Hybrid, Remote Work or Flexible Hours? Know Your Team and What Motivates Them

Author Clifford Rowe

Posted Mar 6, 2023

Reads 8.8K

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In the software development industry, workplace culture and dynamics have been constantly shifting over the past few years influenced primarily by the growing collaborative technology. Then, in 2020, the global pandemic accelerated a big shift towards remote work models. What was once widely considered temporary is now becoming a long-term reality for many employees including managers and executives project leaders.

As a result of this developing model, hybrid remote work has empowered workplaces to create a more comprehensive guide for their team members. To be an effective leader, you need a deep understanding of your team and what motivates them most. Recent studies show that ensuring team satisfaction is one of the biggest challenges related to remote office or flexible hours arrangements. Therefore, it's crucial to understand how to properly manage your team under these new circumstances while maintaining productivity levels and keeping everyone engaged in their work.

Discovering the Hybrid Workplace: A Comprehensive Guide

The hybrid workplace has become a popular choice for many companies, including software development companies. This model allows employees to work from home, co-working office spaces, or distributed work locations. Nearshore software technology has made this possible and offers obvious draw to both employers and employees. By offering flexibility in the workplace, companies can partially customize their work environment to increase job satisfaction and productivity.

[ 11 ] How do we keep our data and systems safe when people are working from anywhere?

How do we keep our data and systems safe when people are working from anywhere? According to a recent HP study that surveyed 8,000 office workers, the line between work devices and personal tasks is becoming increasingly blurred, resulting in employees working on nonwork devices and vice versa. This makes them prime targets for hackers as global cyberattacks have increased since the pandemic, with phishing and scan-and-exploit attacks becoming greater threats.

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To secure companies in this new hybrid-remote world, the "castle approach" of securing offices' local network is no longer sufficient. With hybrid teams using their own devices and bringing internet speeds into their homes, it's important to provide centralized policies for corporate-owned devices and access points individually. Regular review of cybersecurity policies, security patches, and user behavior can also help avoid attacks.

Finally, hybrid leaders should prioritize training employees on privacy and security best practices to provide visibility into potential attack vectors. It's crucial to set clear boundaries by providing employees with minimum access to critical data through privileged access. With time balancing employee experience and security concerns, companies can ensure that their data and systems remain safe even when people aren't physically within its physical walls.

The Potential Outlook for Hybrid Work in the Future

Hybrid work has become a buzzword over the past year, as many companies have shifted to remote or hybrid models due to the pandemic. However, hybrid work is more than just a temporary solution – it represents a fundamental shift in how we work. This means thinking beyond our fundamental routines and reevaluating how we collaborate primarily. To make this possible, emerging technologies like artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA) are becoming increasingly important.

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Intelligent automation is one of the most significant trends shaping the future of work, and RPA business solutions refer to using software robots to automate repetitive tasks that steal time from employees' days. With these tools, businesses can automate these routine processes, freeing up time and reducing human error. Additionally, human augmentation begins with these tools as they take on the repetitive tasks that humans have long accepted as part of their workflow.

Hybrid work requires a mindset shift away from traditional in-person versus remote options. Instead, core elements of both must be combined for optimal results. If your company's workflows today rely heavily on open-ended higher-concept work rather than hours spent consolidating countless reports susceptible to human errors that inevitably creep in over time, then hybrid work can significantly reduce human error while proving effective at automating similar processes. Sidney Madison Prescott, Global Head of Intelligent Automation at Capgemini notes that "a ‘how-to guide' for building automation in any single role will not exist because every role has its unique requirements." In other words, each employee will need to evaluate their accepted workflow and determine which tasks could benefit from digital revolution. Buy copies!

Why a Hybrid Workplace is Better Than Traditional Settings?

Recent Future Forum Pulse states that location flexibility significantly improved surveyed knowledge workers' job satisfaction. This is where hybrid workplaces come in. Unlike traditional settings, hybrid workplaces allow employees to work off-site and request special permissions such as leaving early or reporting lateness due to commuting times. From a management perspective, employee satisfaction surprisingly increases when they are granted more flexibility and control over their working habits.

In 2015, the Remote Collaborative Worker Survey back-upped this finding by showing that hybrid workers had higher levels of job satisfaction than those who worked solely in an office environment. The Chartered Institute of Personnel Development also found that a healthy hybrid workforce encourages results-based productivity and builds engagement among team members. By ditching rigid required hours and focusing on project deadlines, the office increases its focus shifts from presence to productivity.

With the rise of remote work brought about by the pandemic, it's becoming increasingly clear that the benefits of hybrid workplaces extend beyond just work-life balance and manage stress - they have become essential for team members to maintain their mental health and well-being. Commuting times for many account workers residing in big cities can be tiring and unhealthy - with hybrid models, these employees now have the option to reduce their time spent commuting while still being productive. Ultimately, hybrid workplaces give both employers and employees what they need: flexibility for a healthier, happier workforce.

Ways to Say Goodbye to Overwhelming Tech Fatigue

As leaders designing hybrid remote work options become more common, it's important to understand the distinct benefits and limitations complaints of digital tools support. While video call and other video tools can be a good option for remote meetings, it doesn't fully pack the punch of in-person interaction.

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To combat depletion headaches and overwhelming tech fatigue, it's important to create periods of reduced time frame for using digital tools. Remember Parkinson's Law - work expands to fill the time allotted - so try setting a timer or scheduling breaks throughout the day. And if your calendar doesn't allow for enough breaks, consider talking with your manager about adjusting your schedule or workload.

[ 7 ] How can we foster trust among teammates who seldom see one another in person?

Building trust among remote groups can be challenging, especially when team members seldom see one another in person. Unlike in-person teams, remote groups lack the natural mindset of being around each other regularly. As a result, team members may be cautiously skeptical of one another, making it difficult to establish confident trust. However, trust inspires trust and can create a virtuous cycle for completing shared tasks effectively.

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Swift trust isn't based on sufficient evidence but rather on what's built during the initial phase of completing shared tasks effectively. The comparison between emotional trust and cognitive swift trust is that while emotional trust takes time to build, swift trust can happen swiftly through completing shared tasks effectively. Present people feeling connection like Theodore Roosevelt famously said, "People don't care how much you know until they know how much you care," nurturing emotional trust requires empathetic words and actions beyond meetings, emails, chats, and online posts.

To foster a sense of camaraderie within hybrid groups and feed trust between team members who seldom see one another in person could use structured and unstructured time. Structured time could include virtual lunches or happy hours where everyone gets together for coffee chats or plays online games together. Unstructured time suggests that team members make an effort to learn about one another's personalities outside of work by sharing hobbies or interests. By building emotional connections with each other outside of work-related conversations, hybrid teams can nurture emotional trust between its members.

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[ 3 ] How can we help people transition to a hybrid work environment?

How can we help people transition to a hybrid work environment? With more teams transitioning to hybrid work, it's essential to have a formal launch and explicitly plan the teams' journey managers. It's important to hold launch discussions that make clear shared goals, individual roles constraints, and shared understanding of how everyone will collaborate effectively using digital tools.

Teams need to remain connected personally with hybrid collaborators, and periodic relaunches are necessary to drive performance. Relaunch appraises can help stay abreast of evolving dynamics and ensure that digital tools are responding appropriately. Shared norms can also help team members understand expectations for communication, availability, and responsiveness.

Providing resources ranging from training on new digital tools to support for mental health is crucial in helping people transition smoothly into a hybrid work environment. By investing in these resources, companies can foster a culture of inclusivity and support for all team members. Ultimately, it is up to organizations to take proactive steps towards ensuring that employees feel supported throughout the transition process.

These Are the Most and Least Affordable Places to Retire in The U.S.

Most people dream of retiring comfortably, and a big part of that is finding an affordable place to live. According to a recent study by Madeline Garfinkle, some of the most affordable places to retire in the United States are in the West Coast region. The mountain state region tends to be more affordable compared to other parts of the country.

However, it's important to note that affordability is not the only factor to consider when choosing a retirement location. Other factors like climate, healthcare facilities, and proximity to family and friends should also be taken into account. If you're considering retiring to an affordable location, do your research and make sure it meets all your needs before making any decisions.

[ 1 ] What’s the best way to approach hybrid work designs?

Design plans for hybrid remote work should prioritize flexibility and collaboration. Consider the core work functions of each team member and how they can best be accomplished in both remote and in-person environments. Communication tools like video conferencing and chat platforms should be integrated seamlessly into the design to ensure effective collaboration between all team members, regardless of location.

1. Survey everyone anonymously about preferences and intentions to leave.

To get a better understanding of how your team feels about hybrid remote work, it's important to survey everyone anonymously. This will help you gather insights on their preferences and intentions to leave. When creating the survey, be sure to pose questions that will reveal whether tasks employees are required to perform at work require in-person versus virtual presence. Additionally, assess the number of remote days people prefer and what they think of the work arrangement in general.

It's also important to ask about peoples' intentions if they're unsatisfied with the current work arrangement. Perhaps they'd like more flexibility or an opportunity to come into the office more often. By asking these types of questions, you can make informed decisions about how to improve your hybrid remote work policy and ensure it meets the needs of everyone on your team. Remember, work arrangements aren't one-size-fits-all, so gathering feedback is key to creating a successful and productive workplace for all.

2. Identify the principles for hybrid guidelines.

One of the guiding principles for hybrid guidelines is to ensure equity among employees. Organizations must establish consistent planning and operating principles centralized around their core work. For instance, PepsiCo's work from home program gives teams the freedom to work virtually depending on their team's needs, while also including expectations for in-person days and performing select innovation activities. Hybrid policy examples should include guidelines for data analyses, groups/teams, and hires specific collaboration efforts periodically enhancing connections.

It is important not to follow a one-size-fits-all path when developing hybrid policies. Organizations should identify the principles that will work best for their culture, products, and people. Video calls are crucial to keep remote workers engaged with everyone else in the organization. People resent being left out of important conversations because they are working remotely. To avoid this situation, organizations should give teams access to video conferences even if they cannot be physically present at meetings or in-person events. Overall, the guiding principles for hybrid guidelines must prioritize fairness and transparency, ensuring that all employees have equal opportunities to succeed regardless of where they work.

3. Convey that the new work approach will be adjusted over time.

Adjusting to a new work approach takes time. Hybrid implementations, like the ones being suggested by companies such as Uber and LinkedIn, require people to learn how to balance their remote and in-person workdays. It's important that companies set expectations and allay anxiety by emphasizing that these hybrid plans are not set in stone and will be adjusted over time.

The fast-changing societal landscape means that what may have worked before may not be optimal now. Companies' recent adjustments include suggesting specific numbers of remote days or offering permanent remote options. However, it's important to remember that even with these guidelines, there will still be variations in individual situations. Consecutive days of remote work might not be suitable for everyone, and subsequent weeks might inevitably test the feasibility of suboptimal arrangements. Likewise, ideal in-person activity choices will differ among employees. The key is to remain flexible and open to adjusting the plan as necessary.

Frequently Asked Questions

What percentage of fully remote workers prefer hybrid work?

There is no definitive percentage of fully remote workers who prefer hybrid work, as preferences may vary depending on factors such as job type, personal circumstances, and individual work style. However, surveys suggest that many remote workers would welcome a mixture of in-person and virtual work options.

Why is the hybrid work model becoming more popular?

The hybrid work model is becoming more popular due to its flexibility and ability to improve work-life balance for employees, while also increasing productivity and reducing operational costs for businesses.

What questions should you ask when transitioning to hybrid work?

When transitioning to hybrid work, it's important to ask questions such as how often employees will be in the office, what technology will be provided for remote work, and how communication will be maintained between team members.

What makes a successful hybrid team?

A successful hybrid team is one that has clear communication, trust, collaboration, and flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances. It requires effective leadership, technology tools, and a shared understanding of goals and expectations.

What should hybrid work schedules look like?

Hybrid work schedules should be a flexible mix of in-office and remote work that suits both the company's needs and employees' preferences. A good balance is key to ensuring productivity, collaboration, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.

Clifford Rowe

Clifford Rowe

Writer at Inside Business

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Clifford Rowe is an experienced business consultant and writer with over 25 years of experience in various industries. He has a keen interest in marketing, branding, and entrepreneurship, and has helped numerous businesses grow and scale their operations. Clifford's articles have been featured in several publications, including Forbes, Entrepreneur, and Inc.

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