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How to Transition Successfully to a New Hybrid Workplace

Friday, September 24, 2021

Bringing employees back to work is both a strategic and sensitive goal for organizations after 18 months in full pandemic mode—managing the transition with success means staying ahead of the competition, hiring the best talent and working more efficiently. As the new in-office/remote work model is becoming the norm, best practices need to be implemented to manage and work efficiently.

The World Has Changed and a Fresh Perspective Is Required

It would be an understatement to say that in just a few months, the pandemic has completely changed the world. Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, put it this way: “We’re in a pandemic world. This is a forever virus. We need a new vision of the future. So we have to cultivate a beginner’s mindset. That is, start from scratch and have a new vision for the future.”

 

Salesforce and many organizations simply assume the pre-pandemic world is gone for good. Therefore, there’s only one path forward—adapting, embracing change and pushing this new paradigm as far as possible. From this perspective, your virtual headquarters is actually more important than the physical one because this is where all teams come together, regardless of their actual location.

More Than an Organization, a Mindset

The new hybrid work model isn’t just a logistical matter. It requires a brand-new mindset to review and adapt technological tools, workspace organization, management skills, assignment and approval processes, etc. Leadership plays a key role to implement this hybrid model and a new school of thought. For instance, Deloitte will allow its 20,000 UK employees to choose how often they come into the office, if at all—welcome to an ultra-flexible hybrid organization where tremendous agility must be demonstrated on a daily basis.

 

With hybridization also comes a new era of phygitalization. For example, last July, Laval Virtual opted for an unprecedented hybrid format to host its 23rd event—5,000 visitors and 150 exhibitors gathered in person and virtually to attend around hundred conferences about virtual and augmented reality.

Adapting Your Organization to Hybridization

 

Don’t be afraid to start from scratch to get through the transition period. This way, you’re free to redesign the future you need and want. Here are a few ideas and best practice examples:

 

●  Create unique but equivalent benefits for your teams. If in-office employees get access to a gym, free meals or specific experiences, you may want to offer remote employees vouchers, subscriptions and a lunch box delivery service.

●  Support managers as they adapt to their new role in this hybrid workplace. Implement training, coaching and mentoring programs. Don’t forget about learning expeditions! [JG2] The goal is to learn from best practices.

●  Create a virtual community to help in-office and remote teams connect. Platforms like Virbela boost productivity, collaboration and engage teams in a fun way.

●  Learn to trust asynchronous communication. Provide teams with the information they need to get the job done and get results without micromanaging.

●  Go for fewer, more productive meetings. And when planning one, set the agenda, optimize for outcomes (not duration!) and invite helpful contributors. Sharing minutes is enough to keep everyone in the loop.

Adobe and RealChange’s New Hybrid Workplace Practices

 

Researching best practices is a valuable source of inspiration. This is RealChange’s philosophy, delivered through learning expeditions. So let’s start learning right here, right now. How about a look at the way two organizations are adapting to their new hybrid workplace?

 

The future of work at Adobe will be hybrid and the company is fully embracing this model. This is the official plan:

 

  • Doubling down on digital tools and workflows across the employee experience, from onboarding to career growth.
  • Defaulting to flexibility, with employees who can work from home approximately 50% of the time.
  • Offering an intentional mix of physical and virtual presences and limit gatherings to the moments that matter.
  • Doubling the size of Adobe’s remote worker population.
  • Leveraging a new smart digital campus app to empower employees and help them stay productive, connected, informed, and well.

RealChange is also adapting and embracing a hybrid workplace. Here is the way forward:

●  Hosting brainstorming and collaboration sessions in RealChange’s virtual offices on Virbela.

●  Offering hybrid learning expeditions powered by remote and in-person participants and stakeholders from all over the world.

●  Integrating the entire remote team virtually when a small group travels in person to Silicon Valley to expand learning experiences and possibilities.

●  Combining knowledge and initiatives from major global innovation hubs to open up to new horizons.

Hybridization is a great opportunity to explore new ideas, test innovative formats and inject a healthy dose of creativity and energy into your teams. Contact us to get inspired, get ahead, and learn from the best organizations.


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