Return-to-work tactics are blooming, with businesses like Microsoft and Google pushing workers to include HQ workdays in flexible schedules.
Hybrid or virtual work will continue to be the preferred workplace paradigm for the foreseeable future. Especially if companies continue to become more involved in volatile world situations.
Many organizations are starting the arduous work of adjusting their return-to-work operations to suit a hybrid workplace model. This included developing policies, cleaning up infrastructure, and enhancing the employee experience.
What could go wrong in this win-win-win future of work? CEOs are keeping a sharp eye on the whole thing.
No two businesses are alike. Indeed, organizations must analyze possible hazards specific to operations, culture, or goals. So, management must enter into hybrid work with a clear head and a strategic virtual organizational growth plan. Based on previous case studies that indicate typical hybrid team blunders and costly flexibility policy retractions, there are three primary return-to-work hazards that corporate executives should be aware of.
Risk 1: Proximity Bias
Employers that use the term “return to work” instead of “return to office” may have a prejudiced view of employees who prefer to work remotely. That is to say the former implies that returning to a central workplace would restore productivity.
This is a hazardous viewpoint.
Indeed, it overlooks the two years of hard effort (and frequently overwork) of people. These hardworking individuals have put in much to keep businesses running amid an unanticipated global crisis. It also shows that management systems aren’t updated to measure off-site work as precisely as on-site activity.
The firm may lose personnel or face legal action if one of these behaviors persists. Prevent proximity-biased management in your hybrid team by doing the following.
- Produce is the underlying term of “productivity” in performance management.
- In other words, value output above location, as results provide, is measured from anywhere.
Micromanagement and proximity bias is often the outcome of the adage, “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Many supervisors are unfamiliar with virtual leadership after years of managing teams in a centralized atmosphere.
Luckily, there’s an easy fix. Update your leadership training and career development programs to enable managers to lead remote employees as successfully as on-site staff.
Risk 2: Disparities at Work
Working from home may seem like a luxury for remote workers, but the unpredictable nature of these locations frequently puts them at a disadvantage.
Consider comparing one person’s performance in an office. Picture the office with lightning-fast internet, a thoroughly cleaned workplace, and a cutting-edge computer. Another employee in a loud coffee shop with a flaky connection and blenders running in the background. In terms of performance, their assessments are likely to be vastly different.
Consider providing the following initiatives to help all employees succeed, regardless of location.
- To keep everyone safe and compliant, employers should educate employees about the standards and enforce them in their home and mobile workplaces.
- Prepare for emergencies and typical dangers during onboarding, continuous education, and in your company’s digital handbook.
Providing excellent equipment in home and business offices is vital for preserving continuity and consistency across all work locations.
Audit your company’s equipment and information security rules. Indeed, giving specific attention to BYOD regulations will guarantee maximum performance and capability for all workers.
Risk 3: Discrimination in the Workplace
Hybrid models are inherently complex due to the environmental duality.
Creating and sustaining an equitable employee experience is difficult. That is to say, when team members operate from diverse places, with different equipment, and in varying circumstances. However, this wide variety of talent may boost your company’s efficiency and profitability.
In contrast, a lack of competent change management may lead to employee dissatisfaction, attrition, and litigation.
New hybrid businesses often mistake leaving decisions on flexibility permissions and training to “each manager’s discretion.” This is an efficient change management methodology as a result of each manager’s thoughts and experiences with remote work. Instead, provide company-wide approvals and training.
Look closely at access to information.
It’s natural to preserve some files, jobs, or activities in the office since that’s what we did before the pandemic. In a hybrid environment, having resources locked in the workplace makes them more accessible to those on-site and less accessible.
That imbalance may be the difference between a productive employee and a blocked one. To resolve this, go digital and ensure all departments and documents are digitally in storage.
So, how can you start reducing risk in your company’s new return-to-work hybrid model?
Begin by assessing your operational infrastructure to verify that your people and processes are not returning to an old-fashioned, proximity-based working model.
Examine your management style, workplace consistency, and potential for biased decision-making. By stressing location-independent productivity and fair employee experience, these programs and regulations may help prevent discrimination and operational loss.