Did anybody reading this not work remotely at some point in the last couple of years? Except for a few people in essential industries who simply had to be in the office, we were all living that hybrid life. That’s part of the reason it’s so easy to understand the enormous benefits of adopting the hybrid model today: establishing a good work-life balance without losing a sense of interpersonal connection and team relationships, real-time management, and more. By combining various existing work methods, the model lets us maximize the benefits of each method and remain as efficient as ever (see our webinar on the next-generation work environment).
Hybrid work is no longer the exclusive domain of international giants. It’s now the path everyone should be following, yet many companies are still tentatively checking the map, debating the most successful options, and discovering that letting employees work at home some of the time is simply not enough to get the most out of the hybrid model.
The hybrid model can only be implemented successfully when that implementation is adapted to the company’s character, readiness, and unique challenges. This is why we always begin by evaluating the company’s readiness for hybrid work using the four-quadrant matrix created by BCG (Boston Consulting Group):
4-Quadrant Model: Assessing Hybrid Work Readiness
|Work Environment & Teams||Leadership, Culture & Significance|
|Infrastructure, Systems & Public Space||Organizational Structure & Job Descriptions|
Using this 4-quadrant model as a basis, the Research & Development Division at AL Consultants has developed a survey that assesses each company’s readiness to transition to hybrid management in terms of each of the four quadrants.
The Managed Flexibility Model
Built by AL Consultants’ Research & Development Division, this applied model is based on the leadership dimension and essentially focuses on how prepared the company’s management is for a hybrid, inclusive work model. In other words, it lets us assess how willing the managers are to lead this change. When transitioning to a hybrid model, managers have to take a leap forward in their management style, adopting a modern concept adapted to the new era and its many challenges.
Among other changes, managers will be required to expand the range of employment options open to workers – not only on a physical level, but in giving them independence and more leeway when it comes to decision-making. Managers will need to enable employees to take initiative and act more freely, working via interfaces and a flat hierarchy, and less from a traditionally authoritarian approach. This dimension can thrive in a cultural climate that is open to inclusion and has high employee engagement with the organizational vision.
The model will help you to identify current managerial gaps in a way that will let us focus on the skills required from our managers:
Managed Flexibility Model – For managing a hybrid work environment
- Adaptability to change
- Agile work method
- Creative solutions for individual needs
- Independent work
- Managerial mechanisms to track tasks and set goals
- Effective work via interfaces
- Employee retention
- Career development
- Satisfaction with partial physical presence
Controlled Independence: Managers must ensure that their employees are independent enough to be able to work remotely by themselves, while still overseeing their performance as part of the normal managerial purview.
Engagement Expert: Managers need to cultivate a high level of employee engagement with them and with the organization, especially when employees are only physically present some of the time.
Collaboration Artist: In order to build a strong team (that is both independent and not always present), managers need to reinforce the need for effective teamwork within the hybrid model.
All of these require managed flexibility: the ability to accommodate frequent changes and adapt the personal management style within complex, dynamic situations. Managers need to identify the core factors that enable them to perform their own managerial activities well, while also constantly thinking from an agile perspective: personalizing solutions, understanding that “flexible” doesn’t mean “flawless,” but “good enough for the moment.” Why? Because when we work quickly, it is impossible to predict and plan every detail. Instead, we need to continually check that we’re doing the right thing – “am I still being flexible, or am I working on autopilot?” Although these terms are not new, they are taking on new meaning in our current circumstances. These skills will help your managers and employees make this rapid transition and maximize its potential.
We will be happy to assist you at every stage of the process and also help your management team hone their hybrid management skills.
Good luck, everyone!