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The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development has published a guide for employers looking to capitalise on hybrid working post pandemic.
The Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development has published practical guidance on how employers can get the most out of hybrid working.
It covers how HR can use the pandemic experience as an opportunity to argue for greater flexibility in the workplace and how flexibility should be considered as part of the team dynamic, with an emphasis on fairness and how team work patterns work together. It highlights the need to plan, consult and trial new patterns, where necessary.
Flexible working: lessons from the pandemic outlines seven key issues for employers to consider in the move towards hybrid working.
Develop the skills and culture needed for open conversations about wellbeing
– Prioritise regular one-to-ones and trying not to cancel or postpone them
– Normalise wellbeing conversations by making space for them in team meetings
– Encourage line managers to be open about their own work life balance issues
– Encourage teams to talk about their own wellbeing strategies.
Encourage boundary-setting and routines to improve wellbeing and prevent overwork
– Line managers need to be aware of people overworking and ensure that messages about the need for boundaries between work and home life are conveyed, including regular breaks, routines around start and finish times.
– Line managers should also lead by example and check regularly on workload, making expectations of hours clear.
– Have a good way of measuring output that ensures people don’t overwork
– Set a rule that team video calls will end five minutes before the hour or half-hour so that people can take five minutes before their next call or meeting.
Ensure effective co-ordination of tasks and task-related communication
– Managers need to ensure that everyone has clearly defined and measurable objectives
– Adopt more formal, deliberate communication, often at pre-arranged times
– Manage online meetings carefully, especially hybrid ones where some people are on screen and some people physically present in the meeting room to ensure they are inclusive.
– Make sure everyone uses the video function to ensure inclusion and monitor attention span and engagement.
– Keep larger meetings short.
– Think about how tasks are co-ordinated so times when people are co-located are used effectively.
– Encourage people to share their availability when they are working from home and establish team rules about the use of different communication methods for different types of tasks – for example, using a chat function for short-term and real-time exchange of information, email for formal and external communication, and video calls for problem-solving.
– Agree team guidelines on storing information and on online meeting etiquette and ensure that everyone knows how to use the meeting platforms fully.
Pay special attention to creativity, brainstorming and problem-solving tasks
– Identify which tasks are more effective face-to-face and organise time in the workplace for these. If they need to be done online, keep them shorter, prepare properly [for instance, circulating questions in advance] and use breakout meetings for smaller group discussions.
– Use the chat function to share ideas.
Build in time, including face-to-face time, for team cohesion and organisational belonging
– Plan what types of online team events work best for the personalities and preferences of your team
– Reserve sections of team meetings for relationship-building and sharing non-work news
– Be sensitive to different people’s needs and how they change over time
– Build in regular face-to-face meetings to develop relationships and encourage people to feel they’re engaged in a common purpose
– Set guidelines about how much time the team needs to spend co-located working, postpandemic
– Try face-to-face ‘keeping in touch’ events or days with no work purpose purely for social relationships and team-building
– Plan a team-based schedule of office days and homeworking days so that the whole team can work together regularly, and maximise the opportunities for informal, impromptu contact.
Facilitate networking and inter-team relationships
– Identify which teams you need to interact informally with and roster the overlap of days in the workplace; encourage those who spend a lot of time homeworking to maintain their personal and inter-team networks over the long term
– Suggest that long-term homeworkers join company-wide steering groups, projects or special interest networks to maintain their connections across the organisation.
Organise a wider support network to compensate for the loss of informal learning
– Recognise the points when more informal learning is needed, such as when joining the organisation
– Organise a wider formal support network instead of a single buddy at points of intense learning.