Hybrid Working : A review of current research
Once in a generation, we have the opportunity to reimagine how we work. Thanks to the development and extensive roll-out and take-up of COVID-19 vaccines, the coming year presents such an opportunity.
The return of employees to the workplace is a chance to create a new, more effective operating model that works for both companies and individuals navigating an uncertain world.
There is, however, one big catch: employers must confront the broadening disconnect between how they and their employees see the future.
We’ve learned many things during the past 18 months, not least how to be more productive in operating models that were created in haste and out of necessity to meet the challenges and uncertainties of the global COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s not forget how many organisations – although being physically remote – worked closer with their employees to figure out ingenious ways to keep their companies productive, whilst still upholding their duty of care for their people.
But the lessons learned during the pandemic only go so far in helping leaders address the next great ‘experiment’ that is presenting itself: hybrid working.
A hybrid model is more complicated than is a fully remote one. At scale, using it will be an unprecedented event in which all kinds of norms that have been accepted practice for decades, along with the culture and work/life balance of a remote workforce which has become commonplace for many of us, will be put to the test.
No matter what they might say or even believe themselves, leaders are a long way from knowing how it will work in practise.
Acorn have been reviewing current research and findings on hybrid working and, over the next few months, we will offer a summary of our findings in a series of papers which will cover the following:
The Functional/Practical Aspect of Hybrid Working
The implications of the shift from place-constrained and time-constrained working to anywhere and anytime.
The Effects on Mental Health and Wellbeing
Feelings of loneliness and isolation, increased job demands and growing disengagement with individuals work and teams, balanced with the fact that employees can take time out during the day to exercise, perhaps eat more healthily, and spend more time with their families.
The Effects on Organisational Culture
Business leaders are starting to realise that though the working from home experiment was a success, it also hurt organisational culture and belonging, and reduced trust in organisations and individuals, and their relationships.
Building Trusting Relationships
It’s critical that company leaders work to rebuild and maintain trusting relationships – both with and among their employees.