Jobbio's Aoibhinn McBride takes a look at how hybrid workers can bolster team bonds and keep employees engaged and energised, when meeting in person.
While Elon Musk infamously ordered Tesla employees back to the office for a minimum of 40 hours per week last summer, and the UK civil service ineffectively attempted to make all staff return to their offices full time in January, forcing workers to revert to pre-pandemic ways of working is proving futile for many reasons.
That’s because hybrid working has afforded many advantages and employees have a new “worth it” equation when it comes to work-life balance as a whole. So says Microsoft in its recent Work Trend Index Annual Report, which found that 47 per cent of respondents are now more likely to put family and personal life over work than they were three years ago.
Microsoft also identified that 73 per cent of employees and 78 per cent of business decision-makers say they need a better reason to go into the office than just company expectations—work perks like fridges stocked with free food or pool tables in communal areas have clearly lost their shine.
But that doesn’t mean days spent in the office are a waste of everyone’s time. Used correctly, in-office days can bolster team bonds and keep employees engaged and energised.
However, this can only be achieved if leadership move away from the assumption that employees are being less productive when working from home—only 12 per cent of leaders have full confidence that their team is being productive when working remotely—and don’t view in-office days as an opportunity for staff to reduce productivity paranoia by simply being present.
Meetings have increased 69.7 per cent by February 2020, so interacting with co-workers face-to-face to reduce virtual meetings on days at home is worth the commute alone. There’s also the opportunity for leaders to connect with their staff and create opportunities for open dialogue which can also help to strengthen team bonds.
In the same Microsoft report, 73 per cent of employees admitted that they would go to the office more frequently if they knew their direct team members would be there, while 74 per cent said they would go to the office more frequently if they knew their work friends would also be present.
Even though video calls are now the norm, virtual communication will never beat the real thing, and when it comes to collaborative brainstorms, getting everyone in the same room can yield results a Zoom call simply couldn’t. The best way to do this is in an unstructured environment so employers need to move away from the traditional boardroom structure and look at ways they can adapt office interiors to accommodate a more casual, communal approach on the days workers are in the office.
If you feel like your current employer isn’t working towards a better hybrid future or a looming return to office order doesn’t work for you, there are dozens of hybrid and remote roles, like the three below, currently listed on the AltFi Job Board.
The Senior Sales Executive leads the sales pursuit and closes opportunities using an established sales process, combined with financial services and banking industry knowledge. The ideal candidate will understand how blended teams of onshore/offshore delivery can drive value. Key responsibilities include identifying prospects, aggressively closing new business, building a pipeline of qualified leads to meet business plans, quotas, and company objectives and managing the sales process for each individual sales opportunity. Apply now.
Online banking app Monzo is looking for a Data Analyst, Financial Crime. Partnering with subject matter experts in fincrime to surface key insights that will help drive decision-making, and using data to solve fincrime problems, you will work together with other members of the data discipline to maintain high-quality, accurate data that colleagues can rely on. You’ll also improve Monzo’s ability to fight financial crime and keep customers safe. Find out more here.