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.
The majority of Senior Leaders are getting on board with hybrid work: 81% of C-suite executives believe hybrid work will be the norm by 2024. But, they recognize that the success of the hybrid work model will require more effective internal communication and a new rubric for making data-driven decisions.
At the heart of these new challenges for Senior Leaders in navigating hybrid work are two of the largest assets in any organization: people and space. While traditionally the Heads of People Ops and Heads of Real Estate may have worked in a more siloed fashion, now is the perfect opportunity for these two stakeholders to join arms. People and space are two of the largest line items on any organization’s P&L. If these leaders can successfully converge and work together, there’s an opportunity to achieve a quantifiable ROI on both.
First, looking at the space side of things, we have seen 7 in 10 businesses in the US permanently close some or all of their office space since March 2020. The trend looks like it will only continue, with 52% of companies expecting to shrink their footprint over the next three years. As office lease renewals come due, Senior Leaders must consider a crucial question, “Do we really need all of this space?” And if not, they need a way to determine how much space they really need, what activities their space needs to support and, ultimately, how to optimize their spend on office space and facilities.
Second, looking at the people side of things, we know that 65% of US employees rank flexible work as the most important benefit, even above salary. Organizations that are able to take advantage of hybrid work and create an effective model will attract, engage, and retain top talent. But, Senior Leaders may be left wondering how to balance providing employees with the flexibility they want while still meeting business objectives. Senior Leaders want to create visibility and transparency across the entire organization to keep everyone aligned toward these core company objectives, no matter when or where they’re working.
For Senior Leaders, the goal of creating an effective hybrid work model is to achieve talent advantages, real estate efficiencies, and core company objectives. Doing this successfully will lead to:
1. ROI from more efficient real estate + facilities
Tools like KettleOS collect valuable data reflecting who’s working where, when, with whom, and why. Properly leveraging these insights can take the guesswork out of determining how much space your organization really uses. So, when the office lease renewal comes due, you know exactly what you need. These insights can help your organization downsize efficiently and lead to significant savings (for many companies, in the millions).
2. Compelling human-centric environment
Embracing hybrid work doesn’t have to mean doing away with company culture–Senior Leaders want to create an environment where employees want to be in-person. Leadership can transform the office from an obligation into a destination by bringing people together with purpose for valuable in-person experiences.
3. Insights into EE behavior + needs
It’s 3 p.m., do you know where your employees are? Hybrid workplace management tools like KettleOS provide Senior Leaders with clear insight into where and when employees and teams are working, and how it’s going.
4. Foundation for iteration + organization
With the lack of guidelines or best practices surrounding hybrid work models, organizations must adopt a test-and-learn strategy. Those who have tools like KettleOS that enable them to collect feedback (both qualitative and quantitative) early and often will be able to iterate more thoughtfully. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid work, so Senior Leaders must have insight into what is best for their organization so they can adapt based on their evolving needs.
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 can make your time together count.
Check out the Employee and Manager posts to learn more about those groups' unique needs and desired outcomes.