Virtual workplaces are here to stay, whether employers like it or not.

Recent research by PwC indicates that 90% of Australians want to continue working from home in some capacity.

And according to Atlassian, 61% of executives are keen to completely reimagine how work gets done at their companies.

This is going to have a huge impact on how we work. Getting the hybrid model – that combination of at-home and in-office work – right is going to be hard.

Impacts will be felt when it comes to all aspects of your business, including productivity, culture, employee engagement, collaboration, innovation, and of course, the bottom line.

We need to consider communication channels, technology and people’s individual working environments.

Getting it wrong can have big consequences.

Getting it right can energise your people and your organisation.

Virtual workplaces are here to stay

Gone are the days when a senior manager of a national company should be proud that his whole leadership team work solely out of the same office. Actually, these days should have been gone about 50 years ago, but sadly for some, they are not…

For the hybrid model to succeed, companies need to:
🖥  strengthen communication channels
🖥  re-evaluate how they measure performance – have a focus on outcomes rather than outputs and time in the office
🖥  have a flexible approach that considers the needs and circumstances of all employees individually.

One of the comments made when I spoke at a recent Governance Institute of Australia event was that a lot of people are working longer hours than ever now they are working from home.

This is a massive problem and one that I often see with my friends and colleagues who live alone (although they are definitely not the only ones working longer hours).

When you’re in an office, a cue to leave work for the day is that other people are leaving. A cue for me to stop working in the evening is hearing my husband turn on the TV to watch the 6pm news.

More than ever, organisations now have a responsibility to understand the relationship between home, work, and their people’s social networks.

It’s important to understand the links between:
🖥  the complexity of their working from home experience. For example, do they have a dedicated workspace just for them, or are they sharing the dining table? Are they also helping with home learning for their children?
🖥  their job requirements – the outcomes they are expected to achieve and the volume of work required
🖥  the quality of the support network they have professionally, personally and socially

What might your people need from you as an employer and organisation?

The more you can show compassion, communicate clear expectations, and stay connected with your people, the better and the easier it will be for you all.

What are some of the challenges and opportunities you see from combining at-home and in-office work?

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