#1 - Hybrid Work
Most organizations were forced to switch to remote work mode almost overnight during the pandemic. There was no time to build a proper culture or a foundation for new ways of working.
It's time to take a step back and return to the drawing board. We need to re-think both remote and in-office work. It's time for hybrid work to emerge.
Start building hybrid (or decentralized) work into your organization's DNA. Craft a foundation that enables productive work from anywhere, keeps people engaged and provides them flexibility at the same time.
Treat decentralization as a tool to achieve your overall goals. Mark W. Johnson and Josh Suskewicz propose a 4-step future-back approach. Start from your end vision and work your way back to the start. This allows you to see things from a fresh perspective.
Transform office time into a platform of collaboration, socialisation and sharing ideas.
It's easier than ever to tap into the global talent pool. Why work with the best living around your offices when you can work with the best in the country? Or the best in the world?
Pick the low-hanging fruit when it comes to cost savings. Embrace the opportunity to reduce office footprint and keep business travel at minimum also after the pandemic. Research suggests you could save an average of $11,000 per half-time remote worker per year.
Most people prefer a hybrid work arrangement that combines home and office. That gives you a possibility to downsize infrastructure.
Hybrid work models might divide employees into two levels. In-office people might get access to more information than their remote counterparts. Ensure that information flows freely regardless of location.
Everyone reacts differently to the new circumstances. Some people are better off, some worse.
Uncoupling of jobs and location can also lead to wage levels flattening out across the globe. There's a tendency already to pay less for remote workers outside high-cost areas. In the distant future, this could lead to similar wages everywhere.
Trello has built a hybrid work culture. They believe in iteration, proactivity, empathy and trust. Trello advices to build a hybrid blueprint first.
Hubspot was "remote-ish" in the past. Their new hybrid vision allows people to choose from 3 options: @office, @flex or @home. Everyone is allowed to change their working model once per year.
Dropbox is going remote-first. But they are very much promoting in-person collaboration and community-building. Dropbox also embraces results over hours and uses a toolkit to land those results.
Shopify went digital by default. Employees are allowed to work up to 90 days per year wherever they want in the world.
GitLab (among some others) is making the case for going fully remote instead of a hybrid model. They see that a hybrid way of working could lead into restricted access to information, managing guilt and demands for over performance. But there are no absolutes. Decide what's right and wrong for your organization. "Learn, test, iterate and see what works"
Hybrid Working - Creating the "Next Normal" in Work Practices, Spaces and Culture - How to review and adjust your practices, spaces and company culture in light of the new normal.
Remote Work Guides - Advice on going remote-first, logistics, project management, hiring, onboarding, leading, communication and product design in the hybrid work model.
GitLab's Complete Remote Playbook - GitLab explores the whole spectrum from no-remote to hybrid to fully-remote philosophies.
Switching to hybrid work offers many advantages. Employees get increased flexibility. Companies can reduce their physical footprint. Hiring the best talent is no longer restricted to physical locations.
However, the change will not happen overnight. Buy in to small changes first, see what works and what doesn't. Build a proper foundation for hybrid work to succeed.
Big tech. companies are already paving the way. Trello, Hubspot, Dropbox, Shopify and Coinbase are switching to hybrid work systems. The trendsetters are largely going "remote-first" with possibilities for weekly in-office working.
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Thanks for reading. See you next week!