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According to the Accenture Future of Work Study 2021 of more than 9,000 workers around the world:

83% of workers prefer a hybrid model

63% of high-revenue-growth companies have already instituted hybrid/work-from-anywhere models

69% of negative or no-growth companies are creating bounds around where people can work: all on-site or remote instead of enabling hybrid

Where does your company stand on hybrid work?

And, more importantly, why is that your stance?

Here are six things to consider if your organization is still figuring out what to do about hybrid work.

Six Key Actions to Address Hybrid Work Issues

Here are five key actions you can take to ensure you’re doing what’s best for the organization.

1. Check who you are listening to

Who has the loudest voice when it comes to decisions around hybrid/in-person/remote working? This is a topic of conversation in every organization in the world right now. Who is talking about it the most in your company? Who is getting the most air time and what are they saying?

2. Determine their agenda

Once you’ve determined who the voices are, figure out what their agenda is. Do these people truly have the best interest of the company at heart? Do they have their finger on the pulse of the organization? Are these people who share the common vision for the future of the company?

3. Get input from every level

Company wide surveys have a pretty terrible reputation. Typically, a survey goes out, people provide their input, then all input is essentially ignored. So, if that’s how it goes in your organization, ignore this recommendation for a survey. But, we’re going to assume you’re better than that! Create a survey and get input from your people. (Need help? Harrison Latham can handle this quickly and efficiently for you.) 

4. Prioritize your next steps

Read into your data. You want to look at how people ranked options as well as their concerns about or enthusiasm for the options. Are people afraid they’ll miss opportunities if they say they want hybrid? Is the culture quietly biased against people who aren’t consistently face to face? (more common than you might think!) With the survey data and results in hand, make the hard decisions. Determine what is going to work best for the people in your organization.

5. Create a strategic communication plan

Determine exactly what and how you will communicate the information to everyone. Even if you aren’t making a single change as a result of the survey, you need a plan for telling your people that! Consider your stakeholders and customers in the strategic communication plan. What is helpful for them to know? What are the best ways to communicate the new plan with them?

6. Deal with (train) the naysayers

Let’s say you decide to go full hybrid, people can work from anywhere that suits them and you have a manager railing against this. This manager is convinced people need to be at their desks or they’ll never get anything done. Honestly, this is a leadership issue. That manager needs a new set of leadership tools to effectively manage and connect in a hybrid model. Some people are a natural at this (you identified those people during the pandemic) and some people need guidance and training to develop new ways to manage effectively. Your naysayers need training. Some might simply need other opportunities.

If you haven’t taken action on addressing hybrid yet, it’s time. Get the input you need, make a plan that addresses needs, figure out who needs additional training, and communicate what you’re doing.

If you have questions about any of this, feel free to reach out to me! I’d love to help you brainstorm ideas.

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