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Ensuring Maximum Productivity from Hybrid Team Policies

While company-level work-from-home policies are being developed and developed, many organizations also let the business units or individual teams set similar “norms” or “expectations” of their teams. The effects of these policies will vary based on the scale of the organization and the distributions of the internal teams/customers with which their stakeholders will need to interact. I have seen a couple of models used thus far:

Photo by Proxyclick Visitor Management System on Unsplash

Open office — Keeps the office open for the whole or a limited number of days in the week for stakeholders to use the office and interact with each other. Many tend to open the office for 3–4 days, expecting stakeholders to come in 2–3 of those days.

Hybrid office — the office is open for the whole week, and stakeholders are expected to come in 3 days of their choosing to interact with stakeholders.

Remote with travel to office as needed — the office is open, and stakeholders would come in as necessary for important events, meetings, etc.

In some companies, the policy might state one thing, but the business or team underneath might set “norms” or “expectations” for coming in, like “use your discretion” to go into the office as needed for the role. In the case of discretion, this is where the company’s distribution will significantly impact the results of the approach. For example, if you have teammates across the country, coming into the office to see them is not likely to yield any positive results unless it is a planned trip. When considering the main internal or external customers that a role might service, if they are not going to be in the same office the majority of the time a stakeholder goes in, they are likely to stay remote unless there is a planned meeting or event. If stakeholders are going to make an effort, often uncompensated time and transportation costs, to go to an office and they will be on back-to-back telecommunications calls, they could have just stayed home.

The hybrid approach to hiring opened up opportunities for some companies to expand their hiring beyond the radius around their central locations or headquarters. It allowed them excellent access to talent across the country or even the world. Trying to pull that talent to come back into an office might come at the expense of an increased travel budget or even hiring new people. Please take advantage of your resources, and use policies to help them be the most productive. Some will come to the office to have that quiet space or mingle with others there, while others have an entire functional office at home and are more effective there.



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