A little over one year ago, we held a webinar called “How to Make Remote Work Really Work.” While I personally have been a fully remote employee for almost 11 years, it’s been a more recent adjustment for many. So now that we learned how to work remotely, what about the future of hybrid and flexible working models? We hosted a new webinar on the topic and share a few takeaways below.
The pandemic became a mass experiment for companies wondering, “do we trust our employees?” and “can we meet or exceed business expectations?” It’s safe to say, that a new wave of work is upon us, and the answer to those questions is yes. But regardless, some employees are making the return to work, and expecting continued flexibility. And if companies want to retain top talent in the midst of the “The Great Resignation,” sustaining flexible and equitable work is key.
In our webinar poll with almost 200 respondents, 12% expect a full-time return to the office. 62% said employees can work from anywhere or are limited to 1-2 days a week — the rest was a mix, or unknown. So with the emergence of flexible work, let’s explore a few tips for success.
1. Let go of the 9-5
With extra pressure to always be on, it can be difficult for remote professionals to separate from their work and take time to recharge. This can very quickly lead to burnout and cause a dip in productivity, well-being, and satisfaction. By letting go of arbitrary start times and deadlines, employees can create their own schedule that fits with their life. Taking the lunch break or going for a walk can really help instead of hinder productivity. LogMeIn has implemented monthly self-care days and PTO dubbed “me time” to empower employees to recharge.
2. Leadership must become more communicative and available
When working from a distance, communication is critical. However, leaders should not ignore the importance of less formal interactions — replicating the coffee chats and comradery we miss in the office. But being on video calls all day can also be exhausting. Unique ways of communicating like pre-recorded video meetings can help save time and get the same message across.
3. Lead with empathy
Instead of focusing on vanity metrics and how much time employees spend working each day, it can be helpful for leaders to shift their awareness to career development and output goals.
4. Have a strategic top-down plan
Leadership sets the tone for the rest of the organization, especially in times of uncertainty. Clear communication and a united leadership keeps a flexible workplace realistic and equitable across teams.
5. Embrace the goodness
There are so many things that go right on a daily basis that often go unnoticed. Managers should reflect on the big and small wins and address them team or company-wide, even when we can’t all be in the same room.
There are many ways to gauge the effectiveness of your hybrid workplace strategy including conducting employee satisfaction surveys and keeping up with the well-being of all team members.
With a good strategy and the right tools, it’s possible to make remote work more profitable and more beneficial for everyone. My colleagues and I discuss our experience with flexible work in this recorded webinar — watch on demand.