It’s time for leaders to get real about hybrid
The COVID-19 outbreak forced a lot of people out of the offices to work from home. The home office mode has given everyone a sense of peace. However, as the second wave ebbs, it might be time to shift back to working from the office. The only obstacle here is the massive disconnect between the employees’ and the employers’ viewpoints on the subject.
Employers tend to overlook this disconnect and want to establish a regular schedule. The schedule refers to the days in a week and hours in a day the employees should be present in the office. Or the tools to be used, policies to be followed, or norms that need to be met. This may be a convenient approach for the employers but lacks all consideration for the employees. Inevitably, the disconnection between the two groups is set to rise, threatening the very structure. Instead, it is necessary to give the operating model a bit of thought.
The introduction of a hybrid system would involve a great deal of work, much uncertainty, and countless questions. So, ideally, the first step is to get everything in place by answering and resolving any queries. What kind of tasks are better completed in person rather than digitally, and vice versa? How will meetings be most effective? How can people who work on location and those who don’t manage their influence and experience? How do you prevent creating a two-tier structure where those who work in an office are recognized and rewarded more than those who work from home? Is it necessary for teams to physically convene in one location while working on a project, and if so, how often? Is leadership communication to off-site employees as efficient as it is to office employees?
Due to the overwhelming and distressing picture of work from the office, employees might not be happy with the idea. Employers will be expected to defend their choice to change the structure given the efficacy of remote working in the previous two years. The existing disparity between superiors and employees, on the other hand, could function as the inventive tension point. It will influence a customer-focused, employee-led operating model intended for today. The heads need to be inclined to build from zero and make willful decisions with a definite, factual logic.
Instead of replicating what the employees say, the next step is to understand the situation, analyze it, and find appropriate and reasonable solutions. It will make the employees feel celebrated and recognized.
Finally, the implementation of this technique depends upon a trial and error method. This means that organizations need to test and learn from the changes made. There is no exact roadmap to this, but the only suggestion is to stay prepared and begin at the earliest.
Leaders must let the hybrid model take the stage. It is crucial to accept the fact that it is the future operating model. If they don’t, then they will continue to lose their talented employees. The time to make the choice is now.
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