The Equity Challenge in the Hybrid Work Model and 7 Solutions

In this, the fourth instalment of our Fresh Talent Competitions aim to examine the extra difficulties companies are facing with talent acquisition in the current climate due to the impact of the pandemic.

We have previously discussed in detail the implications of technological progress on the workplace for both employers and employees. Ultimately, remote working appears to be here to stay although many people would prefer a traditional office environment. Consequently, hybrid working appears to be the most feasible solution for the future of work.

Hybrid working presents an opportunity for organizations to reap the advantages of both in-house and remote working, whilst allowing employees to benefit from the flexibility it provides. In theory, it is a win-win situation.

Adopting a mixed work model brings its own set of challenges, with the most pressing being how to ensure team cohesion is maintained. It is conceivable that team members may have different perspectives on hybrid working, with those who work from home potentially having greater freedom and comfort in comparison to those in the office. Conversely, office-based staff may feel that they have more access to company information and greater career progression opportunities.

It is unsurprising that a lack of fairness within a team can erode the team spirit that is so important for successful collaboration. If some team members feel they are being treated unfairly in comparison to others, it is likely that morale and productivity will suffer. To avoid this, it is important to ensure that all members are given the same opportunity. Although this can be a challenge, it is achievable by following these seven guidelines.

Do What You Can to Increase People’s Faith in Your Leadership

Trust is the foundation of a successful hybrid workplace model. To foster a healthy working environment and promote equity among your staff, it is important to communicate transparently and demonstrate that everyone is being treated fairly. This includes providing regular updates on projects and the company, as well as outlining the expectations for working both remotely and in-office.

Create a Set of Rules to Follow

Your decisions should always be made in line with universally accepted standards. It is important to ensure that your rationale for certain choices is articulated clearly and is understandable by all. The parameters of the hybrid working model should be clearly defined, including who is eligible to work remotely or in-house, any associated benefits or costs, and the expected level of responsibility for each position. These guidelines can be as broad or as specific as necessary.

The Next Piece of Advice Is to Make Yourself (and Other Leaders) Approachable.

It is especially important for members of hybrid leadership teams to create a sense of unity, despite the physical distance. Working remotely may cause individuals to feel disconnected from their colleagues and manager. To overcome this, ensure that you and other executives are approachable to all employees. Additionally, ensure that everyone is able to communicate their concerns and receive answers from you in an easily accessible manner.

Determine Which Tasks Can and Cannot Be Performed Overseas

The ongoing global pandemic has highlighted the need to evaluate processes to determine which tasks require physical presence and which can be completed remotely. Once a clear definition has been established, it is important to share this with employees to ensure that if and when the need arises, everyone is aware of the expectations. Additionally, remote employees should be made aware of any policies which may require them to attend the office, such as for brainstorming sessions which are best held in-person.

Fostering Strong Bonds Within a Team Is a Top Priority.

It is essential to remember that all members of a team, whether they work in-house or remotely, form part of the same team. Although it may be more comfortable to interact with those who are physically present in the office, it is important to provide both in-house and remote employees with opportunities to build personal relationships. Working together on projects can be beneficial in strengthening bonds and establishing trust.

Deal with Team Problems and Poor Behavior

It is important for all employees to be held accountable for their work and behavior. To ensure that all staff members are treated equally and fairly, it is essential to address any issues between remote and in-house personnel as soon as they arise. It is important to ensure that any practices which could lead to a perception of favoritism or discrimination are avoided, such as granting preferential treatment to remote teams or assigning certain tasks to in-house employees.

Play Around with the Model

It is essential to acknowledge that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to leading hybrid units. All of the mentioned suggestions are sensible in theory, and they could even be successful for your business, however it is vital that you assess this for yourself. You can only evaluate the model by experimenting with it. Begin with a plan of action and be adaptable enough to make alterations as you go. Furthermore, it is important to enable all team members to contribute to how the workplace operates. Employees will feel more content and valued if they are given the chance to offer their ideas and opinions on the workflow.

It’s a Full-Time Job to Build Equity.

Taking into consideration both the needs of employees and employers, the hybrid model may be a favorable approach for organizing labor in the future. Nevertheless, there is no guaranteed solution for making this model function effectively, especially from the perspective of ensuring a fair working environment for employees.

Discussing this delicate topic is unavoidable as the model’s design can make it difficult for some people to feel as though they are being treated fairly. The only way to create an equitable work environment in a hybrid setting is to maintain a transparent attitude, adhere to a predetermined set of standards and ensure that team dynamics are based on fairness.

It is important to note that achieving your goal will require sustained effort. Due to the constantly changing dynamics of the workplace and the different perspectives of people involved, this project cannot be taken as a given. The advice shared here should be used as a starting point to create a fairer workplace. Careful monitoring of the results should be done and adjustments should be made as required.

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