How To Build A Successful Hybrid Work Environment

Ten Thousand Coffees Team -
September 29, 2022

While most companies have turned to hybrid work environments in some form since the beginning of the pandemic, many have struggled to manage the complexities it has introduced.  

According to a new survey, 95% of companies have had challenges successfully implementing a hybrid work strategy.  

One of the biggest challenges is connectivity. With workforces now remote and in-person, companies need to connect employees, teams and leaders using a variety of tools. As a result, hybrid work environments are making it difficult to build culture, onboard new talent and develop employees.

While some believe that mandatory back to office policies will fix these issues, recent research has shown that these mandates aren’t working, with in-office employees recently reporting that they feel even more disconnected than remote ones. Furthermore, forcing employees back into the office is leaving them with the feeling that they’re not being heard by their leaders – as today’s workers are demanding greater flexibility not only around where they work, but when. 

And if companies don’t listen to their employees, they’ll lose out in the talent game, a risk most aren’t willing to take. Fortunately, hybrid work can be used as an opportunity to better connect your workforce, but it takes careful planning and the right technology to do so. 

Why Hybrid Work Is Challenging to Implement

A common mistake organizations make in implementing a hybrid work strategy is applying a standard approach to all employees. The flexible nature of hybrid work is what makes it the preferred work arrangement for 60% of employees. 

Companies like Apple have tried implementing rigid hybrid work policies but were met with heavy resistance. Standardized hybrid work strategies are ineffective because they don’t address the unique differences and needs of each individual employee. Most employees have their own competing priorities whether it’s career goals, family commitments or otherwise.

For many companies, the flexibility of hybrid work is what makes it difficult to manage. Rather than developing strategies and implementing technologies to support hybrid work, companies have decided to shift away from it entirely and return back to the traditional physical office work model. An Ipsos survey revealed that nearly 60% of those polled are back in the office, with fewer working from home (13%) or in a hybrid work model (4%).

The Importance Of Flexibility To Hybrid Work

Regardless of the resistance to hybrid work by some company leaders, it’s now an important aspect of the way companies do business. While the pandemic may have forced this shift, employees are demanding that it be a part of their permanent work arrangement. 

Data suggests that employees are more productive when they have more control to personalize their work experience. With this approach, employees can determine where and when they work to make them most productive, and to tailor their work experience to their personal and professional needs. According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends Report, certain generations are more reluctant to head into the office than others. For example, older employees preferred more time working remotely, presumably because they have family priorities. 

But the flexibility to work remotely is just one aspect of hybrid work. Successful hybrid work environments also provide flexibility around when employees work. According to a Slack survey, more respondents demanded flexibility around when they worked (93%), compared to where they worked (76%). 

The challenge for leaders is managing this flexibility. With no effective one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid work, engaging employees across physical and virtual environments without set office hours is difficult. Taking a proactive approach to connecting people by empowering them to connect through technology and structured programs like 10KC’s is key to successfully implementing a hybrid work strategy. 

Rethinking Company Connectivity & Internal Networks

Many companies overlook the importance of meaningful employee connections and experiences in a hybrid work environment, because the focus is usually on ensuring that logistics and technology are functioning properly. And this doesn’t contribute to company culture or an employee’s sense of belonging. 

With employees working asynchronously, the tendency is to focus on the work output only, which creates a transactional feeling. Without a concrete plan to foster it, connectivity becomes one of the key elements lost in a hybrid work environment. It’s crucial to build structure around how employees connect with one another and to set up your hybrid work environment for success through meaningful programs like:

Peer to Peer Connectivity Programs

In a hybrid work environment, employees don’t have the benefit of the ‘chance encounter’ as in the office. But companies can facilitate network building by helping employees seamlessly connect through a peer to peer connectivity program. 10KC’s Connectivity solution automates employee matching and can streamline administration of peer connectivity programs. 

Mentorship Programs

A formalized mentorship program ensures that leader-employee connections are happening consistently. GE for instance, helped employees develop successful relationships by facilitating matches based on goals and interests with the help of 10KC’s Mentorship solution

Career Development Programs

In hybrid work environments, physical barriers to access no longer exist. If managed effectively, leaders can be more accessible than in an in-office environment. 10KC’s Office Hours solution provides an interactive roundtable format for leaders, experts and employees to connect on company strategy and drive forward a shared vision.

Early Talent Development Programs

It’s become common for new employees to join a company without ever stepping foot in a physical office. Working remotely can leave new grads and interns feeling disconnected, isolated, and missing out on key opportunities to learn and network with leaders. Our Early Talent solution ensures that new grads and interns are aligned with the right networks and the opportunities to support their career development 

Learn More About How 10KC Can Support Your Hybrid Work Environment

The future of work is hybrid and it’s crucial to invest in it today. As an enterprise software platform for mentoring, networking and informal talent development experiences, we’ve helped scores of organizations successfully build deeply connected worforces. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a successful hybrid work environment.  

Webinar

How To Build A Successful Hybrid Work Environment

While most companies have turned to hybrid work environments in some form since the beginning of the pandemic, many have struggled to manage the complexities it has introduced.  

According to a new survey, 95% of companies have had challenges successfully implementing a hybrid work strategy.  

One of the biggest challenges is connectivity. With workforces now remote and in-person, companies need to connect employees, teams and leaders using a variety of tools. As a result, hybrid work environments are making it difficult to build culture, onboard new talent and develop employees.

While some believe that mandatory back to office policies will fix these issues, recent research has shown that these mandates aren’t working, with in-office employees recently reporting that they feel even more disconnected than remote ones. Furthermore, forcing employees back into the office is leaving them with the feeling that they’re not being heard by their leaders – as today’s workers are demanding greater flexibility not only around where they work, but when. 

And if companies don’t listen to their employees, they’ll lose out in the talent game, a risk most aren’t willing to take. Fortunately, hybrid work can be used as an opportunity to better connect your workforce, but it takes careful planning and the right technology to do so. 

Why Hybrid Work Is Challenging to Implement

A common mistake organizations make in implementing a hybrid work strategy is applying a standard approach to all employees. The flexible nature of hybrid work is what makes it the preferred work arrangement for 60% of employees. 

Companies like Apple have tried implementing rigid hybrid work policies but were met with heavy resistance. Standardized hybrid work strategies are ineffective because they don’t address the unique differences and needs of each individual employee. Most employees have their own competing priorities whether it’s career goals, family commitments or otherwise.

For many companies, the flexibility of hybrid work is what makes it difficult to manage. Rather than developing strategies and implementing technologies to support hybrid work, companies have decided to shift away from it entirely and return back to the traditional physical office work model. An Ipsos survey revealed that nearly 60% of those polled are back in the office, with fewer working from home (13%) or in a hybrid work model (4%).

The Importance Of Flexibility To Hybrid Work

Regardless of the resistance to hybrid work by some company leaders, it’s now an important aspect of the way companies do business. While the pandemic may have forced this shift, employees are demanding that it be a part of their permanent work arrangement. 

Data suggests that employees are more productive when they have more control to personalize their work experience. With this approach, employees can determine where and when they work to make them most productive, and to tailor their work experience to their personal and professional needs. According to LinkedIn’s 2022 Global Talent Trends Report, certain generations are more reluctant to head into the office than others. For example, older employees preferred more time working remotely, presumably because they have family priorities. 

But the flexibility to work remotely is just one aspect of hybrid work. Successful hybrid work environments also provide flexibility around when employees work. According to a Slack survey, more respondents demanded flexibility around when they worked (93%), compared to where they worked (76%). 

The challenge for leaders is managing this flexibility. With no effective one-size-fits-all approach to hybrid work, engaging employees across physical and virtual environments without set office hours is difficult. Taking a proactive approach to connecting people by empowering them to connect through technology and structured programs like 10KC’s is key to successfully implementing a hybrid work strategy. 

Rethinking Company Connectivity & Internal Networks

Many companies overlook the importance of meaningful employee connections and experiences in a hybrid work environment, because the focus is usually on ensuring that logistics and technology are functioning properly. And this doesn’t contribute to company culture or an employee’s sense of belonging. 

With employees working asynchronously, the tendency is to focus on the work output only, which creates a transactional feeling. Without a concrete plan to foster it, connectivity becomes one of the key elements lost in a hybrid work environment. It’s crucial to build structure around how employees connect with one another and to set up your hybrid work environment for success through meaningful programs like:

Peer to Peer Connectivity Programs

In a hybrid work environment, employees don’t have the benefit of the ‘chance encounter’ as in the office. But companies can facilitate network building by helping employees seamlessly connect through a peer to peer connectivity program. 10KC’s Connectivity solution automates employee matching and can streamline administration of peer connectivity programs. 

Mentorship Programs

A formalized mentorship program ensures that leader-employee connections are happening consistently. GE for instance, helped employees develop successful relationships by facilitating matches based on goals and interests with the help of 10KC’s Mentorship solution

Career Development Programs

In hybrid work environments, physical barriers to access no longer exist. If managed effectively, leaders can be more accessible than in an in-office environment. 10KC’s Office Hours solution provides an interactive roundtable format for leaders, experts and employees to connect on company strategy and drive forward a shared vision.

Early Talent Development Programs

It’s become common for new employees to join a company without ever stepping foot in a physical office. Working remotely can leave new grads and interns feeling disconnected, isolated, and missing out on key opportunities to learn and network with leaders. Our Early Talent solution ensures that new grads and interns are aligned with the right networks and the opportunities to support their career development 

Learn More About How 10KC Can Support Your Hybrid Work Environment

The future of work is hybrid and it’s crucial to invest in it today. As an enterprise software platform for mentoring, networking and informal talent development experiences, we’ve helped scores of organizations successfully build deeply connected worforces. 

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you build a successful hybrid work environment.  

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