Overnight, we all were forced to transition from being in the office daily to working remotely 100% of the time. Now, most organizations are struggling to find the happy medium between these two systems and unlock the benefits of hybrid work.
An effective hybrid work model entails an intentional mix of in-office, work-from-home, and remote work– emphasis on intentional. But, with no guidebook or established best practices, companies are left to guess what will be the most effective system for them. To create an effective flexible work model, companies need to address the unique needs of Employees, Managers, and Senior Leaders. Those who have a tool to collect data now will be in a better position in the future to use that data to make smarter decisions. This blog series will take a closer look at the needs and desired outcomes of each of these groups to see how organizations can maximize the benefits of hybrid work for people at every level.
Managers have been feeling the pressure as organizations attempt to manage the ‘new normal’ of hybrid work. They report higher levels of stress and burnout than others across different job levels; 43% of managers report feeling burned out compared to 32% of executives. They also report 46% lower levels of job satisfaction than senior leaders.
But what is contributing to these high levels of stress? Well, in recent years, Managers have found themselves tasked with making and enforcing consequential decisions about hybrid work models for their teams. With no existing best practices for creating an effective hybrid team, Managers feel lost, wondering “how am I supposed to know where, when, and how everyone should be working?” There is no one-size fits all approach–not all teams are the same in terms of their needs for in-person time together. And of course, these decisions are often made even more complicated by the differing opinions of senior leaders and employees.
To effectively establish hybrid work models for their teams, Managers have a few key needs. First, they need ways to clearly communicate expectations set by both themselves and senior leadership to employees regarding policies, schedules, and choices. This is crucial because with the constant evolution of hybrid work, it can be challenging to keep everyone updated as changes happen in real time. A lack of transparent communication can lead to confusion and undermine trust in leadership. Second, Managers need to create environments where people want to be in person.
Once Managers can compel their teams to work in-person some of the time, how do they establish a rhythm and reason for colocation? They need to ensure that they bring people together with purpose while also empowering the individuals on their teams to make the best decisions for themselves. Needless to say, this is all a lot to manage in addition to their normal responsibilities. It’s no wonder Managers are feeling stressed and burned out!
For Managers, there are some guiding principles to follow in order to create an effective hybrid model for their teams. These include:
1. Improve team connection to people + purpose
We know that giving employees a sense of purpose and community at work is one of the best ways to engage and retain them. By developing an effective hybrid model that brings people together in a meaningful way, Managers can improve connection, engagement, and retention among their team members.
2. Foster intentional collaboration
Managers and teams will get the most ‘bang for their buck’ for time spent working in-person when colocation is intentional. Bringing people together to collaborate in a thoughtful way helps ensure that everyone will have meaningful experiences that highlight the value of time together.
3. Reduce time spent coordinating
Managers aren’t event planners. Hybrid work solutions like KettleOS can help reduce the amount of time Managers need to spend playing middle man and coordinating where and when everyone else is working, ultimately giving them time back to focus on their primary job responsibilities.
4. Collect and leverage data to optimize hybrid work performance
Because hybrid work is so new, there is no playbook, no standard measurement, and no data being collected to support iteration. Kettle provides insights into the impacts of Managers’ decisions so they can adjust thoughtfully to improve their hybrid work model and optimize team performance over time.
It can be difficult and confusing to craft a hybrid work model that benefits all levels of your organization. At Kettle, we help you design a way of working that’s right for you so you canmake your time together count.
Check out the Employee and Senior Leader posts to learn more about those groups' unique needs and desired outcomes.