How do you manage people when your workforce is dispersed and employee expectations are at an all-time high and growing?
Even before the pandemic, businesses were already grappling with these challenges as technology, digitalization, and the arrival of Millennials and Gen Z changed how, where, and when people worked. COVID-19 has heightened the urgency for organizations to do things differently, including people management.
As the pandemic becomes rampant, organizations across industries are preparing for a longer-term, anywhere mode of work. Gartner predicts that by the end of 2023, 40% of organizations will transition to merging virtual and physical experiences to increase productivity and expand customer reach.
Workers are in demand and showing power
A new normal is already unfolding as companies work to further define hybrid culture and establish flexibility protocols for their organizations. What exactly does “return to the office” mean? Is the traditional definition of a five-day, nine-to-five workweek still relevant? What does it take to sustain a hybrid desktop environment that supports true collaboration and working from anywhere? It is essential to get it right, i.e. hybrid working should be engaging for the employees and productive for the organization. Not offering hybrid and flexible working arrangements is not an option, as many organizations have recently learned.
In the age of the “great quit,” workers are flexing their power as one of the tightest labor markets in recent memory forces organizations across all sectors to step up. For managers, this means adapting and delivering hybrid experiences that drive results. It’s not an easy task but, according to a new study from Gallup, it’s the only way forward.
Why hybrid work environments are the future
Gallup surveyed 140,000 US employees over the past two years and shared the following results:
– 53% of employees expect hybrid work arrangements to continue.
– 46% of employees who work either entirely remotely or in a hybrid model would quit their current job if their employer stopped offering remote work options.
– Employees do not want or expect a hybrid working model: nine out of 10 employees prefer some degree of flexibility from remote working, six out of 10 specifically prefer hybrid working.
It’s clear: while people appreciate the conveniences of working from home (especially reducing the stress of commuting), they like the idea of coming into the office to see colleagues in person. Yet they don’t want to go back to a traditional office. They want an environment where they can retain the freedom they’ve grown accustomed to while staying connected to their team in person and virtually.
Accompany people wherever they are
It’s now up to managers to maintain the culture and drive performance as people work from home, on the road and in the office. The key to unlocking human potential in this new paradigm is to fully embrace the moment and give people the tools they need to communicate and collaborate in a way that makes them feel like they’re in the same room. and that suits their preferred work style.
This will require establishing a truly digital work environment in the corporate office, home office and anywhere in between. Solutions include everything from laptops and tablets to portable monitors and interactive displays with cloud-based whiteboards, shared work drives and advanced video conferencing capabilities.
Here are three steps to get started:
Step 1: Define what flexibility means for your organization
Flexibility goes beyond hours and location. It’s also about how you work. Some people prefer a telephone conversation to an e-mail; text on chat. Therefore, there is no single best-in-class hybrid approach or model. It will depend on what you are doing and what works best for your people. Understand what the organization needs, touchpoints between teams and functions, workflows and talk to your employees about how they like to work and what they need to be productive. Create a plan/framework and be prepared to revise and improve as you go.
Step 2: Communicate more, set clear goals and measure
Over the past two years, successful managers have stepped up awareness and adopted a different mindset about what communication can look like. It’s not about micromanaging; it’s about building relationships and engagement and using culture to support flexibility, well-being and performance. Today’s knowledge economy is moving away from clocking in and out and managing by attendance to focus on KPIs, deliverables and results. This is how you measure efficiency in a hybrid work environment
Step 3: Provide the right tools to get results
Seamless all-in-one connectivity and collaboration tools are essential. Today’s USB-C technology is becoming standard on desktop and interactive monitors, laptops and desktops, tablets and smartphones, providing high-speed bi-directional data transfer with the ability to transmit audio and video and supply power through a single cable. Video conferencing monitors have built-in webcams, microphones, and speakers to capture high-definition video and help make virtual meetings more organic while democratizing participation for everyone — those onsite and those participating virtually. Interactive displays are essential for today’s conference rooms, providing cloud-based whiteboard technology that allows users to connect, create and share content in real time, wherever they are. find. Ultralight portable monitors let people be productive anywhere, offering easy dual-monitor setups for mobile and hybrid workers
Ensuring the success of recruitment and retention strategies within a hybrid working ecosystem has become a top priority for today’s business. Candidates seek out and seek out companies that support a hybrid work culture and provide them with the digital collaboration tools that will allow them to reach their full potential. Today, employees have endless options to seek positions that meet their requirements for hybrid working and flexibility. An organization that gets stuck on rigid nine-to-five in the office rules risks losing existing and potential talent — and it certainly won’t get the most out of its people or create a thriving work culture. The good news is that the tools and technology that power today’s hybrid organizations have never been more accessible.
About the Author
Jeff Volpe is President, Americas at ViewSonic, a leading global provider of interactive and collaborative visual engagement solutions for business, education, consumer, and commercial markets.
Featured Image: ©Insta_photos