11 May 2021
The role of the office has been under severe scrutiny since the beginning of lockdown in 2020, when half of the world’s population were ordered to stay home by their governments.
Many businesses have been pleasantly surprised by the effectiveness of their colleagues during this extended period of remote working. Now, as restrictions lift, they face the challenge of redefining the role of the office and striking a balance of flexibility for staff while maintaining a strong organisational culture.
In this webinar, David Sole (Managing Partner) and Colin Daniel (Partner) discuss various approaches to hybrid working, as well as reflecting on key challenges for leaders, through the lens of the Dimensions framework.
They outlined four different hybrid working models that are currently being offered to employees:
While these flexible approaches reduce costs, maintain a focus on productivity and encourage more trusting relationships between organisation and employee, they are not without flaw. A flexible approach may seem more inclusive, however the opportunity for individuals to become isolated and part of an ‘out-crowd’ by staying at home, are also greater. When working at home, individuals’ home and family cultures may start to play a more dominant role and it may prove more challenging for leaders to be visible role models to their colleagues. Concerns around customer experience and expectations were also raised as important considerations.
Most pulse surveys see 2-3 days in the office as the most popular preference for individuals but the uncertainty over hybrid working models is still a cause for concern among employees. Some of these concerns were explored through the lens of the School’s five Dimensions of Leadership:
"Leaders must be thoughtful and adaptable. You cannot rely on what has served you well during the last 12 months being enough to work in the coming months and years"
Ultimately, hybrid working is coming, and it is here to stay. Leaders must be thoughtful and adaptable to this new normal. You cannot rely on what has served you well during the last 12 months being enough to work in the coming months and years. Being thoughtful about your own leadership brand, perhaps viewing it through the lens of the five Dimensions, may be helpful.
Culture is still king however and when allied to a purpose-led business, these are two cornerstones for success. However, with the ambiguity that Hybrid working models are likely to create, leaders will have to work doubly hard on culture to ensure that it is fit for the future. Role modelling has always been important in helping drive cultural change or embed culture in a business and doing this in a Hybrid working model will be challenging…but not impossible. Watch the full webinar below