World Mental Health Day 2021: Hybrid work system seems to be the current need of the hour

Updated: October 09, 2021 1:17 PM

Though remote working has been successful in terms of productivity for some, they acknowledged that it adversely affected organisational culture.

66% of businesses said they were considering redesigning physical spaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments.

By Richa Singh

How important is its adaptation to support the mental well-being of employees in an organization?

In a recent survey by McKinsey & Co., more than three-quarter of C-suite executives said they expected a typical core employee to return to work from the office on three or more days per week. Though remote working has been successful in terms of productivity for some, they acknowledged that it adversely affected organisational culture. We have seen employees facing issues in terms of work-life balance, isolation, feeling insecure about their jobs in the work-from-home setup. Hybrid work culture being an amalgamation of remote work and work from office has brought the best of both making it a feasible setup. According to a Microsoft 2021 report, 66% of businesses said they were considering redesigning physical spaces to better accommodate hybrid work environments. This shows that Hybrid is here to stay and will be the future of work.

So how can organisations help their employees in having a smooth transition to a hybrid work model?

Hear from employees: Seek inputs to merge individual and organisational views

Employers need to seek input from their employees. The Great resignation has already begun this, with employees moving on from their workplaces with one of the reasons being their opinions not being valued. In this light, there are a lot of organisations that are leaving the onus on the team to decide on the hybrid work set up and how they would like to go about it. Some organisations have also continued to work from home after doing a pulse check on their employees. Managers need to connect with their teams and understand their concerns. There are team members whose children may have online classes. Hence situations like this become a challenge for the employee to work from the office.

Building trust

Trust is the core value in Hybrid work culture. According to a study, trust at the workplace depends on these key factors, positive relationships, good judgment, and consistency. After understanding the concerns of employees, employees can make room to accommodate their suggestions such as helping teams with work goals, and giving them a safe space to share issues. It becomes important for managers to build a relationship filled with trust concerning each of their team members.

Creating belongingness through Hybrid culture

Experts have observed alienation, burnout, and underperformance as risks that come with a lack of belonging. The pandemic-induced work-from-home setup reduced the opportunities for employee bonding.

In the past, we would spend time with colleagues every day. This would provide various touch points like lunch breaks, water cooler conversations, etc. This would present us with an opportunity to get to know our team members better. There would be unplanned instances of breaking out into a brainstorming session in a typical work-from-office setup. Bringing in some of the fun aspects of brainstorming sessions, team outings, into a hybrid work setup can be looked at. It will be a good way to motivate employees and make them feel valued.

Enhancing work-life balance flexibility

One of the by-products of remote work that we observed was a fall in work-life balance. Particularly women have borne the brunt of this where they had to juggle domestic chores, childcare in between their virtual meetings. To address this, share some suggestions with your employees on how hybrid work culture improves their work-life balance. One size does not fit all, hence it becomes important to consider different demographics in your organisation and devise a plan accordingly.

With the Great Resignation of 2021 already happening, organisations need to provide additional support, flexibility, and ensure that their employees feel valued. Leaders must demonstrate empathy, trust, and genuine care for the emotional wellbeing of their employees to build a sustainable workforce.

(The author is CEO & Co- Founder, YourDOST. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of the Financial Express Online.)

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