Want to Operationalize a Hybrid Workforce? Make Sure You Get Remote Right
Last year, organizations everywhere stood up a remote workforce practically overnight. While the move was an adjustment for some, 94% of employers said productivity was the same as or higher than it was before the pandemic, according to a study by Mercer.
Now imagine a remote era where you can meet up with people at coffee shops, other homes, and unique environments. With the freedom to work from wherever, you can choose who and what most inspires you, and act on it. That’s the workplace of tomorrow, as long as leaders think strategically about how to approach this next phase.
In order to truly operationalize a productive, hybrid workforce, it’s important to be intentional about how we approach both in-person and remote work. According to Alexandra Samuel, co-author of Remote, Inc., this requires a few key mental shifts around the nature of remote work, specifically.
Learn more about Samuel’s recommendations for making the most of our time in our own workspace, whether that’s in a home office, co-working environment, or coffee shop down the street, and check out our webinar with her for a more in-depth conversation around the role of remote work in turning the hybrid workforce into a sustainable reality.
3 tips for making the most of remote work
Focus on objectives: The amount of time you spend on a task is not an indicator of output, work quality, and effectiveness. Establish your goals as outcomes and objectives, not hours. Shift the way you organize work to focus on delivering on the key priorities you’ve established with your boss and employer.
To ensure that you’ve got top-down alignment on that approach, articulate trade-offs, outline outcomes, and talk through prioritization with your boss. Picture your manager as your number one client rather than your boss.
Reduce the volume of meetings: Our meeting-centric culture emerged before the information age, when in-person meetings beat paper memos as the most efficient way to collaborate. Now, modern technology makes it possible to get stuff done even when employees aren’t physically in the same conference room.
While there’s significant value in meeting in one place so you can check with the boss on bottlenecks or brainstorm with a few colleagues, we need to get away from meetings as a default method. This is where an intentional approach to remote versus in-office work is crucial.
For organizations establishing a hybrid workforce, leaders could take advantage of the days employees are in the office and tailor meeting schedules for work that’s better discussed in person. Focus those meetings on what you want to accomplish and always make sure there’s an agenda.
Avoid information overload: People have been complaining about email overload for a long time, and remote work has given us the burning need to solve the problem.
We struggle with prioritization due to the volume of emails, chats, and calls we receive, which can often result in important things getting buried in it all.
You can’t address everything that’s coming at you — decide the time you want to spend on email each week, and scale your email responses to that time. Use mail filters, rules, and alternative inboxes to sift through the clutter. Only check your chat during working hours, and even configure business hours on your calendar so people know when to contact you. And remember to always take the occasional step back — connect with those who inspire you, go for a walk, and take care of yourself.
Reimagining our relationship with work
An intentional approach to remote work doesn’t just transform our productivity, but our relationship with work overall. It allows you to tailor your day according to when and how you work best, helping redefine your relationship with purpose.
When managers aren’t monitoring your activity in person, your motivation is ultimately your own sense of commitment, passion, and purpose. Remote work brings our work into alignment with our potential for making a difference — a driver that will help make a hybrid workforce a sustainable reality rather than a novel concept.
Stay up to date on the latest thought leadership on the hybrid workforce — check out upcoming events in our Building Forward webinar series and read the recap of our webinar with Gretchen Rubin, award-winning podcast host and New York Times bestselling author.