There is a lot of talk about hybrid working models at the moment. However, it is not about an “either/or” or a “both/and”, but about many more options.
Employees expect their companies or supervisors to clearly articulate why they should work for which jobs and how. As a result of the pandemic, almost all employees not directly involved in production have learned to work digitally. How they deal with it individually is more influenced by their personality and life situation than by their age.
Some employees do not have the space or quiet they need to work at home and prefer to go to the office. Others have found that they work much more effectively at home or even get more done in the park than in the rather noisy office and would like to continue working on the move in the future.
The old thinking of “meetings always in person, desk work in the home office” is also outdated. Not every meeting has to be face-to-face. I have always followed the policy: If I can hold a meeting for which there is an agenda, and I can stick to the agenda and the allotted time without restriction on the outcomes, I don’t need a face-to-face meeting. Because this is more of a project update, which can also take place virtually. However, if ideas are to be developed together, both options are open. The best way to proceed should be discussed with the participants. They know best how to optimally activate their own creativity. Personally, I prefer physical togetherness in this case.
Also, to be reconsidered is the assumption that there is work for which one needs absolute silence or solitude. Many people can concentrate better with music or background noise than in a quiet office space. Others find it relaxing to talk to people who have completely different jobs during coffee breaks as a counterbalance to concentrated work alone. For them, models like co-working spaces are ideal.
So, with “new work” we are talking about more than hybrid models. Today, managers have the task of defining the best ‘way of working’ together with the team: Who does what, when, with whom and how. This is more complicated than in the past, when the boss only had to open the door and see his ‘sheep’ sitting in front of him, whom he could divide up accordingly. If agile working is also used in projects, the coordination task of supervisors intensifies. The new challenge is to keep the balance between supporting, demanding, promoting, and delegating.
It is helpful to create a clear overview of all pending work, to record the competences required for this and to compare them with the competences and ongoing activities of the employees. In the next step, it is worthwhile to see what work preferences the respective employees have. From this multidimensional puzzle it is then a matter of building a whole.
Would you like to be supported in defining your “way of working”? I am ready and waiting!
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