How To Create a Culture When Hybrid Working
Hybrid working is the new normal. During the pandemic, we had to find a new way of working away from an office and learned that many jobs could be done remotely without the need to go into the office. A Harvard Business School study found that after this global event, 81% of workers didn’t want to return to the traditional way of working, so the hybrid work model was born. Sustaining a company culture in a hybrid work model culture without physically being there at the same time may present some challenges, but it is doable and manageable.
We explore the concept of hybrid working and how best to flourish when you have taken it on.
What does hybrid working mean?
Hybrid working is a mix of in-office and remote work, depending on personal and team needs. It’s a flexible work model that enables employees to blend working from different locations when they’re at their most productive (i.e. three days at the office, two at home). Although it has been around for many years, the trend to partake in hybrid working has been ramped up and more businesses than ever have adopted this new style to retain staff and attract talent. According to the global management consulting firm McKinsey and Company, 58% of people can work from home part-time, and many are embracing this opportunity, citing productivity and finances as the main reasons. Hybrid working has been embraced by many industries, but the digital sector in particular has started to favor the model as the norm.
Benefits of hybrid working
There are many advantages to hybrid working, productivity, and finances are named the top reasons that many are in support of the model. With the cost of living going up and travel expenses at an all-time high, many have been deeply impacted. Job seekers are choosing more flexible arrangements to avoid expenses that leave a huge dent in their take-home pay. People also say that they get more work done at home rather than in an office filled with distractions, and Stanford University supports this with a study showing that productivity increases by 13%.
Disadvantages of hybrid working
Isolation and loneliness, as well as a loss of face time with management and a lack of communication, can be some of the downsides of hybrid working. In a traditional office setting it’s easy to converse, update, and stay in the know, but with differing schedules and remote working, this can be a little more difficult to maintain. Creating a culture when workers are not in the office at the same time takes a few tweaks to the usual methods, but it is possible, especially with modern technology!
Solutions to create a hybrid work culture
Firstly, what does hybrid work culture mean? A healthy work culture is vital for the success of an organization, with McKinsey finding that fostering a happy work environment can have up to three times the return to stakeholders in productivity and profits. Adapting to a new hybrid work model can cause some initial hiccups but there are ways to retain the feeling of teamwork and camaraderie:
- Organize social events - Getting to know each other outside of work can help to boost employee engagement, improve productivity levels and build a feeling of community. They can be offsite events or team-building exercises as long as they are fun and don’t feel like work! If you have remote workers you could even organize an online coffee morning by sending a gift basket and booking a Zoom meeting.
- Stay connected - With everyone in and out of the office on different days it can be tricky to stay on track and keep everyone informed. Setting up project management tools, such as Asana, with clear workflows allows all employees, remote and hybrid, to keep a tab on where a team member is on projects. Communication is also key, and creating networks in programs like Slack encourages conversation, collaboration, and information sharing in a hybrid working situation.
- Communicate purpose - When everyone has a common goal to work towards, it drives motivation. Have clear reasons and outcomes for the work being set to help maintain focus and celebrate the successes with each other.
- Stay transparent - In the office, we often catch tidbits of information, whereas when working semi or fully remotely people can easily miss what’s going on and it can grow into feelings of fear or resentment. Transparency helps to keep employees in the loop and create a trustworthy environment.
- Make the office fun - Enthusiasm to get out of your pajamas and into the office may be a little lacking when hybrid working, but ensuring that going to the office is an enjoyable experience can help to counteract that feeling of dread. Opt for flexible workspaces with extra perks such as The Square, where we have world-class amenities such as a fitness center, wellness room, breakfast and snacks, unlimited coffee, events, and happy hours.