5 Lessons from Remote and Hybrid Work That Last

by Srikant Chellappa Apr 8,2023
Engagedly
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Hybrid work mode combines the best of office and remote. Employees get to work from home on some days and meet with the team in person when needed. But as the shift to hybrid mode became a challenge for many companies, managers believed in some misconceptions that impede effective work.

In this article, we gathered 5 lessons from remote and hybrid work.

More and more companies are using hybrid and remote work modes:

Remote work blog1

Microsoft’s 2022 study outlines seven key trends for managers to consider as they transition to a hybrid workplace. Most importantly, it predicts that the hybrid work scenario will continue while the number of traditional jobs will shrink significantly.

According to the Work Trend Index 2022 analysis report, the number of companies using a hybrid format has increased to 38%, and 53% of employees will consider switching to hybrid work in the next year.

For example, Apple, unlike other IT giants that were slow to return staff to their offices, has announced its intention to move to a three-day policy on June 2021. Although coronavirus outbreaks kept preventing the company from implementing these plans, the corporation set a deadline of 5th September 2022. After it, employees will have to be in the office at least three days a week: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and any third day of the team’s choice.

Also read: 4 Leadership Skills to Improve in a Hybrid Work Environment

Five lessons from remote and hybrid work:

Remote work blog

Working remotely in IT is no longer exotic, but the COVID-19 pandemic has further encouraged businesses to move to remote collaboration. Employees and executives appreciated the benefits of remote and hybrid formats and wanted to keep it up even after the recession. Below are 5 lessons from remote and hybrid work.

Employees are not less engaged at work

Some managers thought that since they didn’t see employees sitting quietly at their laptops in front of them, they were not really working. But it’s important to remember that you hire people to work, not to watch them work. That requires a change in mindset.

Gartner’s study showed that productivity increases when employees can choose where, when, and how much they work. In intellectual work, the most engaged and efficient are those who work entirely remotely. To measure productivity, researchers advise keeping in touch with employees.

It is possible to create a strong corporate culture

To maintain a corporate culture remotely, managers must be clear about the company’s mission and how the internal culture will support it.

For example, you can do team-building activities by calling employees via video call. This can be just a conversation about how everyone is doing and what’s new, or you can invite speakers to lecture on different topics not necessarily related to work.

Gartner’s study shows that about a third of new remote or hybrid employees believe that company culture has changed since the pandemic began. Most of them reported that the change has been for the better.

Meanwhile, those who reported an improved company culture with the move to remote were 2.4 times more likely to report higher engagement. They were also 2.7 times more likely to report that they had become more engaged.

Studocu is an EdTEch startup with strong corporate culture and hybrid work. Since COVID-19, they have had a hybrid approach to work where they aim to see everybody at least twice a week in their office, but people are free to work from home if they find it more productive. As a result, now they help 25+ million students in 60+ countries and are a key player in the exploding EdTech space.

Also read: How to Build and Sustain Company Culture in a Hybrid Work Environment?

Teamwork doesn’t disappear

If teams stay in touch and communicate regularly, there’s no need to worry about collaboration. New teams are better off interacting in person at the beginning of the collaboration. Then people can move to remote. If that’s not possible, it is better to spend extra time discussing roles and goals before moving directly to projects.

According to the Gartner survey, employees who combine office and remote work demonstrate higher psychological safety, flexibility, team equity, and purposefulness levels than office workers. Psychological safety is a company environment that allows people to act without fear of negative consequences related to self-esteem, status, or career.

No need to use previous work practices

The best work practices we used before the pandemic may no longer fit the new norms. Managers need to continually evaluate and revise strategies to ensure they remain relevant. What worked in the past may no longer be effective.

According to a Gartner study, forcing employees back into the office can lead to the departure of a significant portion of employees. This is especially dangerous for diversity, equity, and inclusion metrics, as underrepresented groups prefer remote working for many reasons.

Companies need to remove barriers that can prevent employees from being productive. This requires leaders to change their thinking and help employees adapt to the new work environment. Then companies can benefit from employees working where they feel most comfortable and productive at any given time.

Nothing will be the same as before

Organizational leaders can try to get employees to return to the office, but they risk losing a significant portion of their staff. Most people who have worked remotely have no way back into the world without flexible schedules. By the way, hybrid work is considered a powerful growth hacking method that can significantly affect a business’ development speed.

The mass return of IT companies to offices, planned for the fall of 2021, was delayed until January. One reason was mass protests and employee layoffs. 

Employers must continually evaluate and revise their strategies to ensure that they are still relevant. Companies can benefit greatly from having employees work where they feel comfortable and productive.

Also read: 10 HR Technology Trends In 2023: Expanding AI, Digitization, and Elevating Hybrid Workplaces

Conclusion:

Hybrid work

Revise your performance management practices to make them more results-oriented. This approach encourages hybrid employees to use their days in the office to include meetings with mentors, supervisors, and team-building activities within the team. Also, for employees who are not in the office constantly, applying the electronic signature service would be a way out, solving the inconvenient and time-consuming manual signing process. Allow more managers to work remotely, so they don’t create centers of gravity for employees around themselves and eliminate favoritism in the field.



Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. What is remote and hybrid work?

Ans. Remote work refers to working from a location outside of a traditional office setting, often from home or another remote location. This type of work often relies heavily on technology and communication tools to stay connected with colleagues and complete tasks.

Hybrid work, on the other hand, combines both remote work and in-person work. It allows employees to split their time between working from home and working from an office or other physical location. This arrangement can offer more flexibility and balance for employees, while also allowing companies to maintain some level of face-to-face interaction and collaboration.

Q2. Why choose remote and hybrid work?

Ans. Remote and hybrid work can offer many benefits for both employees and employers. Here are some reasons why someone might choose remote or hybrid work:

  1. Flexibility: Remote and hybrid work can offer more flexibility in terms of when and where work is done, allowing employees to better balance their work and personal life.
  2. Reduced commuting time: With remote work, employees can save time and money on commuting, which can improve their overall quality of life.
  3. Increased productivity: Some studies have shown that remote workers can be more productive than those in traditional office settings, as they may have fewer distractions and interruptions.
  4. Access to a wider talent pool: With remote work, companies can hire employees from anywhere in the world, opening up a wider talent pool and potentially reducing hiring costs.
  5. Cost savings: Remote and hybrid work can help companies save on overhead costs such as rent and utilities, while also reducing the need for expensive office equipment.
  6. Health and safety: Remote and hybrid work can offer increased safety and reduce the risk of exposure to illnesses or contagious diseases, such as COVID-19.

Overall, remote and hybrid work can offer many benefits for both employees and employers, including increased flexibility, productivity, and cost savings.


Author: Rebecca Willis

Rebecca Willis-Freelance Writer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rebecca Willis is a talented writer, editor, and active guest contributor. She is passionate about the latest trends and always looking for new challenges as a content creator. You can reach her at guestpostingninja@gmail.com


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Author
Srikant Chellappa
CEO & Co-Founder of Engagedly

Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2023.

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