-pandemic working, nor can we assume that remote will become an exception to the norm. Hybrid working goes far beyond remote working solutions. According to the eBook, you’ll need to consider three areas – economics, employee experience, and organizational enablement.
Employees are Less Productive Outside the Office
This is old thinking. As we’ve seen recently, most employees are more productive and more engaged when working remotely. The thinking here should be inward, are you providing your employees what they need to work away from the office. Make sure to consider resources, managerial support, and skills support.
We Need to Monitor and Measure what Employees are Doing
Productivity can be very subjective. Instead of just focusing on how much people get done, also consider how consistently they are delivering. There are two categories to measure, workforce outcomes including collaboration and cultural drivers, as well as business outcomes.
Our Jobs Just Can’t be Done Remotely
As we saw last year, many jobs we thought could never be done remotely, actually could be structured for remote working. Break jobs down into tasks and consider what can be handled remotely versus in-person. By coming at a job from a different perspective, you’ll see that there are solutions that work for employees and employers.
We Need In-Person Contact to Sustain Our Culture
This is a big one for us, as we focus a lot on building and sustaining culture with our clients. It’s important to remember that culture is not static. It will evolve as the company evolves. For example, “Collaboration, agility and trust are increasingly important cultural values in resilient organizations and don’t relate to physical location.” Help employees understand how they can use both formal and informal networks.
To learn more about these and other myths, including improving diversity efforts, we recommend downloading the eBook. And if you need help with your HR leadership or culture alignment, let us know how our HR recruiters can help.