Our hybrid-work journey has been extremely messy so far with everyone engaged in talking about it, but no one confident they have the answer. Never before in the history of work have we had more opportunity to design and improve how work gets done. And in the extremely competitive area of investment, where the assets are the people, we should not let this opportunity pass us by. The early stages of this great work reset show a mixed picture. There have been some wins with improved flexibility and connectivity but, where work relationships and social capital are central to good outcomes, we are not yet in the shape we need to be.
We’ve produced some top tips for hybrid working and identified four key areas to help leadership teams frame and navigate the transition back to better functioning organisations: hybrid design, office vision, productivity and social capital.
1. Hybrid design – be clear on what hybrid arrangements mean:
- Note regional differences – same where possible, different where necessary
- Co-create solutions with teams
- Develop the detail in execution – noting that accommodating everyone suits no-one
2. Office vision – articulate what ‘good practice‘ looks like in the office:
- Specify design features
- Consider tasks required to be done
- Over time, evolve office design
Office vision – work design matrix
3. Productivity – deepen the emphasis on productivity:
- Decide on the mix for ‘productivity’
- Consider outputs vs outcomes
- Understand and develop teamwork
4. Social capital – understand how value is added in terms of collaboration, belonging and camaraderie through trust, goodwill and familiarity:
- Understand the way social capital works in our business
- Recognise the opportunities to build social capital in inner and outer ties
There remain many challenges facing leadership around the future of the workplace, made more difficult by having to accommodate three perspectives: the employee, the organisation and culture, finding coalition solutions and actions. While engagement is very high and opinion-rich, many considerations about hybrid work design remain unsettled. There is increasing focus on cultural issues – such as time vs outcome goals, inclusion and trust, social capital, motivation and innovation – which shouldn’t be left unmanaged.
We believe that streamlining work arrangements and practice could be a major low-hanging fruit for achieving performance goals in the next decade. Key to success will be the understanding and use of superpowers in organisations which are unseen forces that influence actions and deliver outcomes: strategy, culture, leadership and talent. These disparate forces have greater influence when combined and aligned.
Based on this model we have devised a survey tool and dashboard to make an assessment of how hybrid models are working within organisations and would be happy to discuss this further with members. Contact us here.