With the hybrid model here to stay, there is fear that a sense of common purpose, belonging, and shared identity will be lost if teams don’t spend a substantial amount of time together at the office. This will affect productivity and profits.
I have experience working in a hybrid model for seven years; in an unpredictable client-facing role.
It CAN work and be beneficial. And it IS risky too.
My sense of belonging and well-being was the highest when I was working the least amount of hours in the office.
The sense of belonging, purpose and common identity (which directly affects engagement and productivity) is not really dependent on the amount of time you spend together.
Rather, it depends on 1) the experience you have at work and related to work, and 2) how it affects and supports other areas of your life.
Being in the office may enhance your experience if it satisfies your desire to collaborate with others or provides satisfaction from getting stuff done quickly (or gets you out of your crazy household).
Or it can detract from your life's experiences, if your care-taking role makes your commute a daily nightmare, or if you feel more productive in the quiet of your home than on a loud trading floor.
When I started partially working from home, I replenished my energy reserves (which were rather low at the time from the constant go-go-go at work and at home), I reconnected with things that were important to me in life and in work and brought them to work.
If the connection is important to you, you would bring this in a form of building stronger, lasting relationships with your colleagues and stakeholders, as I did. And this will make you more productive and effective.
If serving and supporting people is important to you, you would do more mentoring work, as one of my clients in a senior position at a media company did, which helped her re-engage in her role and become a more resourceful, inspirational leader.
Can the hybrid/remote work be detrimental to the culture and performance?
For sure, if the leaders adopt it without adapting their leadership principles and organizational norms.
You don't have to change too many of the norms and principles, just a few key ones that will support your chosen model.
Here are a few questions that I leave you with today:
- Do your employees feel supported at work on matters related to work AND on personal matters?
- What do they need at work and in life to be the most productive?
- What motivates them (and has it changed since pre-pandemic)?
If you don’t have answers, ask them now.
And if you want to strategize further for your specific situation and make your next work model a success, reach out to me to see if/how we can help you. This is what we do.
As a leadership coach and consultant, Sveta Parilova enjoys helping companies to build an inclusive and supporting environment that keeps employees engaged, helps them perform at their best, unlock their leadership potentials, and thrive.
Click here to schedule a Complimentary Strategy Session and learn if/how we can support your team or organization.