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Hybrid Working

As Civil Servants are pressured to return to Westminster offices[i], HBR reports on a study that showed significantly enhanced thinking amongst staff working in the office one or two days a week, rather than more.  Managing hybrid working requires an individual analysis of what the optimum ‘at office desk’ time is within your organisation and that needs you to engage with staff and elicit their thoughts.

Scan the IT environment, for helpful employee engagement technologies and Apps that span out of lockdowns.  Focus on your office space and reimagine it, to better suit hybrid working, bringing workers closer together physically, regardless of  team. Nobody wants to work in a void.  Consider wellbeing across the spectrum of the hybrid workspace and deliver it to all, remembering strong communication is key.  Give contracts and policies a thorough review and, if thinking of ending hybrid working, watch the Civil Service example with interest, whilst taking on board the fact that your employees could be more productive at home!

Maximising Effectiveness of In-office Time

To maximise the effectiveness of the time you have together, plan that time effectively, either manually or via a planning tool.  Isolate tasks best achieved face-to-face and use in-office team time for those.   These are typically synchronous tasks – those requiring collaboration, brainstorming, group conversations and collective creativity. Also make time for relationship and team performance focuses, whilst your people are physically together, or when you are with your direct reports.  Pay special attention to new employees and those requiring mentoring and plan this in to in-office time for both mentor and mentee.  For your own executive mentoring, perhaps the time to devote to that is when you are out of the office space?

Building Resilience

Beware a ‘resilience shift’.  Workers having to return to the office will have new worries causing them stress and strain.  One of those may be the cost of living crisis, especially if they are commuting and paying heavily for their transport costs or car fuel.  There’s also a temptation to take the foot off the gas, resilience-wise, having ‘seen through’ what currently appears to have been the worst of the pandemic.  Keep teams motivated, create well-being initiatives and listen intently.  Set new goals and motivate your teams, praising their efforts and successes equally.  Don’t drop the ball now, or allow teams to flag.  Invest in them instead!

Strategic Thinking

Analysing the macro-environment is really difficult at the moment, particularly as nobody yet really knows the impacts that the war in Ukraine will have on the global economy.  You need to encourage agility within your leadership teams and make sure leaders are ready to switch strategies very quickly, if necessary.  Focusing on change management is important right now, as we are not only in a tricky economic situation but also an era of rapid digital and AI development. Invest in leadership training and do not be caught on your heels. 

If you need help with any of these areas, please contact us on 0208 720 6991.