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Inicio  /  Blog  /  Six keys to migrate to hybrid work

Six keys to migrate to hybrid work

by Alan Cohn | Academic Coordinator of Universidad ORT

Reading time: 2'

Most research on work preferences in Uruguay and around the world indicates that a large majority of people want to work in a "hybrid" way, i.e. a combination of face-to-face and remote work.

The reasons are not surprising. Remote work has made it possible to eliminate commuting costs (time and money), reduce daily expenses and increase quality time with family. At the same time, many people miss their colleagues and the work "environment," and the learning opportunities that arise from serendipitous interactions are also valued.

Managing the transition to hybrid work marks a cultural shift for most organizations. Here, a series of reflections to help implement it.

1) Building a plasticine policy. Identifying the principles of hybrid work guidelines will be a testing and learning process for each organization, and will need to be adjusted over time. Examples might include expectations that face-to-face days are needed to onboard new people to the team, targeted collaboration efforts, or periodically improving connections with co-workers. To be sure, some companies will find that those same activities can be conducted virtually depending on their culture. Hybrid implementations are subject to change as people learn what is most effective for all stakeholders in a rapidly changing context.

2) Work equity out of positions tied to face-to-face tasks. Organizations must think creatively to allow essential on-site employees to work remotely on some days. One approach is to group and rotate work to reduce the number of people who must be present simultaneously. For example, if there are seven IT professionals responsible for control room operations, allowing each person to work from home one or two days a week while the others provide coverage can maximize opportunities for everyone.

3) Share, share, share (with the team). Goals that make clear the objectives the team is pursuing, knowledge about individual roles, limitations and potential to contribute, understanding of available resources - from information to budgets, rules that outline how the group will collaborate effectively with digital tools, as well as how the team will stay connected personally and professionally.

4) Inducting a new person into the organization is the organization's job, not HR's. Welcoming and acculturating new employees is a team effort. For a period of time, the new person should not be left alone: he/she should have activities with other members of the company. A diverse list of key members of the organization should be provided for the new starter to meet beyond his or her immediate team, as a way of establishing his or her internal network. Assigning a virtual colleague who can answer questions can be very effective.

5) Beware of "proximity" bias. Providing appropriate feedback and developing people without bias of whether "you are present or not" is crucial. Working remotely should not have a negative impact on relationships or dimensions of job performance. Leaders must ensure that evaluations of remote employees are as fair as those of face-to-face employees.

6) Minimize technology burnout. "Can this virtual meeting I'm proposing be an email?". It is critical to create transition periods between meetings and always consider reducing the length of meetings.

Migrating to hybrid work is often framed as a question of face-to-face versus remote options, but it's about changing our most fundamental routines to be more efficient and happier with our work.
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