The Keys to Hybrid Work Success

Date: 10-May-2024

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Why Do We Go to the Office? Many people wonder why they need to go to the office. And how can bosses make that time at work useful?

These questions are more urgent than ever with the majority of office workers now having some degree of hybrid flexibility. As per Gallup report today, 54% of remote-capable workers are working hybrid and finding themselves weighing the costs and benefits of the daily commute. In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that the average one-way commute to work was 27.6 minutes. That’s 230 hours a year simply getting to work, the equivalent of 29 eight-hour workdays.

If a company lets employees choose when they come in, bosses need to give them good reasons to make the trip. This reason is called a “workplace value proposition.” It’s not just a promise to make coming to the office worth it, but also a plan to make the company work better.

A workplace value proposition is about the culture, benefits, and experiences employees have when they work at the office. It’s basically why they should come to work.

So, what makes a workplace value proposition good?

4 Factors Affecting Workplace Value Proposition

A good workplace value proposition makes the most of working in person:

1. Connection

Being social creatures, humans rely on healthy interactions with other people for support, growth, and encouragement. In actuality, according to Gallup, Americans are happiest when they socialize for six to seven hours per day.

One manager in the United States responded, “At home, I feel like my job is just work,” when we questioned workers throughout the world last year how they felt about working remotely. As in, the enjoyable aspects are absent. The friendship, you know? Building relationships is a little more difficult.

Although it may seem paradoxical, forming relationships and interacting with others is beneficial for business. According to Gallup’s meta-analysis of 112,312 teams, 2,708,538 workers, and 54 sectors worldwide, employees who have the best buddy at work are significantly more likely to be engaged at work, engage consumers more effectively, and generate higher-quality work. This is so because meaningful work, trust, and support are all built on solid connections.

Although it is possible to form relationships digitally, research indicates that face-to-face contact is more beneficial. Among the increasing amount of studies on this topic, Sherman, Michikyan, and Greenfield’s experiment revealed that in-person connection led to the strongest bonding between two people, with audio, video, and instant messaging coming in second and third, respectively.

The problem is that when workers are allowed to come into the office at different hours, this benefit is diminished. Managers or organizations need to consciously schedule certain times for communication. Although many companies now have standards dictating which days of the week employees must report to work, individuals can also arrange to meet in the office within their teams. Social gatherings held on-site offer a chance and a cue to assist individuals in planning their workweek to optimize face time.

2. Collaboration

Technology boosts productivity by enabling cross-temporal and cross-location collaboration. However, there are falls that we have all encountered, such as constraints on unrestricted communication, an inability to maintain concentration and energy, and restricted screen sharing and connection. Highly interconnected jobs can become more complex when done remotely, which puts more cognitive strain on team members. For instance, when having an in-person conversation will clear up most of the ambiguity with little to no intentional effort, a team member might take more time to write an email to avoid uncertainty.

Only 35% of workers say that working collaboratively is best done remotely, even though even remote workers admit that collaboration is typically more challenging online. Leaders and managers underscore the significance of communication (48%) and collaboration (44%) as the primary obstacles that their teams encounter in a mixed work setting.

In addition to causing problems with inclusiveness and cultural differences, hybrid workplaces can also make remote workers feel “out of sight” and forgotten about at crucial times. This includes hazards related to inclusion and equity if off-site employees pass up important chances for involvement and growth, which may eventually restrict their ability to advance in their careers.

It’s important to develop a strategy for how teams collaborate and schedule time more intentionally. This includes determining which days employees must be on site, what hours they must be available to one another, and how carefully meetings should be planned. When the team is on the job site, think about which tasks would benefit from interdependent work and team collaboration.

3. Creativity

The workplace encourages deliberate cooperation as well as impromptu creative moments. It is challenging to duplicate the problem-solving and creative processes that come from hallway talks, lunch and coffee breaks, and the “meeting after the meeting” in a remote office. While these tasks can be completed remotely, in-person team interactions facilitate more seamless and concurrent idea-sharing and cooperation.

Being in the same room as someone fosters creativity. According to a study that was published in the journal Nature Human Behaviour, random pairs of participants who collaborated digitally produced fewer creative ideas than random pairs who collaborated in person.

However, we also understand that being in the same physical location is insufficient. Regardless of where they work, the majority of people lack the guidance and freedom to be creative in their work.

Furthermore, a business cannot rely on serendipitous “water cooler” encounters to generate ideas, particularly when employees are working at various times. Deliberate creative time, whether in or out of the workplace, is essential and should be expected from leadership.

How does deliberate creativity manifest itself? encouraging group discussion of discoveries or lessons discovered during break time. A monthly gathering lasting one hour, with no predetermined plan, to talk about engaging subjects and exchange thoughts and firsthand accounts. modernizing conference rooms to enable smooth and natural virtual and teleconference interactions.

4. Culture

An organization’s culture is the distinctive manner it fulfills its mission, particularly via friendship, coaching, guidance, and mentoring. Any business has a lot of implicit and unwritten standards for behavior, and it can be difficult for those who have never or very infrequently spent time near their workers to understand these expectations.

Concerningly, American workers are no longer feeling as enthused about the goals and objectives of their companies. Fully remote workers, who are physically and mentally separated from their coworkers, typically exhibit the most extreme detachment from the organization.

Many of these implicit expectations need to be made clear at the organizational, team, and individual levels when employees have more freedom in the workplace. It becomes even more crucial that managers and leaders have open and honest discussions about how their teams will collaborate, assign tasks, and communicate with one another. Participating teams in the development of their workplace value statement demonstrate a strong commitment to performance and responsibility.

Why Do We Work Together?

People go to the office for connection, collaboration, creativity, and culture. These things help us do our best work.

These four components have always been crucial, but never more so than now as hybrid work is causing disruption and labor expectations are shifting. To attract, involve, and keep people while maintaining high performance, an organization’s strategy must now include the development and implementation of a workplace value proposition. This strategy also offers a chance to improve upon the current state of the office. A workplace value proposition was constantly present. To create one that influences their workplace culture, executives today need to be far more deliberate.



So what’s the one way that can boost your employee engagement?

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