As hybrid working becomes a reality for more and more people, we asked Sally Todd, partner at DuoMe to tell us about the impact it might have and what you need to think about to plan it out.
“Hybrid working has great potential. It can create a more level playfield for all workers to contribute fairly and businesses will benefit from giving their employees the flexibility to work when they’re most productive. Helping your employees plan the most effective working days will help your business stay agile and serve your clients efficiently.”
Planning where you’ll be
“As the workforce and workplace become decentralised, rethinking work as a range of activities, not a place, makes sense as business priorities continue to evolve. People need to be able to work on different topics in the place that produces the best outcome for the customer, employee and organisation. And for that, you need the flexibility to coordinate being in the same space at the same time as the colleagues you need to see to get the work done. Planning what work to do where is new.
But your calendar can’t manage all these schedules, nor track people’s changing locations. If you’re working in the office, you can’t afford to assume who else will be there. If someone changes their plans and works remotely, it could derail your objectives.
As employees are no longer consistently co-located, this means recognising that the hours different people work may be ‘out of sync’ – they may not occur at the same time! Managing hybrid working well means helping teams to collaborate effectively as they work across locations and at different times.
So, hybrid workers need to be able to keep up with others’ locations as priorities change to make sure planning collaboration days is straightforward. Ensuring hybrid teams can share and retrieve work whatever their hours is key to protecting productive time and avoiding over-use of too many apps that rely on real time video or chat.”
Balancing out the team
“Significantly, equipping teams to share their work and progress in a uniform way can equalise their visibility. Hybrid working has the potential to level out imbalances that have frustrated many in the past, such as parents returning to work who want to progress a meaningful career while balancing outside demands on their time. As we all spend less time in the office, this new working style is an opportunity for people who previously needed to be strict about office time. Now, you might worry less that being physically seen is a measure of your commitment.
To work with varying levels of workforce visibility, you’ll need to upskill, reskill, adapt to new working styles and plan your spaces. Practical tools such as DuoMe for Hybrid Teams simplify planning when to be in the office will help you see the people you need to see, reduce the meetings in your diary and help you prioritise your work according to where and when you work at your best.”