The future of work is undergoing a significant shift as offices across the country begin to reopen. The pandemic has certainly transformed the way we work, and businesses are embracing a new hybrid work model that combines remote work with on-site collaboration. This paradigm shift is the perfect opportunity for leaders to rethink and reshape culture so that it retains and maximizes diverse talent. 

As employees return to the office, organizations are choosing to build a hybrid workplace with a human-centered design. It’s not exactly novel news that the typical 9-5 work structure — where people are judged by their productivity rather than their performance — is outdated and doesn’t honor the flexibility that connectivity technology brings. However, the pandemic undoubtedly accelerated the adoption of remote work, and the ensuing “location liberation” has paved the way for people to live and work in a way that best suits their myriad responsibilities and identities. For example, disabled people with chronic illness or physical impairments were able to swap poorly designed office spaces for more suitable work-from-home conditions. Working parents were given new flexibility to juggle their work and family responsibilities — though mothers in particular still face unfair expectations to “do it all.” We must not lose these wins for inclusion as we return to the workplace. 

The future workplace calls for a decision-making process that brings women, minorities and other disadvantaged groups to the table. Leaders must also listen to the unique challenges of staff, otherwise the opportunity to hear from the individuals most affected by workplace policies will be missed. Some issues to consider when designing a hybrid model is how to best address the digital divide — so that employees have access to the tools they need to succeed — as well as how to promote a psychologically safe and transparent environment among hybrid teams. Leaders must also reexamine how performance will be judged under the new arrangement.

There’s no one-size-fit-all solution to creating a hybrid workplace, but Orange Grove can work with you to develop the hybrid workplace, including how to best cultivate inclusive conditions and protocols that set your teams up for successful collaboration and hybrid performance. Additionally, our new Hybrid Work Playbook will help your team understand and build a hybrid work approach, including setting best practices for common issues like digital meetings.

To learn more about designing a hybrid workplace, watch a recording of our Future Workplace webinar on Youtube.

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