Even before the pandemic struck the world of work was changing, but slowly. The lock-down simply accelerated the process, breaking down the walls of the ‘presenteeism’ paradigm that existed unchallenged, for too long, in far too many organisations.
Many independent knowledge workers long ago discovered the productivity advantages of working from home. Now, thanks to the pandemic & subsequent lock-down, millions of previously office-bound workers are expressing reluctance to return to the daily commute. They are rightly questioning the value of travelling to and from work in a world where protecting the environment is becoming paramount for our survival, and they believe they can accomplish far more by working from home.
This new global mega-trend is not going anywhere fast and has to be addressed.
Hybrid working is not for everyone
There are many roles that cannot be digitised and require people to be ‘at work’. Scientists cannot work without their laboratories; Manufacturing workers need to operate their production machines; Drivers need to move stock; brewers need vats to brew beer; etc.
This creates a challenge for leaders and managers keen not to establish a 2, or even 3-tier workforce. With some of their team in their place of work, some at home, and some moving between the two to suit themselves.
The solution to this challenge has to be unique for every organisation, as the people who work for you, do not work for anyone else. Their specific role requirements, personal life challenges and your desired cultural aspirations are yours alone.
Fair or Effective?
The temptation could be to use blanket policies in an effort to be seen to be fair.
‘Everyone back to the office’ is nice and clear and appears at first glance to get back to what we had before and surely this is what people want, isn’t it?
I’m not so sure, for a start it tramples all over individuals personal preferences and in a world where talent and skill shortages abound this could be a recipe for losing some of your key talent.
Your solution will need to be more nuanced than this and should reflect people’s roles, their personal circumstances and your organisations need to build a one-team one-culture approach.
Your solution should not be based on your personal leadership style preferences. I have heard many a leader lament that they cannot do their job if they cannot see their teams face-to-face and one-to-one directing, mentoring and coaching is quite simply too exhausting!
They have a point. Leading and managing in hybrid workplace is new for many. This is why we have assembled some of our most talented associates to create a development programme aimed at leaders and managers who are facing this challenge.
Our aim is to co-curate and tailor our approach to carefully address the challenges you and your organisation face. If you would like to know more about this programme then please contact us and we will explain what we have in mind.
Click here to discover more about the purpose and learning outcomes for this brand new leadership & management development programme.