The hybrid working model, where some employees are in the office and others work remotely, is seen by many as too complex to manage. However, with the right mindset and toolkit, hybrid work can be fantastic for both employees and companies.
The hybrid working model can be a great way to get the best of both worlds - the flexibility of remote work, and the collaboration and connection offered by office work. However, there are still lingering myths about hybrid work. As the business world opens again, some business leaders worry that moving to a hybrid model will fragment the company culture, create an unequal employee experience, and hinder communication.
There is some truth to that – the hybrid model creates a unique set of challenges. However, with the right approach, it can also become a major competitive advantage.
Let’s bust a few myths:
Myth #1 Hybrid working doesn’t work.
The hybrid model may get a bad rap, but research shows that it’s a highly effective way of working. A recent study by Accenture found that 83% of workers prefer the flexibility of the hybrid approach to either 100% remote or a full return to the office .
What’s more, hybrid work is also financially rewarding for businesses. 63% of the top-performing companies included in the Accenture study had shifted to a hybrid model, while the majority (69%) of no-growth businesses were sticking to either fully remote or fully in-person working. Small wonder that household names like Dropbox, Spotify and Hubspot have already made the leap to hybrid.
For a detailed, practical guide on how to transition your company to hybrid, check out our new white paper.
Myth #2 Hybrid workplaces struggle with communication.
This one can certainly be true - without a mindful approach to communication. Without the right tools and policies, hybrid businesses may accidentally create a two-tier system, where those in the office are informed and those working from home aren’t.
However, communication issues aren’t inevitable in a hybrid company. In fact, with the right tools in place , you may find that your communications and knowledge management actually improve.
For a detailed, practical guide on how to modify your internal communications when moving to hybrid, download our new white paper here
To master the art of communicating in a hybrid company, try:
- Documenting all conversations to make sure that both remote and office-based employees have access to the same information. With a flexible learning platform like Learn Amp, employees can easily upload, share and tag information in a centralised, accessible repository, making sure that everyone stays up to date.
- Using asynchronous communication, such as recording videos and screenshares, instead of scheduling endless Zoom meetings. That way, everyone can engage with the content at their own convenience.
- Defining clear expectations around availability and responsiveness, to make sure that all employees are held to the same standards.
Myth #3 Hybrid working creates a divided culture.
Again, this isn’t exactly a myth - some companies do find that a hybrid approach creates a fragmented culture, where remote workers feel excluded and passed over for promotions. However, it’s a mistake to think that this is a result of the hybrid model itself. Rather, it’s a consequence of falling into hybrid work without consciously planning how to maintain a cohesive culture.
To keep your workforce aligned, regardless of where they work, plan to:
- Set up dedicated “watercooler” channels to encourage off-topic chat and socialising.
- Schedule one-to-ones between line managers and team members that focus on non-work topics, like stress levels and personal issues.
- Focus on building a collaborative learning culture. By creating a shared learning journey, where employees can create and share learning resources with each other and act as peer mentors, you can build a powerful sense of community no matter where people are working
- Invest in robust digital tools, especially a People Development Platform, to make sure that information, learning resources, and internal communications are readily accessible from anywhere.
If you’d like more tips on how to build a more effective hybrid company, please take a look at our new white paper, “Moving to a hybrid workplace: A practical guide”.