Thinking of introducing a hybrid working style to your business? Here are seven simple ways to avoid bad feelings and old habits.

It’s a hybrid world. Businesses have the opportunity to reimagine how their teams connect and collaborate from any location.

In fact, there’s no denying that old norms around business travel, meetings, and productivity were challenged by the pandemic.

In comes a hybrid work model. Here are 7 mistakes to avoid:

1. Favouritism

In a hybrid business, you will have both in-house and remote team members.

It’s important to remember, someone that comes into an office frequently is no more engaged nor more productive than a remote employee.

HOW TO FIX – Leaders can reduce the risk of this work-location bias by setting an example and working remotely, even for large or critical meetings. Ensure that a two-class system is not happening by embracing hybrid, even at the executive level.

2. Slipping back into bad habits

Don’t backslide into measuring inputs (e.g. butts in seats, timesheets) as productivity metrics and continue to measure outcomes that relate to business value.

HOW TO FIX – Invest in good managers who can manage a remote and/or hybrid workforce.

3. Reverting to old meeting styles

As we return to the office, we’re all naturally tempted to run meetings in the traditional way we’re used to. However, in a hybrid world, it’s wrong to assume the other participants in the meeting are working from the office too.

HOW TO FIX – Meetings need to be designed for both remote team members and in-person members. Mastering the art of remote collaboration will open your business up to all the possibilities of a hybrid workforce – greater talent pool, happier staff, and more engagement.

4. Sending a message of distrust

In these unprecedented times, employees have worked tirelessly for over a year and a half to drive the success of their companies.

Your team have balanced family, education, and health issues alongside their usual worklife. On the whole, they have earned significant trust and credibility, and deserve a bit of autonomy and flexibility.

HOW TO FIX – Do not announce a “return to work” or imply that your team are only productive when inside company walls.

5. Allowing poor management skills to slide

If a team is performing poorly, you may want to look in the direction of management for answers.

HOW TO FIX – If you have managers who need to brush up on their leadership and coaching skills, provide training as soon as possible. Train managers to coach, communicate and develop their teams for long-term commitment, performance, and growth with the company.

6. Letting go of good engagement

People feel differently about working from an office environment, and likewise, remotely.

We shouldn’t lose what has been good about the pandemic.

HOW TO FIX – The communication structures that were put in place and worked well during the lockdowns should remain in place. Try to ensure impromptu ‘water cooler’ chats over video remain so remote workers don’t feel left out.

7. Encouraging travel too soon

Not everyone may be ready to travel for in-person meetings – this includes your team and customers – and that’s perfectly fine.

HOW TO FIX – Try to discuss travel as an option in advance of a meeting or project, check other people for availability, and offer flexibility.

Staveley Comms
Brighton House
Trident Business Park
Daten Avenue
Birchwood
Warrington
WA3 6BX