This month we are proud to have launched Inclusivity Unlocked! This is our programme of events and resources looking at how workplaces and working arrangements can be made more inclusive in the post-Covid world. One of the key themes we will be focusing on as part of this project is hybrid working and the various challenges and opportunities it brings.
We are also excited to announce that in November we will be hosting an event with Ruth Gawthorpe, CEO of Smart Working Revolution, where we will explore the theme of hybrid working in more depth. The event will take the form of a “fireside chat” with the chance for questions from the audience. Alongside Jenna Massey, Practice Director at Gill Jennings & Every, Ruth will be sharing her thoughts on the importance of creating a successful hybrid working model as well as the challenges and opportunities that can exist when designing and implementing these models. More details will follow soon (keep an eye on our events page).
Below we share some thoughts on hybrid working from our discussions with Ruth so far.
Disruption is coming
There is a lot of disruption currently facing the world – for example the cost of living crisis, supply chain issues, Brexit, the war in Ukraine, rising energy prices, inflation, and the challenges of attracting and retaining talent. Ruth urges businesses to consider whether their current hybrid model is well equipped to deal with what she calls the looming “winter of disruption”.
Ruth suggests that now is the time for businesses to analyse their chosen hybrid model. In her recent blog posts, she encourages organisations to consider whether their current model meets the needs of workers and whether it attracts and retains talent. She also urges businesses to consider whether their model will ensure collaboration and innovation during the challenging times ahead.
She stresses the importance of building new models from scratch rather than simply tweaking outdated hybrid working systems. Now is the time to create new models that will ensure employees, and the business as a whole, can thrive.
Why does it matter?
Organisations that have strong hybrid models drive a successful company culture which boosts individual and team productivity. Equally, these models help ensure that employees’ needs are met. After all, as Ruth states, “talent is the new cash flow”, so it is vital that companies have good working models in place so that employees remain with the organisation. Ultimately, a successful hybrid model will ensure that companies retain staff, are more resilient, and are better equipped to overcome this winter of disruption.
Things to consider
When adopting a hybrid working model, Ruth discusses one element that organisations often overlook – the informal networks which exist within organisations. She believes that it is these informal relationships and networks which help to encourage collaboration amongst teams, boost business performance and create worker engagement. These networks must be considered when an organisation is creating its own hybrid working model.
Similarly, Ruth highlights the importance of having the right people in the right places. Employers need to understand which connections between team members should be virtual and which should be in person, at every stage in the work cycle, in order to optimise team performance.
If this article has sparked your interest in understanding more about hybrid working, then why not come along to our November Inclusivity Unlocked! event with Ruth, where we will be delving even deeper into the topic? Ruth and Jenna will be sharing their insights into how hybrid working models can be designed and implemented to boost collaboration, innovation and productivity. More details will follow soon, so keep an eye on our events page.
Need extra support?
Alternatively, if you would like support and guidance on how to build a successful hybrid working model, Smart Working Revolution can help. The team there have 20 years of experience in helping organisations to design and build “smarter” operating models and cultures which improve business outputs. Their focus is on connectivity and collaboration within teams and they can provide specific support surrounding hybrid working models. They offer various services including events, workshops and an award-winning leadership programme, as well as bespoke support for their client organisations. You can check out their website here.
Ruth’s blog posts
In the meantime, why not check out Ruth’s recent blog posts:
- Get ready for a Winter of Disruption!
- Hybrid Working – Are you Missing a Trick?
- Managing Hybrid Working is like Herding Cats
Ruth Gawthorpe is the founder and CEO of Smart Working Revolution. She has spoken at IP Inclusive events before (see, for example, our 2020 webinar on the mental health impact of working from home). She also writes regular content, such as the posts above, on hybrid and other forms of smart and agile working.