“The pressure for smaller more agile businesses to follow the bigger organisations “models” when it comes to hybrid working models is both confusing and unnecessary, their size and ability to adapt and change is their superpower and they should be confident to use it… “Karen Watkins, founder of Rowan Consulting
Today (14th June) marks the release of the governments Business and individual attitudes towards the future of homeworking, UK: April to May 2021, but what does homeworking really mean for businesses and what else should we be considering around the future of hybrid working?
As organisational coaches we work with business owners and leaders to help them stay sane through periods of change and growth, so you’ll understand when we say topics on hybrid and new ways of working is pretty much all our world is right now, however whilst some have seen some great results over the last year, in terms of what could be considered as big ticket wins in time and cost savings, there are a few things we’d suggest adding to the mix before accepting this as the only way forward right now. Here are some other areas to perhaps think about.
Check your results!
Whilst some are reveling in the relative short-term successes and what they “feel” has worked, it’s important to remember that there will have been failings and key learns as well, so don’t forget to also review the shortfalls.
Not all working from home was a success and it doesn’t suit all businesses, and that’s fine, just because everyone else is changing isn’t reason enough for you to. Look at the data and talk to your teams, see what has worked for you as a business and make decisions based on this; your wins and your successes.
The wider conversation.
Flexibility in terms of the employment relationship shouldn’t start and stop with just the conversation on working from home, the conversation around hybrid working should be much more than this.
The way we work shouldn’t be the only flexible thing we talk about from an employment perspective, now is an opportune time to think wider and longer term, where else could you bring in flexibility outside the normal 9-5 employee / employer relationship, and where else might you need to make some changes as a result of Covid?
Don’t base the future of your business purely on what’s happened over the last year, a more productive way would be to look both sides of the coin.
- Consider results over the last year, with a healthy understanding that this has been unusual to say the least,
- Consider what you want your business to offer you going forward.
Company values and purpose have changed the way we both run and do business forever, (even if you haven’t yet had time to stop and realise it yet). Spend some time looking at it from this perspective, “What has the last year taught you about the way you want to do business…”, decide on what working practices you need to support the future and build your business from there.
Whatever you decide, now’s the time to look longer term, set your destination, communicate the direction and roadmap clearly to all parties involved, employees, suppliers, and customers, then get that journey underway.