As we're hearing more about vaccines, it's only natural to talk about people gathering together. Of course, that leads to a conversation about employees coming back to the office or similar workplace.
It reminded me of an article published on Business Insider a couple of months ago about how ”œZillow is adopting a hybrid model of work, but its CEO says it's trying to prevent one major downside: a two-class system where those who come into the office are viewed as better employees. It's true that hybrid workplaces could perpetuate inequities. However, organizations have the ability to create hybrid workplaces that don't. It will take a lot of hard work and resources to do it successfully.
Many organizations entered the pandemic with a small number of remote workers. The reasons those workers were remote varied greatly. For some, it could be related to parental or caregiving responsibilities. Or maybe it was a high-performing employee who relocated, and the company didn't want to lose them. Possibly both. It would be interesting to know how many employees (prior to the pandemic) were told that working remotely would severely limit their career opportunities. My guess is there weren't that many ”“ if any at all.
In many cases, remote employees were told that they could work away from the office as long as their productivity didn't suffer, and they would be available to come into the office as needed. While there was a bit of a learning curve, managers were able to manage one or two remote employees without too much difficulty.
The challenge with the hybrid model is that it means large-scale change. It's a new way of thinking about the workplace. There are three areas that organizations need to address:
Creating a hybrid workplace is a big job. Think of it as creating an employee experience strategy. Or changing company culture. But it can be done. And it can be done well. The organizations that make the commitment to creating equitable hybrid workplaces will be the ones that are able to attract, engage, and retain the best talent. Because those organizations will have figured out how to maintain company culture with a hybrid workplace.
© 2021 Workforce Institute All Rights Reserved • Designed and Developed by Morether Creative Agency, Temple, TX