The COVID-19 pandemic may be winding down, but it certainly appears that one of its business consequences—the “hybrid working environment” mixing working remotely with scheduled in-office appearances—is here to stay.
Take a look at this April 2021 research from Plugable, based upon surveys from “2,000 owners, CEOS, and members of the C-suite in the United States at employees with 10 or more employees.” The research showed that:
- “87% of respondents feel pressure externally as other employers begin offering more flexibility or fully remote positions”
- Only “business leaders who plan to offer full or partial remote flexibility had an entirely in-office staff or only select employees with remote flexibility prior to the pandemic”
- “9 in 10 employers report feeling pressure from employees to make a long-term shift to a remote or hybrid working environment”
Another survey from Microsoft showed that: “over 70 percent of workers want flexible remote work options to continue…” and that “66 percent of business decision-makers are considering redesigning physical spaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments.”
Using GlobeSmart to Help the Hybrid Working World
So, it’s clear that even as the business world starts to get back to its pre-pandemic levels of productivity, many of its employees won’t be working in the same way that they did in February 2020. How can teams and organizations put their employees in the best spot to succeed in the hybrid working environment?
As the world continues to shift, GlobeSmart can be a valuable tool to support this transition to the hybrid work mode. Here are four ways GlobeSmart can help:
- Serving as an “icebreaker” or introduction for new team members. With the hybrid work environment and differing in-person schedules, there may not be the opportunity for new team members (or new employees) to interact with each other. The insights from the GlobeSmart Profile could serve as a valuable introduction/icebreaker to team members—a valuable “jumping-off point” for their future successes.
- Helping team members optimize their work styles. The hybrid in-person/virtual environment might highlight some individual employee strengths—or it could cause significant communication hurdles. Are team members more independent-minded or focused on team collaboration? Risk-takers or looking for more certainty? Direct or indirect communicators? Knowing these individual work styles is the key to success and smooth communication and collaboration throughout the hybrid work environment.
- Discovering the strengths and weaknesses of teams—and areas for improvement. How are your carefully prepared teams adjusting to the hybrid working environment? It can be hard to figure out their strengths and weaknesses when you only may see them in person a few times a week (if at all). The raw reporting and insights of a tool like GlobeSmart’s Global Team Assessment (GTA) are critical. While the GlobeSmart Profile (GSP) serves as a starting point for a team leader to identify individual capabilities, the GTA shows overall team strengths, weaknesses, and key areas for development—helping to resolve conflicts faster, create better meetings, and enable everyone to perform at a higher level.
- Empowering greater cross-cultural communication. Your clients and co-workers in other cultures are also adjusting to the hybrid work environment, as well. That means that now—more than ever—it’s critical to quickly make those needed connections and grow understanding across virtual borders and cultures. The insights that the GlobeSmart Culture Guides provide—on over 100 cultures across 50 business topics—help those in a hybrid working environment establish credibility, resolve conflict, influence decisions, and much more.
If you support employees who are managing or working with others in a hybrid work environment, contact us to reserve trial access to our latest eLearning module, The Essentials of Managing a Hybrid Workforce.
About the Author
Joyce Lee - Manager, Client Engagement Team
Joyce Lee serves as the Manager of the Client Engagement Team at Aperian Global. Joyce manages the GlobeSmart Engagement Team and works closely with clients, leveraging GlobeSmart to support the organization’s Diversity & Inclusion and Learning & Mobility strategies. She has vast experience working across cultures, embracing differences among her team, and navigating virtual spaces.
Originally from Hong Kong, Joyce has been living in the United States for 20 years and currently resides in Boston, Massachusetts where she is balancing life at home with her husband and two twin girls.
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