The way we work is shifting, in large part due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It accelerated working from home, digital-first learning, virtual collaboration and more. Many of these organisational shifts that had proved to be difficult to adopt were adopted literally overnight.
Fast forward 12 months and in some parts of the world, such as the UK, organisations are planning how work is going to be done post-pandemic. It’s still unclear exactly what it will look like, but it is going to look quite different to how many of us were working in January 2020. A look at recent headlines suggests a hybrid way of working that mixes in-person work and remote work. For example, Nationwide tells 13,000 staff to ‘work anywhere and PwC’s UK staff to split office and homeworking after Covid crisis.
Research shows that employees are keen to embrace this new way of working. A study of 1,000 employees carried out by Fujitsu shows that 74% of employees want a hybrid working style.
This finding is supported by research from Microsoft. Its survey of 30,000 people in 31 countries shows that 73% of workers want flexible remote work options to continue and 67% want more in-person time with their teams. The research highlights seven trends that will impact on hybrid working. They are:
- Flexible work is here to stay
- Leaders are out of touch with employees and need a wake-up call
- High productivity is masking an exhausted workforce
- Gen Z is at risk and will need to be re-energised
- Shrinking networks are endangering innovation
- Authenticity will spur productivity and wellbeing
- Talent is everywhere in a hybrid world
These trends show the complexity of creating hybrid working places. Flexible working, productivity, talent management, wellbeing and engagement are significant issues for employers. And every organisation has its own working context and ways of doing things which means there will be no one all-encompassing way to develop a hybrid workplace.
There are also plenty of contradictions that people professionals will need to work with. For example, technology enables virtual communication and collaboration, but this is leading to information overload for employees. The Microsoft research shows that the average length of a meeting has increased by 10 minutes to 45 minutes through lockdown. And colleagues are sending significantly more messages to each other through platforms such as teams.
There are some big challenges to overcome in developing a hybrid way of working that suits everyone in the organisation. Our partner Huler says employees typically have to access 41 different systems per month, leading to what it calls “digital fatigue”. That’s why organisations need to educate themselves on how to make hybrid working a success.
And that’s why the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development has created seven strategies to make hybrid working successful in your organisation. They are:
- Develop the skills and culture needed for open conversations about wellbeing
- Encourage boundary-setting and routines to improve wellbeing and prevent overwork
- Ensure effective coordination of tasks and task-related communication
- Pay special attention to creativity, brainstorming and problem-solving tasks
- Build in time – including face-to-face time – for team cohesion and organisational belonging
- Facilitate networking and inter-team relationships
- Organise a wider support network to compensate for the loss of informal learning
This list shows how much there is to learn to build a hybrid workplace. From helping colleagues to have open conversations about wellbeing, to understanding how to build your internal networks, hybrid working presents organisations with a steep learning curve.
So how can learning teams help educate the organisation around hybrid working? Here are five ways curated resources can help.
5 tips for making curated content work in your hybrid working model
1 Don’t overload
Curation means quality, relevant content on the right topics. We enable this by doing the heavy lifting – bringing you quality, credible content from trusted sources that are automatically updated – so that the L&D team can automatically deliver fresh and relevant resources to the organisation.
2 Build new skills
Curation can help with emerging skills enabling learning teams to quickly curate resources that are specific to an employee’s role and the skills they want to develop. We have created more than 150 pre-made briefings (in 7 languages) to support common skills and competencies in businesses.
3 Deliver resources in the right channels
Hybrid working means continued use of Slack, MS Teams and others. We can embed content directly into these apps and channels to keep everyone up to speed.
4 Facilitate networking
Curated content can be a great conversation driver, people collaborating and making sense of developments.
By sharing and discussing relevant resources you start to build collective intelligence. This can be developed and sustained through ongoing discussion and sensemaking of the resources you share.
Making good decisions about hybrid working and the future of work requires credible insights and information. Curation can provide these insights. We have created a new bundle of briefings to support learning teams and organisations shift to new, more hybrid ways of working. Read the latest articles on post-pandemic hybrid working by clicking the links below:
Bundle: Post-Pandemic Hybrid Working
To create your own custom briefings or simply find out more, get in touch or chat online with us at anderspink.com.