Everyone is looking for answers. C-level executives and managers are struggling to find the right and safe way to get employees back into the office. Employees are excited about the flexibility of remote work and what that could mean for their future of work.
No one really knows what the best action plan is, but everyone has an opinion.
More than 75% of C-suite executives report that they expected the typical “core” employee to be back in the office 3 or more days a week, which is much different from employees who say they want to WFH two or more days a week.
Employees know they want some type of flexibility. And executives are listening.
LinkedIn’s Global Talent Trends 2022 report shows that of the more than 500 C-level executives surveyed, 81% said they’re changing their workplace policies to offer greater flexibility.
That’s why the term “hybrid workplace” has really taken off recently. It’s a way to mix in flexible, remote working with in-office working and collaboration. And it empowers the workforce while keeping the right balance of control in management’s hands.
Why the Hybrid Workplace?
As we start to see light at the end of the COVID tunnel, it’s time to figure out the ‘next’ normal for the workplace. Many executives would love to go back to the way it was—everyone in the office, 9 to 5, Monday through Friday. But that might not be the right move and many managers are already learning it doesn’t mean less control.
Employees have made it clear that there needs to be some type of flexible working arrangement, or they’ll consider other options. And other options exist because 9 out of 10 organizations will be combining remote and on-site working.
So, as an executive/manager, you need to make sure you are staying away from “return to normal” and moving on to the “next normal.”
Start with Flexibility
With that in mind, let’s look at what employees do want. They do want flexibility. 94% of respondents in a recent Deloitte survey said they would benefit from workplace flexibility. And 50% won’t return to jobs that don’t offer some form of remote working, Owl Labs reports.
But after that point, employees’ wants start to differ. It’s not about 100% remote working. It’s about finding a balance that works for executives, managers, and employees. This pandemic showed us a lot of things. People could be productive from home and organizations could still succeed under new, drastic circumstances. We saw some great things, but we also saw a disconnect between employees, employers, and organizations. The high of working from home has worn off and people want to know how to reconnect.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, 39% of employees struggled to maintain a strong connection with colleagues as informal social networks weakened and people leaned in heavily to the people and groups with whom they most identified.
It feels like the majority of us agree that getting back in the office for certain tasks, projects, or days would boost comradery, collaboration, and teamwork. We all need some face-to-face time—we’ve been missing it for two years. That’s why so many executives and organizations are turning to the hybrid workplace.
The hybrid workplace is a flexible workplace practice that empowers employees to work where and when they want, usually by balancing their time between office work and remote work.
It might not be getting everyone back in the office full-time, but it is a great flexible workplace model that can benefit everyone. It empowers employees with choice and flexibility while keeping executives in control of their workplace.
In this blog series, we will go through how the hybrid workplace works for managers and C-level executives, busting myths that might be at the forefront of your brain when you hear the term “hybrid workplace.”
We will answer questions such as:
- Where’s the face-to-face teamwork in a hybrid workplace?
- What’s going on in your space?
- How do you get employees back into the office safely?
- What technology is needed to make this all happen?
In the next post, we cover face-to-face teamwork in the hybrid workplace. In the meantime, grab your free guide to the post-COVID, hybrid workplace or schedule a demo to discuss how a workplace management software can help your organization.