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The success of a hybrid work environment depends on process, culture and connectivity

“By creating space for employees where honesty and behavior are important, managers will see continued trust,” says Catalano. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The pandemic shattered the traditional view of the office work model from 9am to 5pm. Employers and employees alike quickly adapted to the need for remote work arrangements, some more successful than others, but at least for workers, offices are no longer a need for productivity. There was an overall point.

Employers now have to live up to their expectations of flexible work by adapting long-term policies and adjusting their expectations and operations accordingly. Not only do they have happier and more productive employees, but they also emerge as leaders in talent-seeking wars.

Related: Remote Work: When Hybrid is the answer to employee distress

Rob Catalano, Chief Strategy Officer, Employee Experience Platform Kazoo + WorkTango, Rob Catalano, Chief Strategy Officer of Kazoo + WorkTango, an employee experience platform

But what’s the secret to a successful hybrid working model? Rob Catalano, Chief Strategy Officer of the employee experience platform Kazoo + WorkTango, recently shared some guidance with Benefits PRO.

What are the benefits of allowing employees to “work from anywhere”? Are there any drawbacks?

Employees have become accustomed to the benefits and flexibility of working from home or “anywhere”. For example, shorter commute times mean more time at home to reduce pressure from stressful work days. In addition, working parents can spend more time with their children and require less paid childcare. Workers have also found that using these hybrid schedules makes it more feasible to travel weekly without the use of PTOs.

All of these factors will help many employees realize that living in the same state or city as their office is no longer a requirement for work, which will also benefit employers and open a talent pool. .. Providing this level of flexibility and autonomy could offset employee expectations for salary increases during this period of inflation by giving them the autonomy and flexible work environment they desire and deserve. There is also.

As an employer, it is important to consider why your employees are enjoying these benefits. When employees can successfully perform the same role from different locations, trust is actively built by providing a “work from anywhere” policy.

One of the drawbacks of working from home is that there can be distrust between leadership and employees. Some managers feel that they need to have fine-grained control over their employees to ensure that everything happens on time. This can be interpreted as distrust of employees and can adversely affect the relationship between employees and managers.

The tendency to monitor employees is increasing. Why do you think it is necessary for remote team management?

When a pandemic occurred, employees started working remotely, often the first time a manager or team member was physically sitting next to them.

Given this situation, companies have used monitoring tools to help their employees stay productive online. In fact, the number of large employers using tools to track workers has doubled to 60% since the start of the pandemic, and this number is expected to increase to 70% within the next three years. increase. Personally, I think it’s an embarrassing reality of lack of trust in the organization.

That said, employee monitoring and oversight is not required to ensure that remote teams are active, productive, and involved, which can be more harmful than profitable. This does not provide autonomy or flexibility for workers who may choose to work outside of traditional 9 to 5, and that managers and leadership trust them to get the job done. Is not shown to employees.

How does distrust within an organization develop? How can a company eradicate distrust and restore its culture?

The pandemic has forced many companies to operate instantly and remotely in an unprecedented way. Hybrid and remote workplaces challenged the understanding of many leaders on both culture and connectivity within the business. As a result, some c-suite executives were worried that working from home could create a habit of reducing employee productivity. This proved to be wrong, and while employees were actually more productive when working from home, employees remained skeptical.

If the relationship of trust between the employer and the employee is broken, it may take some time to rebuild, but it is not impossible. To gain (or regain) employee trust, business leaders create a culture of feedback that employees feel they listen to, foster strong connections between employees and their managers, and personalize each employee individually. You need to find a way to recognize it. All of these prioritize employee experience.

Start by recognizing the problem. Ask yourself if you have built trust with your employees in the practice of your talent. Trust is being built or eroded. There is no time in between. Deliberate efforts are needed to ensure that employees feel a level of trust and autonomy.

Managers need to tell employees what went wrong and how they plan to move forward. Open dialogue is important for employees and employers to begin rebuilding the foundation of trust. Regular check-in between employees and managers is a great place to create this frequent two-way communication. By building space for employees where integrity and behavior are important, managers will see continued trust.

How can an organization move away from surveillance technology as a way to measure employee output?

Rather than tracking keystrokes or investing in employee monitoring techniques, there are many other ways leaders and HR teams can stay on top of employee work and progress. One way to do this is to use an anonymous employee survey.

Employee feedback is one of the least utilized tools available to businesses, but it tells business leaders and talent development professionals about what keeps them involved and enables them to thrive. We can provide a wealth of knowledge. It’s also a good way to understand how employees feel about work-life balance, what the company can do to improve remote or hybrid work, and more.

Another way is to set expectations and goals and make sure both managers and employees are on the same page. Managers assign jobs to remote and hybrid employees, when and how work is completed, and how important their role within teams and organizations is to engage and enjoy the work. You need to set clear expectations about what you have.

Managers should check in to remote workers on a regular basis to clearly indicate these expectations so that employees can meet their goals and modify the course in the event of a failure or change in priority. It is important to confirm.

Why is trust so important to your organization? Especially if you are operating in a remote or hybrid environment.

Trust is a key element of a successful workplace and the foundation of a positive hybrid work environment. Reliable tissues report 74% less stress, 40% less burnout, and 50% more productivity. Without trust, people take risks, speak their thoughts, and hesitate to evolve in their professional lives. This trust builds over time and may appear slightly different from individual to individual, but it is necessary to establish the core habits of trusted colleagues and communicate them from the top down to the entire organization.

Even if there are some small variations, they need to be explicitly defined and clarified to everyone in the organization to ensure that the organization is coordinated with respect to how trust is defined. This clarification ensures that all employees are on the same page, no matter where they choose to work.

What is the legal implications of employee oversight from a compliance perspective? What should leaders consider?

Employers need to closely monitor new employee monitoring laws as they are introduced and enforced. For example, the Senate Bill S2628 in New York came into force on May 7, 2022, requiring all private sector employers to provide all employees with notifications of electronic monitoring practices at the time of employment and “in a prominent place.” It is mandatory. Compliance should be a top priority for HR leaders, especially in a hybrid workforce with global or national employees in the enterprise, as more states and countries may follow suit.

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