How will companies work best in hybrid mode?
The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our work habits, to say the least. Since 2020, a new form of organization called “hybrid” has emerged in companies, and the “commute-work-sleep” routine is becoming increasingly obsolete. Among the most significant changes, we can note an increase in remote work, more agile management, and the establishment of a remote company culture. So, how can we work best in hybrid mode? Here are some tips.
What is a “hybrid” company?
A hybrid company combines traditional and more modern organizational methods. Work hybridization takes on various forms, not just remote work. It can be a clever combination of telecommuting and in-person work, co-working, or flex-office, with employees who don’t have fixed workstations.
But the hybrid company goes beyond just choosing a workplace: it also considers new forms of management, company culture, and communication. The goal? To create the company of tomorrow, tailored to the new professional and personal aspirations of employees and employers.
How to implement a flexible organization?
Behind the concept of a hybrid company lie changes that echo the latest societal developments. Concretely, five main aspects of traditional company structure undergo transformations during a transition to a hybrid company: the workplace, organization, corporate life, management, and training.
Incorporate telecommuting as a norm
In 2019, being present at the workplace was the norm, and considering it “old school” to think otherwise. Telecommuting was only for rare exceptions or specific industries. Today, this perception has been completely upended by the pandemic. Forcing employees to go to the workplace isn’t necessarily well-received, and expectations lean towards flexible work, with the possibility of working remotely either a few days a week or full-time. According to the BCG / Cadremploi study “Decoding Global Ways of Working,” 78% of French talents aspire to a hybrid work model that combines office and remote work (64% globally).
The reasons aren’t solely about health safety. Working from home also eliminates commute times and can provide employees with more family time. The pandemic has challenged traditional company rules but also emphasized what matters: spending time with loved ones and feeling more at ease in one’s professional life.
Rethink the 9-6 Workday
How to motivate employees to adhere to office hours… without being in the office? This has been the biggest challenge for HR departments and company leaders since the pandemic.
At home, employees must juggle their family life alongside work, and it can be difficult to adhere to hours that don’t align with the rest of the household. Flexibility in scheduling is one of the strongest demands from employees today, especially from millennials entering the job market.
This doesn’t necessarily mean adopting a “4-day workweek.” Employees can also have control over their own schedules, for instance, starting work earlier to finish when their children return from school.
Nurturing Post-Pandemic Social Life
With remote work and health safety measures, coffee breaks or spontaneous exchanges among colleagues have taken a hit. It’s challenging to cultivate a social bond in the company under these circumstances. This is particularly true for those who started a new contract during the pandemic and have never met their colleagues in person.
Yet, a company shines even brighter when employee well-being is considered, and teams are united and supportive. It’s important for the company to take social bonds seriously and implement necessary measures to maintain them.
How to foster remote corporate life? Creating special moments of disconnection can be helpful. Virtual happy hours, sports sessions, or cooking classes: the company can offer employees ways to connect remotely during informal moments. Motivate your teams by organizing internal contests, perhaps rewarding the funniest event photo, and share the results on social media to promote your hybrid corporate life.
WhatsApp, Slack, Zoom, emails: the various digital communication channels also allow employees to stay connected, whether for professional exchanges or more spontaneous interactions.
Management Through Trust
It’s impossible to have a motivated remote team if the management doesn’t trust employees working from home. With the hybrid company, presenteeism policies and constant supervision are replaced by agile management methods based on trust and autonomy.
Managers reward employees who achieve their goals rather than those who clock the most hours, and results-based management systems are implemented to motivate the workforce.
In a hybrid company, it’s important to provide employees with various ways to contact their superiors, to feel supported and monitored even from a distance. Besides providing them with the communication tools used by the company, creating accessible goal evaluation frameworks for all employees or implementing tutoring/mentoring can help facilitate the integration of new arrivals.
The goal of the hybrid company? Management through trust and giving employees all the tools to become autonomous and responsible for their own work.
Evolving in a 3.0 Company
How to continue training in a company despite remote work? With the pandemic, new forms of learning have emerged to adapt training to new working methods.
Blended learning, for instance, emphasizes theoretical online learning and practical in-person learning. Learners feel empowered as they engage in self-paced online learning, without feeling neglected due to the physical support they have when going to their workplace.
Digital learning allows employees to improve their skills through online courses at their own pace. The company can provide employees with a catalog of various courses so employees can take charge of their learning and choose the skills they want to develop autonomously.
Finally, webinars or online conferences also allow for remote learning, offering learners a direct interlocutor who provides live instruction. More spontaneous and authentic, this learning format is also suitable for remote learning while feeling supported and reassured in case of questions.
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