By Delphine Donne-Crock
Welcome to hybrid work.
The way we work has fundamentally changed – and in my opinion, for the better. We are in the midst of one of the most significant transformations in the modern work era, which puts people and their needs first and right at the center of it.
67%* of employees want to move forward in a hybrid form of work. More than half of employees ask for more flexibility, including flexible hours. In the search for a new job, flexibility is a top priority**. Today, 30%*** of employees are likely to consider a move in the year ahead, even if it requires finding a new job that lets them work remotely. More education is moving online. VR-powered technology enables virtual in-person experiences and AI empowers people to create content at the speed of light.
We are all trying to figure it out: Companies, employees, parents, students, and teachers. The debates around the topic seem endless. Are people really productive working from home? Can there be a culture if there is no office? How do you best lead a dispersed team? It all starts by empowering people and providing them with the right tools and policies tailored to meet their needs so they can perform and feel their best in any environment.
At Logitech, we have been practicing this for some time as we design workspace solutions (Hardware & Software) for individuals and organizations to operate in a hybrid world. Whilst we are also learning on this journey, we have gathered some insights on what it takes to make hybrid work actually work:
People first: Some people want more flexibility in hours and location, some don’t. Give them the choice. The way we work, how work gets done, has changed. At Logitech, we never set a “return to office” date, but we opened our offices to let our teams decide when they would come in. We now have people working entirely from home, partially from home, or fully from the office. Being flexible as an employer also helped us to bring in more diversity. The job market has become borderless, as people work from multiple locations convenient for them and their employer. How a company cares for its employees is more important than ever. Among these are company policies like social support and benefits as well as company culture as a whole. Happy employee, happy company.
One size does not fit all: As you put people first, genuinely care for their wellbeing. A role working in front of a computer most of the day, requires some consideration on how to do so comfortably and productively. At Logitech, we want to enable all people to unleash their full potential as they work and create from everywhere. This means understanding and catering to their individual needs and supporting them to set-up their personal workspace. Be it a software developer that needs to be able to customize shortcuts, a content creator that wants to portray his/her unique personality or the executive that changes work location seamlessly. Everyone is different in what they do but also how they do it. A 1.90m tall man has different needs to work comfortably than a 1.60m woman. The right posture and the right ergonomic set-up can make a huge impact on people’s well-being. In a recently conducted survey we learned that 80% of a company’s IT equipment buyers and HR leaders are open to catering to employee devices, accessory and peripheral preferences and diverse needs, including ergonomics. Make it an action!
Communicate. Collaborate. Connect. Create: After proving productivity can happen remotely, the role of the physical office has changed. It has become a space of collaboration, exchange and also focus. We need to facilitate this with open spaces, shared working areas, meeting rooms, and desks. A fun and energizing office atmosphere will also encourage people to return to the workplace more often. Moreover, we as leaders have a responsibility to create an inclusive and collaborative work environment where everyone feels heard and empowered to speak up. Technology plays a key role here as well as empathic leadership. We need to foster a constant dialogue with our people and communicate clearly on goals and expectations in order to be successful as an organization.
Personally, I am very excited about this new logic of work. As a mother of two and the leader of a global business with a team dispersed across three time zones, hybrid work has offered me the flexibility I need to take care of my kids and my people. Traveling less allows me to devote more time to my kids while being more productive (less time wasted in airports and transportation). With my team we keep innovating together. There seems to be a much better work/life balance now than ever before, as we are much more effective. A great shift is underway, fuelled by hybrid work, which will help shift towards more equality at work and at home.
Hybrid work is here to stay, highly recommended, and hopefully implemented with people in mind by many more companies. Making work better, easier, faster and more comfortable in today’s new reality.
Sources: *EY Work Reimagined Employee Survey 2021, **McKinsey American Opportunity Survey 2022, ***Microsoft Work Trend Index Special Report 2022.