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A Hybrid Workforce: Three Things to Eliminate

If you’ve ever driven a hybrid car, you know you don’t just jump in and drive it the same way you would your gas or diesel car. These cars are designed to use the integration between a traditional combustion engine and an electric one to deliver many efficiencies and advantages you can’t get from one or the other on its own. But you need to adapt the way you drive to realize both the enjoyable experience and a way of saving money.

The hybrid workforce. It will draw on the synergies of in-office work and working from home and blend them to achieve a stronger outcome. As companies begin to design how their workdays, workweeks, and workforce will look now that returning to offices is part of the equation, it too will require adapting to realize the many benefits.

Regardless of your role in the organization, there are key areas where you will need to adapt to set yourself up for success in the hybrid work-world and capitalize on the many opportunities it brings.

Adapting to the hybrid workforce requires eliminating these 3 things:

1. Ambiguity

As shown in the graph below, over 2/3rds of organizations have not clearly communicated a vision for post-pandemic work.

As leaders, you owe it to your team to define and set clear guidelines on what is office required, what is office optional, and what are acceptable working hours. As employees, you owe it to your employer to have a conversation and come to an agreement on how, where, and when you will work and what you will deliver as a result. We were forced into a remote world almost overnight. The good news is we have been given time now to define what hybrid will look like for our teams and our organization. Get clear now by putting defined agreements in place that are flexible enough to realize synergies but not ambiguous.

2. Socially Acceptable Excuses

They often start with “I would be successful if…" These statements have taken hold over the last several months, and the caution is they amplify during times of change. Start right now to eliminate the excuses why hybrid won't work for you. Watch out for things like:

I'd be successful if…

  • I could see my team; then I’d know if they were working

  • I could get everyone on the same schedule

  • I could just drop in on my coworkers to collaborate

  • I could eliminate the drama and jealousy created by these different work schedules

  • I didn’t have to go into the office

  • I could go into the office

  • I could travel to see my clients/prospects

We call these socially acceptable excuses because, on the surface, they seem logical. The reality is, they are just excuses. No different than "I forgot" or "I ran out of time" or "my dog ate my homework." In fact, a poll done by Cereve found that,

On average, we make six excuses daily for not doing things we should.

That adds up to over 2000 excuses a year. You have a choice to make hybrid working, selling, and managing, an advantage or an excuse. Start now to find a way to eliminate the reasons why it won’t work and find ways to make it work.

3. Assumptions

We've learned through this pandemic that we can't possibly know what each person wants, needs, or is experiencing. We also can’t assume all people with the same title will fit into the same workday mold. By designing a workplace that embraces flexibility while expecting productivity, organizations are allowing employees to create a place to get their best work done. If we fail to work together as leaders and employees to build a flexible, adaptive, and highly communicative environment, we risk losing key team members to organizations that do. Assuming is dangerous. Communication is a key skill in business and in life. It’s even more critical in a hybrid workforce to ensure clarity, inclusion, and engagement.

Butler Street’s Leadership Effectiveness and High Impact Sales Management training provide the tools and processes for effective communication, coaching and feedback, developing and managing to agreements, and creating a highly engaged workforce. As you configure your teams, we can help ensure you adapt quickly to realize the most benefits.


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