What are we learning about managing a hybrid workforce

HR Network news

10 Feb 2022

Network members met on Thursday 10th February to discuss approaches to hybrid working and some of the challenges they were facing.

Claire Campbell, IES Director of HR Consulting and Research opened the session by highlighting the growth in demand of hybrid working and some of the challenges organisations are facing in implementing it. This included how to make sure hybrid working is ‘fair’, acknowledging individuals have all got different preferences and experiences of the last two years and the variations in management attitudes and capability.

In the breakout discussion, network members felt they were still early on their journeys on hybrid working; with the majority of their staff still mainly working from home. The question now is how to encourage people back to the office?  …Some organisations are already thinking about how this might change the office space they need – less desks, more collaborative spaces.  And wider implications and questions such as: ‘whether to pay London weighting?’ are already being considered.

Claire went on to highlight a few tools which may be useful to organisations implementing hybrid working; which you can find on the slides for this workshop.  She also highlighted the importance of regular feedback and check-ins as organisations are unlikely to get the approach right first time.

Zofia Bajorek, IES Senior Research Fellow, joined the webinar to highlight the need for managers to be supported to develop the right skills to manage hybrid teams. These include handling sensitive wellbeing conversations, an output-based approach to performance management and facilitating communication across hybrid teams. She also addressed the challenge of inclusion and how managers can support individuals, whilst also taking a fair approach.

In the final discussion, members highlighted the challenges of etiquette for online meetings and how to support staff who find it hard to disconnect when working from home. We will continue to share good practice in this space in the coming months, as well as sharing the findings from our latest ‘Work After Lockdown’ survey which is currently underway.