3 biggest challenges in rolling out hybrid work
There are many challenges that present themselves when embracing a hybrid work model. Everything that was once second nature becomes an entirely new learning experience. Tracking productivity becomes difficult, building trust isn’t as easy as it once was, and inclusivity and fairness often go out the window.
Identifying challenges in rolling out hybrid work is the first step to overcoming them. In this article, we will identify and outline the three biggest challenges that present themselves when rolling out remote work so you can take a proactive stance before they hinder your success.
- Trust, output, and productivity
Prior to the pandemic, hybrid work was largely misunderstood. In an attempt to foster alignment and build company culture, organizations believed that employees had to be present in person. In the minds of many, an in-person presence equated to productivity. Employers embraced the mindset that if they couldn’t physically see their employees, they couldn’t trust them. Despite the resounding acceptance of hybrid work in a post-pandemic world, this mindset remains. One of the largest challenges in rolling our hybrid work proves to be trust. Despite employees outperforming their in-person counterparts, employers are still finding it difficult to trust their employees when they can’t see them. These negative connotations continue to plague hybrid employees and make it difficult for them to thrive while embracing a hybrid work model.
The path to success spawns from trust and solid manager-employee relationships not micromanagement or an overarching managerial presence. Excellent managers trust their employees whether they are present in-person or not. As the world continues to evolve and more and more organizations begin to embrace the hybrid model, it is now more important than ever to identify how to effectively lead people without being able to see them and how to build trust when you aren’t able to watch over your employees.
Luckily, there are many tips and tricks that you can leverage to foster trust in a hybrid work environment like:
- Creating an open line of communication and setting expectations upfront.
- Leveraging asynchronous communication tools and checking-in when necessary.
- Measuring productivity by effectiveness and output as opposed to attendance or a physical presence.
- Transparency, fairness, and inclusion
Despite the many benefits of hybrid work, there are downfalls. One major benefit that came to light during the pandemic is the sense of equality that was felt amongst many. CEO’s and individual contributors alike were forced to work from their kitchens or a quiet corner in their homes and all was well. Despite this seeming sense of equality, many felt left out, unequipped, or simply incapable. Many people weren’t afforded the same opportunity to work from home. Whether it be because they had a roommate and didn’t have a quiet space for meetings or because they were a working parent and suddenly had children at home, not all people were able to work to the best of their abilities from home.
Whether your organization embraces a remote or hybrid model, fostering transparency, fairness, and inclusion continues to be incredibly difficult. As we continue to move towards a workforce that embraces the hybrid model, you must consider how to make differences in workstyles feel fair to everyone. Take working mothers for example. If these individuals choose to work from home a few days a week to allow for more flexibility, do they run the risk of advancing in the organization? What if decisions are made during a watercooler chat in the workplace and employees that are embracing the hybrid model that day are out of the office? These employees may feel left out as a result.
When determining how to create a fair, inclusive workplace you may want to take the following factors into consideration:
- Host regular one-on-ones and create a feedback loop.
- Understand which perks are available and how they factor into office equality and inclusivity.
- Include all of your direct reports in key decisions, whether they be in the office or working remotely.
- Relationship building and company culture
One of the main concerns amongst leaders when rolling out hybrid work is the implications that a hybrid model will have on the organization’s workplace culture. Many people believe that the only way to enforce an organization's culture is to work and collaborate in person. While relationship building may be easier in an in-person only environment, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be achieved with a hybrid model.
One of the most serious challenges in rolling out hybrid work is loneliness. When working remotely, employees don’t have the same opportunities to collaborate, brainstorm, or even just chat. Despite this challenge, there are numerous practices that leaders like yourself can implement to nurture working relationships at your organization. Ask yourself questions like; if employees are working from the office at different times, can they increase the possibility of seeing each other? How can remote team members feel included and what can I do to empower them to collaborate with those that are working in the office?
When determining how to keep your company culture intact or learning to navigate relationship building while embracing a hybrid model, it’s important that you take an individualized approach. There is no one size fits all solution and it’s important that you create a customized game plan that works for your team members and their unique needs.
Improve hybrid work with remo
Remo is an immersive virtual event and meeting platform that empowers you to recreate natural interactions in any type of gathering, from global events to hybrid work meetings with your peers. Remo makes it possible for you to connect with others in real-time by providing you with the tools you need to immerse yourself in an event, host round table discussions, create a workshop, or brainstorm with your teammates. We’re transforming the way people around the world experience hybrid work by humanizing online interactions. Conquer hybrid work with Remo today.