Hybrid Workplaces

Hybrid Workplaces

Hybrid Workplaces

Hybrid Workplaces

James Clear, the author of Atomic Habits uncovered a fascinating example of micro habits. Studying the British National cycling team, he watched a highly unique occurrence. Over a few years the team went from being a poor performing team to the top performing team.

Led by coach Dave Brailsford the team focused on the aggregation of marginal gains. These were attacking all the minor gains to achieve a much larger competitive advantage. He applied a method of small daily improvements to each rider.

The philosophy of getting better each day has become more of a worn-out mantra than an actuality. In practice it consists of expert analysis to find that minor improvement. Each improvement compounds with all the other improvements. The results will not be evident then until you look at the difference from year to year.

Incremental Gain

The natural desire is to observe change overnight. For someone to get their big break and have instant success. We can call it the lottery winner theory because it is a rare achievement to acquire a fortune without risk or effort.

Success is portrayed that it happens quick. The untrained eye doesn’t typically see the years of hard work that goes into achieving that success. Nor is it appreciated the effort or insights to reach it. It would be boring to read about incremental gains, I’ll reference my paragraph above as an example.

If you were to get 1% better for a year, you’ll be 37% better when you’re done. Practice and repetition uncover flaws that can be corrected. It creates the opportunity for intentional improvement through small adjustments.

Environmental Improvement

Think of the office environment as how your team interacts. Each detail, communication, and extraneous factors that shape the environment. The building location, the office set up, how meetings are run, and the behaviors of team members.

Imagine you are a newly hired manager walking into a horrible environment. You see to many issues at once to fix immediately and know that you can’t change the culture overnight. Even if you fired everyone and hired new people, the environment would remain.

You would want to make small and incremental gains. Finding the levers that move the organization in the right direction. It is turning around an aircraft carrier, it takes time, effort, and the accumulation of many actions.

Remote Work

A newer office element is remote work. When applied intentionally remote work is an excellent lever for cultural enhancement. Remote repeatedly outperform workers stuck in an office. The early 2000s brought remote work to life but its progress was setback in 2013 when Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Meyers cancelled remote work for Yahoo citing speed and quality experienced in the office.

Most managers from that era now have a belief that in office work is more productive. It sounds intuitive. Unfortunately, it is really based on a lack of trust that people must be present to accomplish anything. It over validates the importance of the manager.

Stanford conducted a survey of 2,500 employees in 2020 finding that being able to work from home two to three days a week was the equivalent of a 10% pay raise. Improvements to employee well being make up most of those gains. Combining higher productivity with employee satisfaction start the flywheel of success.

Hybrid Considerations

The second option outside of remote work is hybrid work. Spending some days in the office and some at home. When done correctly it balances a great flow of work where teams can interact and also go into deep work. The most problematic issues are managers requiring people to come into the office simply to hit a quota of days in the office, forcing people into a commute without purpose. The second issue is the ass kissers that prefer to be in the office everyday so that they can increase their influence simply by being present and available.

The third option is being in the office fulltime. Some businesses require this, think of retail or service industries. Other companies believe that having everyone in the office is the magic bullet to all their problems. That it will lead to peak operations. Data will tell you differently and that productivity gains grow with the application of remote work but believe what you want.

If you’ve made the choice to shift to remote or hybrid work, there are a few essentials to think through. How to brainstorm and team problem solve virtually. Sharing knowledge and team socialization. How the organization can measure performance and apply sound compensation policies. Lastly, how to maintain data security when work moves outside of the office.


How To Do Hybrid Right

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