Hybrid Work Is the New Remote Work

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Employers worldwide are straddling the line between yesterday when most workers were physically present at work, and tomorrow, when a vaccination or successful treatment will allow a safe return to the regular workplace. Even if that happens, remote work will have cemented its place in the labor market. 

This situation poses two difficulties to leaders: how to manage distant working circumstances in the face of today’s uncertainties, and how to prepare for and maximize hybrid working models of the future, in which wholly in-person and remote work will be two extremes of a fluid spectrum of alternatives.

Sustainable Remote Jobsin the job market

Since the outbreak, we have conducted extensive surveys of employers, employees, and HR directors, and we will continue to do so as firms experiment with new work patterns. Three-quarters of the employees we polled who moved to or stayed remote during COVID-19 claim they are as productive as they were before the outbreak. 

We also know that frontline employees, manufacturing workers, and many service workers are unable to work remotely. Even if these major concerns of equality and fairness were not present, remote labor during a pandemic is not without its difficulties. Anxiety, despair, stress, and loneliness are more prevalent than they have ever been. 

Empower frontline leaders to support remote Jobs.

Frontline leaders have traditionally relied on face-to-face team meetings or one-on-one coaching sessions. It is how they learn to know and encourage their people, track engagement in real-time, and provide strategic context and purpose to their workforce. While some leaders may adapt to virtual environments effortlessly, others may benefit from training and new daily routines that help them improve their online communication, mentoring, engagement, and management of remote and hybrid teams. Many firms were educating leaders in important areas such as emotional intelligence and team development prior to the epidemic.

Best Practice for Remote Jobs

Best practices for remote jobs are starting to emerge. Managers at a big insurer with conventional in-person agents have devised virtual team sessions in which agents support one another while making phone and video sales call: they work on mute but observe one another. When a coworker completes a transaction, they dance on screen, applaud, and video high-five. They can also raise their hand and speak with their team leader individually in order to receive just-in-time instruction. 

Continue caring.

Many organizations implemented or promoted mental health, physical health, social connectedness, collaborative tools, and family care initiatives in the early days of the epidemic. 

This is not the time to let up on your compassion and caring. The disadvantages of remote employment, including burnout, are as real as the advantages. Employers must continue to establish programs and policies that foster a compassionate, employee-centered culture. 

Remote Jobs Remains of the Pandemic

Pandemics past, yet the imperatives outlined above will continue to apply. Employees and hybrid jobs employers alike have expressed little interest in reverting to pre-pandemic employment practices, according to our recent studies. However, it will be too late to begin envisioning and rebuilding work until the coronavirus has passed. 

Employers with foresight have already begun to see the importance of this chance to launch themselves into a post-COVID-19 environment. They are reinventing the future of work by developing new job models based on four fundamental components.

Structure and Roles.

The epidemic struck precisely as businesses began to transform into bionic entities, combining technology, technological platforms, and human capabilities to drive growth, creativity, efficiency, and resilience. To take advantage of the new hybrid work norm, foresighted companies are doubling down on bionic structures

Ways of Working.

Organizations forced to operate remotely learned on the fly what worked and what did not during the epidemic. They took risks. They gained knowledge. Without committing to a large new program or manifesto, they were more nimble. 

The crisis was greater and more demanding than traditional hierarchies could generate, several of them formed swat teams that reflected agile concepts such as empowered, cross-functional teams, rapid decision making, and experimentation. They discovered how to work around agile’s co-location concept.

Systems and Spaces.

Adjustments in working styles need changes in workplaces. The health-care system described above will save tens of millions of dollars in real estate expenditures, but it does more than that. 

It is bringing out smart conference rooms, as well as smart, sensor-equipped desks and chairs, so that employees may reserve exactly the space they need, when they need it, for the task they need to perform. To gain the most value out of a flexible location strategy, companies must invest in digital infrastructure like this.

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