Creating the best possible hybrid work policy
Are there any companies that have not put remote working on their agenda for the post crisis era? I still have to find one! Survey after survey suggests that companies in all industries and regions are preparing to introduce a hybrid work policy for after the COVID-19 crisis.
Many people in my network both at board level and in managerial roles, have told me that they have reached a consensus with their peers that working remotely will remain part of the new work policy post COVID. They are still debating on the best balance between office and remote working but most say they are making excellent progress in establishing a workable balance for all concerned. Two days in the office and three days at home or a satellite office seems to be a popular choice.
Moving from counterproductive to effective approach
The big opportunity (for some dilemma!) is how to approach this effectively. Based on what I have heard and read, I would say most companies may be tackling this issue in a counterproductive manner. It should not be about ‘how many hours?’, ‘who?’ or ‘what’s the trade-off?’. These questions imply that there is no clear purpose, rather an attempt to please both employer and employee based on an acceptable compromise and short-term interests.
The questions ought to be:
‘What have we learnt about remote working in the preceding 12 months?
‘What do our employees need?’
‘Which activities can be performed remotely?’
‘What should be provided to facilitate remote working?’
‘What will the new purpose of the (head) office be?’.
This approach means the conversation starts with the desired outcome in mind. Without this approach a new painting is created to fit in the old frame!
Break free of existing contexts and make every part of the hybrid work policy one that adds value. For example: think about the purpose of the head office. If it becomes a place where creative cooperation takes place as well as fast-track learning what needs to take place there and in which format? Get it right and your employees will look forward to a weekly visit to the office as it would spell progress!
Take each of the productive questions and begin with a purpose in mind!
There are no trade-offs here because trust is built, not compromised, when policies are designed to add value and meaning.