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Your Employees Want Hybrid Work. Why Don't You?



The post-pandemic workforce is clamoring for more remote work options. Being forced out of the office in 2020 revealed that working from home is not only possible but is now preferred by many employees. But for employers and business owners, making the transition to a hybrid work model – where employees work both from home and from the office – is a daunting one. In this week’s conversation, we’re tackling three of the top challenges leaders face in implementing a hybrid work model.


Challenge 1: I don’t know if I can trust my employees to get their work done.


As a leader, if you’re struggling to transition to hybrid work because you’re not confident that your employees will complete their tasks, take this opportunity to show your team that you care about them and think in the long-term. Employers who micromanage their employees, perform unnecessary check-ins on tasks, and “shoulder surf” employees’ assignments are creating a culture of distrust and poor performance amongst their employees. What you expect from your team is what you’ll receive; so, if you expect employees to slack off and need micromanaging, you’ll cultivate a group of people who cannot make progress without you or who lack initiative altogether.


As a leader, the best way to gain trust in your team is to loosen your own control. Let your actions reflect that you trust your employees to get their work done efficiently and accurately, and the majority of your employees will rise to the challenge. Once trust is established, it will be much easier to allow employees to work remotely as needed.


Challenge 2: Coordinating projects and assignments will be difficult with everyone in various locations.


While understandable, this mindset is about twenty years out of date! Prior to technology, coordinating teams was done most easily in person, where the leader could divvy up tasks in a meeting and employees could stop by each others’ cubicles for clarity. But in today’s technologically advanced workplace, excellent communication and coordination tools exist online that make collaborating with coworkers simple, even thousands of miles away.


If coordination is a hindrance to your transition to a hybrid work model, perhaps it’s time to integrate more technology into your workplace. Get your team used to assigning tasks in an electronic forum, offer electronic ways to track progress, and integrate video conferencing. Once technology becomes the norm, transitioning to hybrid work will seem like less of an obstacle.


Challenge 3: Our company culture will suffer if the team is never together.


Company culture is a big concern for many leaders, and rightfully so – a positive team culture attracts talented employees, and excellent company performance typically follows an excellent team culture. However, the belief that culture can only be formed in person is a faulty one. Culture is created and communicated at the leadership level. When leaders model the culture they desire to see reflected in their team, company culture is strengthened, whether or not the team is together. Although there is benefit in gathering together in person – and it’s definitely not wrong to do so! – it is not as tantamount to creating company culture as we have been led to believe. If culture is a concern, try defining, communicating, and modeling the culture you’d like to see in your team, and watch your team transform, whether remote or in office.



We Optimize Work is a boutique organizational management consulting firm that helps leaders create processes that increase engagement, performance and satisfaction with teams who are located in different locations. Want to connect? Email Domonique Townsend at dtownsend@weoptimizework.com.

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