Embracing Hybrid Work for Business Success: Key Insights from Gartner

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June 6, 2023

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Embracing the wave of change in today’s work environment is no longer a choice but a necessity. As more businesses adopt hybrid work models, the question arises: How can we make this work for our success? A new Gartner report provides enlightening insights, revealing three explicit norms crucial for Hybrid Work Success: enhancing visibility, encouraging flexibility, and nurturing connections.

The Importance of Visibility in a Hybrid Work Setting

As businesses find their footing in the new normal of work, ensuring visibility becomes critical. Only half of organisations have implemented practices to foster visibility in their workplaces, as found by the Gartner report. Creating an open dialog about schedules and work preferences allows for the co-creation of guidelines on when to concentrate and communicate efficiently. Updating work preferences regularly and considering all members’ preferences at the outset of new teams or projects keeps the workflow fresh and responsive. Gartner’s report shows that teams adopting this approach report an 8% increase in engagement, a 7% rise in inclusivity, and a 5% improvement in performance.

Flexibility: The Linchpin of Hybrid Work Success

Adopting flexibility is another key tenet of the successful hybrid model. Practices like regular remote workdays and meeting-free days offer breathing room for employees and help combat virtual overload. However, according to Gartner, only 55% of organisations currently provide frequent remote workdays, and a mere 22% implement meeting-free days. Encouraging these flexible practices, businesses can boost performance, stimulate creativity, and give employees the much-needed respite they deserve.

Fostering Connections in a Distributed Workforce

In the digital age, fostering genuine connections can feel like a formidable task. However, the Gartner report asserts it as a non-negotiable component of Hybrid Work Success. With only 40% of organisations implementing practices to bolster communication in the workplace, there’s much room for improvement. Regular in-person meetings and on-site work with managers can deepen relationships and foster understanding, leading to a happier and more productive workforce.

A Word of Caution

While hybrid work brings numerous benefits, it’s crucial to navigate this terrain with sensitivity. Policies mandating employees to be on-site while managers work remotely could foster resentment, leading to higher attrition rates. As Gartner highlights, the secret to Hybrid Work Success lies in striking a balance between on-site work and full office returns.

Practical Steps Towards Hybrid Work Success

Let’s dive deeper into each of the three norms and explore actionable steps that businesses can adopt to enhance their hybrid work models.

Increasing Visibility: Transparency and Regular Updates

An effective way to increase visibility is through a shared online workspace. Tools like Asana, Trello, or Microsoft Teams allow team members to see what others are working on and track project progress. Regularly updating these spaces maintains a continuous flow of information, making the team feel connected despite physical distances.

Cultivating Flexibility: Autonomy and Boundaries

One of the easiest ways to enforce boundaries while maintaining flexibility is by having a clear and shared understanding of ‘core hours’. These are specific hours of the day when all team members are expected to be available for meetings or collaborations. Outside of these core hours, employees can choose when they prefer to work.

Nurturing Connections: Virtual and In-person Interactions

Creating meaningful connections in a hybrid work environment can be challenging but is not impossible. Both virtual and in-person interactions have a role to play. Organising periodic in-person meetings or team-building activities can be beneficial. In between these in-person interactions, virtual team-building activities can help maintain the bond among remote team members.

Overcoming Challenges in Hybrid Work Models

Transitioning to a hybrid work model isn’t without its challenges. These might include coordinating across different time zones, maintaining open and effective communication, or ensuring equal opportunities for both remote and in-person employees.

Consider the example of a tech firm that implemented these three norms effectively. They used shared digital workspaces to maintain visibility, introduced core hours and meeting-free days for flexibility, and promoted connection through a mix of in-person and virtual team activities. This example underlines the potential of a well-managed hybrid work model.

Armed with the insights from the Gartner report and practical strategies outlined here, you’re now well-equipped to navigate the path of hybrid work. Remember: increased visibility, cultivate flexibility, and nurtured connections are your guiding principles towards Hybrid Work Success.

Are you ready to implement these norms in your organisation? We’re here to help. Get in touch with us to learn how we can support your transition to a successful hybrid work model. Your journey to Hybrid Work Success starts here.

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