How big is hybrid work and what is it changing?
According to the Economist, prior to the pandemic, only around 5% of paid workdays in Europe and America were conducted from home, typically for reasons like childcare or home maintenance. However, the post-pandemic landscape has shifted significantly, and currently, about 20% of all workdays are home-based. Future projections suggest that this could increase to 30% within the next decade.
Employees now want to be able to work more days from home than they currently do. On average, workers across the world want two days at home, a full day more than they get.
Desire for more remote work is not surprising. The time saved from public transport or congested roads allows for a better work-life balance. On average, 72 minutes each day is saved when working remotely, which adds up to two weeks over a year, according to a paper by Nicholas Bloom of Stanford. Employees also report that they feel most engaged when working remotely, according to Gallup. On average globally, workers value all these benefits to the tune of an 8% pay rise, implying that some would take a pay cut to keep the privileges.
And companies gain, too. Studies find that hybrid working can reduce employee turnover by 30-50%, as well as saving office costs and allowing companies to better tap global markets for talent. However, while individuals may feel more productive when they are home, new studies suggest the contrary, as remote workers are now thought to be 18% less productive than in-office workers mainly because of less effective communication and isolation in the longer run.
This shift to hybrid working may be the most radical change to office life since the introduction of the computer and therefore, companies have to transform their management culture as soon as possible.
- Diverse Work Environments: Hybrid teams operate in varied settings, each with its unique challenges and opportunities. A one-size-fits-all approach is ineffective in addressing the distinct needs of remote and in-office employees.
- Communication Barriers: The blend of physical and virtual spaces can lead to communication gaps. Adapting your management style can bridge these gaps, ensuring clarity and consistency in interactions.
- Maintaining Engagement: Remote workers might feel isolated, while in-office employees may perceive a lack of flexibility. Tailoring your management approach can help maintain high levels of engagement and job satisfaction across the board.
- Inclusivity: A key challenge is ensuring all team members, regardless of their location, feel included and valued. Adapting your style to be more inclusive can foster a stronger, more cohesive team culture.
How to Adapt?
FOSTER THE RIGHT BEHAVIORS
👉 Encourage Open Communication: Encourage regular check-ins and open dialogues. This can be achieved through virtual meetings, one-on-one sessions, and creating channels for informal conversations.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT TOOLS
BE THE DRIVER FOR CHANGE
👉 Focus on Outcomes, Not Activity: Shift your focus from the hours worked to the outcomes achieved. This results-oriented approach can drive productivity and motivation, particularly for remote workers. Leverage digital tools to define and track objectives and key results.
👉 Continuous Learning and Adaptation: Regularly seek feedback from your team and be prepared to continuously adapt your management style. This iterative approach allows for constant improvement and responsiveness to your team’s evolving needs.
In conclusion, managing hybrid teams requires a dynamic and empathetic approach. By embracing these adaptations, leaders can build resilient, productive, and engaged teams, ready to thrive in the hybrid work model that is becoming the new standard in the business world.
Companies that will come out as winners of this transformational phase are the ones that will be able to train their workforce, implement the right tools and measure what matters.
Written for Semana by Johanna Molinari, cofounder of our partner Popwork