Aitch Are Gives You...
Thanks to all of those who attended the International HR Forum's working session last week to discuss approaches to take with any transition to a hybrid model of work!
What do you call a sad fruit and veg hybrid? Meloncauli.
OK, rubbish joke, and a poor introduction to an important topic, but "hybrid" is one of those terms that has sprung from nowhere to the forefront of business-speak in a relatively short space of time. Some like it, some don't. Some prefer "agile" to "hybrid". But let's not get hung up on the terminology. Let's look instead at how to make it all a reality.
What does "hybrid" actually mean?
- The ability for an employee to have more choice over where and when they work - the home, an office, on the move, etc.
- "What" employees do is more important than "where" and "when" they work.
- Org-wide, applicable to all.
- A considered re-evaluation of where people spend their time.
- "Where someone works is not the issue. The way you run your business is".
What sort of things do you need to work through to get there?
- Understand what your employees think about it, and what their preferences are.
- Reflect employee sentiment in what you do.
- Provide flexibility and choice. One size doesn't fit all...
- Trust your people. Resist the temptation to build heavy process around it as this may be a dis-incentive to return to an office.
- Manage expectations. Some roles may well be predominantly more office-based than others.
- The need to be more intentional around collaboration.
- Make sure inclusion in built into your arrangements.
- Give people the tools to be productive.
- Ensure managers have the ability to inspire dispersed teams.
- Rethink the role of an office. Less of a place where people work at a fixed place, more a space to collaborate, have customer experience centres, etc.
- Make sure people management practices are geared up to a hybrid world.
- Consider the impact of hybrid working on your culture.
- The contractual and tax implications of any change in location (home v. office v. dual).
- Providing some form of "freedom within a framework" to drive consistency.
- An opportunity to review working patterns e.g. compressed hours.
Potential areas of contention
- The degree to which any return to an office is mandated v. encouraged.
- How much do you allow people to move location/countries? And what is the process around this?
- The balance between employee-led v. manager-controlled when it comes to degrees of flex between home and office working. There was a feeling that execs were keener to see a broad return to office working, whereas employees wanted more freedom/flexibility.
- What the level playing field to ensure people are treated consistently and inclusively may look like.
- Real estate strategy. Maintain, downsize, close?
- Maintaining certain measures (social distancing, mask-wearing, etc) even if these restrictions are lifted.
That's all folks! Hope this is of use. Be good, stay safe, and see you soon.