Hybrid Work Policies: The Future Of The Modern Workplace

Hybrid Work Policies: The Future Of The Modern Workplace January 27, 2023

Hybrid Work Policies

If you’re not developing hybrid work policies and communicating them to your employees clearly, you’re doing a disservice to your company and harming employee retention and engagement. Yet according to a survey by EY, 79% of all companies are developing hybrid work models, but only 40% clearly communicated their plans to their employees. Failing to develop an effective hybrid work policy and create clarity about them is one of the biggest challenges that my clients struggle with in the hybrid work transition.

One of the main advantages of hybrid work policies is increased employee engagement and productivity. When employees have the flexibility to work from home, they are often able to create a more comfortable and efficient work environment. This can lead to increased motivation and job satisfaction, which in turn leads to better performance and productivity.

 

For example, consider one of my clients, a mid-size IT firm, that had a traditional office-based work culture. During the pandemic, the company was forced to shift to remote work, and as a result, employee collaboration decreased. By implementing a hybrid work policy as the pandemic wound down, the IT firm gave employees the option to work from home when they are most productive, while still coming into the office for team meetings and collaborative tasks. This created a more engaged and productive workforce, leading to improved performance and results for the company.

 

Another benefit of hybrid work policies is increased employee retention. When employees feel more connected to their colleagues and company culture, they are more likely to stay with the company long-term. By giving employees the option to work from home, companies can create a more inclusive and diverse workforce, which can lead to better decision-making and problem-solving.

 

A case in point is a regional insurance company that struggled with employee retention. Its leadership demanded that everyone go back to the office three days a week in the Fall of 2021. As I predicted to the leadership, some talented staff left for insurance companies like Nationwide that offered more flexible options. After seeing that, the company changed its policies to be much more flexible, adopting a team-led model where each team determined its approach to hybrid work. By implementing this much more flexible hybrid work policy, the insurance company tailored hybrid work to the needs of each individual employee, creating buy-in and engagement. Moreover, such an approach gave employees the option to work from home when they need to care for their children or elderly parents, or when they have a medical condition. This created a more inclusive and diverse workforce, leading to better decision-making and problem-solving, and ultimately, increased employee retention.

 

Cognitive biases are also an important factor to consider when developing hybrid work policies. Confirmation bias, for example, can lead managers to assume that remote workers are less productive or engaged than in-office workers. However, research has shown that remote workers are often more productive and engaged than in-office workers. By recognizing and addressing cognitive biases, companies can create more effective hybrid work policies.

 

For example, at a financial management company for which I consulted, managers had a confirmation bias that remote workers were less productive and engaged. By providing evidence to help them recognize and address this cognitive bias, I helped the managers create a more effective hybrid work policy, one that allows employees to optimize their productivity.

 

One of the key benefits of hybrid work policies is that they allow companies to tap into a wider pool of talent. With remote work, companies can hire employees from anywhere in the world, regardless of their location. This leads to a more diverse and inclusive workforce, which brings a wide range of perspectives and ideas to the table. By giving employees the option to work from home, companies also reduce the need for expensive office space, which leads to significant cost savings.

 

For example, I facilitated a leadership retreat for the C-suite of a large SaaS company based in San Francisco about hybrid work. Its biggest challenge was recruiting and retaining top tech talent, in the face of competition from FAANG. The C-suite realized that by implementing a flexible hybrid work policy with some fully remote options, they would open up a much wider pool of talent, and allow it to attract and retain top talent from all over the world, regardless of location. Another benefit is that the company wouldn’t have to provide expensive San Francisco office space for these new employees.

 

As a further benefit, hybrid work policies facilitate ESG outcomes. By giving employees the option to work from home much or all the time, companies reduce their carbon footprint and promote sustainability. Doing so improves their reputation and attracts customers who are looking for environmentally-friendly products and services.

 

One of my clients was a late-stage startup focused on developing sustainable technologies. By implementing a hybrid work policy, my client gave employees the option to work from home much or all of the time, which reduced the company’s Scope 3 carbon footprint and promoted sustainability. The company then used this information in its marketing and shareholder materials, which improved the company’s reputation, attracted customers who are looking for environmentally-friendly products and services, and helped it get financing from ESG investors.

 

In conclusion, hybrid work policies are a long-term strategy that can help companies adapt to the changing needs of the modern workforce. By creating a more flexible and inclusive work environment, companies can attract and retain top talent, boost productivity, improve retention, and align with ESG. Companies need to develop a hybrid work policy that is distinct from in-office policies and tailored to the specific needs of their workforce, and communicate it clearly to their staff, for the sake of improving their competitiveness in the global market.

Image Credit: Hybrid work policies/Creative Insights – Getty Images


Originally Published in Forbes on January 21, 2023.


Bio: Dr. Gleb Tsipursky helps leaders use hybrid work to improve retention and productivity while cutting costs. He serves as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts, which helps organizations adopt a hybrid-first culture, instead of incrementally improving on the traditional office-centric culture. A best-selling author of 7 books, he is especially well-known for his global best-sellers Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019) and The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships (New Harbinger, 2020). His newest book is Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage (Intentional Insights, 2021). His writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and other languages. His cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 650 articles and 550 interviews in prominent venues. They include Harvard Business Review, Fortune, Inc. Magazine, Business Insider, Fast Company, Forbes, and elsewhere. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training for mid-size and large organizations ranging from Aflac to Xerox. It also comes from his research background as a behavioral scientist. After spending 8 years getting a PhD and lecturing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, he served for 7 years as a professor at the Ohio State University’s Decision Sciences Collaborative and History Department. A proud Ukrainian American, Dr. Gleb lives in Columbus, Ohio (Go Bucks!). In his free time, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid his personal life turning into a disaster. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on LinkedIn @dr-gleb-tsipursky, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook @DrGlebTsipursky, Medium @dr_gleb_tsipursky, YouTube, and RSS, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace by signing up for the free Wise Decision Maker Course at https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/newsletter/

About Dr. Gleb Tsipursky
Known as the Disaster Avoidance Expert, Dr. Gleb Tsipursky is on a mission to protect leaders from dangerous judgment errors known as cognitive biases, which devastate bottom lines and bring down high-flying careers. His expertise and passion is developing the most effective and profitable decision-making strategies, based on pragmatic business experience and cutting-edge behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience, to empower leaders to avoid business disasters and maximize their bottom lines. You can learn more here https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/glebtsipursky/ The bestselling author of several books, Dr. Tsipursky is best known for his national bestseller on avoiding disasters and achieving success in business and other life areas, The Truth Seeker’s Handbook: A Science-Based Guide. His next book, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters, is forthcoming with Career Press in November 2019. It’s the first book to focus on cognitive biases in business leadership and reveal how leaders can overcome these dangerous judgment errors effectively. After that he’s publishing The Blindspots Between Us: How to Overcome Unconscious Cognitive Bias and Build Better Relationships with New Harbinger in April 2020, the first book to focus on cognitive biases in professional and personal relationships and illustrate how we can defeat these dangerous judgment errors in our relationships. See more information here https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/author-page/ Dr. Tsipursky’s cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 400 articles he published and over 350 interviews he gave to popular venues that include Fast Company, CBS News, Time, Scientific American, Psychology Today, The Conversation, Business Insider, Government Executive, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, Inc. Magazine, and many others, as you can see here https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/media/ Dr. Tsipursky's expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, speaking, and training for businesses and nonprofits. He serves as the CEO of the boutique consulting, coaching, and training firm Disaster Avoidance Experts, which uses a proprietary methodology based on groundbreaking research to help leaders and organizations maximize their bottom lines by addressing potential threats, seizing unexpected opportunities, and resolving persistent personnel problems. His clients include Aflac, Balance Employment Assistance Provider, Edison Welding Institute, Fifth Third Bank, Honda, IBM, International Coaches Federation, Ohio Hospitals Association, National Association of Women Business Owners, Sentinel Real Estate, The Society for Human Resource Management, RealManage, The Columbus Foundation, Vistage, Wells Fargo, the World Wildlife Fund, and over a hundred others who achieve outstanding client results. You can learn more about that here: https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/about Dr. Tsipursky also has a strong research and teaching background in behavioral economics and cognitive neuroscience with over 15 years in academia, including 7 years as a professor at the Ohio State University and before that a Fellow at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. His dozens of peer-reviewed academic publications include journals such as Behavior and Social Issues, Journal of Social and Political Psychology, and International Journal of Existential Psychology and Psychotherapy. His civic service includes over 4 years as the Chair of the Board of Directors of Intentional Insights, an educational nonprofit advocating for research-based decision-making in all life areas. He also co-founded the Pro-Truth Pledge, a civic project to promote truthfulness and integrity for individual professionals and leaders in the same way that the Better Business Bureau serves as a commitment for businesses. He serves on the Advisory Board of Canonical Debate Lab and Planet Purpose, and is on the Editorial Board of the peer-reviewed journal Behavior and Social Issues. A highly in-demand international speaker, Dr. Tsipursky has over two decades of professional speaking experience across North America, Europe, and Australia. He gets top marks from audiences for his highly facilitative, interactive, and humor-filled speaking style and the way he thoroughly customizes speeches for diverse audiences. Meeting planners describe Dr. Tsipursky as "very relatable," as "a snap to work with," and as someone who "does everything that you would want a speaker to do." Drawing on best practices in adult learning, his programs address the wide spectrum of diverse learning styles, as attested by enthusiastic client testimonials and references. He regularly shares the stage with prominent leaders, for example recently speaking on a roundtable panel with the President of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen, Secretary General of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies Elhadj As Sy, Chancellor of Austria Brigitte Bierlein, CEO of Penguin Random House Markus Dohle, and billionaire philanthropist and Chair of the Bertelsmann Management Company Liz Mohn. You can learn more about his speaking and see videos here: https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/speaking/ Dr. Tsipursky earned his PhD in the History of Behavioral Science at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2011, his M.A. at Harvard University in 2004, and his B.A. at New York University in 2002. He lives in and travels from Columbus, OH. In his free time, he enjoys tennis, hiking, and playing with his two cats, and most importantly, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid disasters in his personal life. Learn more about him at https://DisasterAvoidanceExperts.com/GlebTsipursky, contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky and Twitter @gleb_tsipursky. Most importantly, help yourself avoid disasters and maximize success, and get a free copy of the “Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace,” by signing up for his free Wise Decision Maker Course at https:// DisasterAvoidanceExperts.com/Subscribe You can read more about the author here.
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