Championing Purpose: How to Make Hybrid Work

According to a recent LinkedIn study, searches for remote positions have increased by 60% from March to May 2021. It is clear now that a remote or a hybrid model is among the main perks professionals seek when job hunting. For High Achievers especially, a level of autonomy that empowers them to unfold their full potential is one of the most powerful assets companies can offer. But how, exactly, do you do a remote model? This article will unveil some of the most important concepts behind making the most out of hybrid that will allow you to step into the next phase of your company’s journey.

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies have started offering remote or hybrid options to their team members. From a perspective that champions the ability to work from anywhere as long as the role allows for it, this development is exciting. Leaders who are implementing this more thoughtful and innovative approach to the workplace, and taking into account the nuances of the different roles and tasks within their teams to maximize the possibilities open in this situation, are definitely taking a step in the right direction. As we have mentioned in a previous article, the new working arrangements have the potential to boost performance and productivity when adequately designed.

However, we still believe there is more to bring to the table. The current approach to hybrid workplaces has the potential to evolve into one of the main aspects of the Future of Work. And there are two guiding principles that can strengthen its development.

1. Location Fit for Purpose

When transitioning towards a hybrid model, it can be tempting to adopt a rigid schedule that includes office and work-from-home days on a fixed basis. As mentioned before, we agree this is a good place to start, but we also think there is plenty of room for improvement. For a company, pursuing this type of arrangement can lead to many unintended consequences, negatively impacting culture, performance, and productivity. Rigid schedules are often not intentionally designed to enhance performance on the different tasks that need to be completed, and therefore not fully harnessing the possibilities that a hybrid model allows. Instead, it could be more beneficial to structure work schedules by asking these questions:

  • What goals are we looking to achieve?
  • What creates a sense of achievement in our team members?
  • How are people working together and achieving these goals together?

The point of these questions is to find out what the best location is for the task or project at hand. Some goals are best achieved when the team members are all together in the same room, and others are better suited with a more remote collaboration style. For example, while an offsite definitely requires team members to meet in person, a training program could be either in person or online, depending on its purpose and design. On the other hand, deep work sessions can be perfectly fulfilled on a remote format. By designing their schedules according to these criteria, companies will be able to create a work style that is centered around performance and achievement, rather than pursuing location just for the sake of location. Flexible work schedules are built on the principle that team members should be brought into the office only when the goal is to be achieved specifically calls for it, not just to fulfill a predesigned schedule.

But that is just the big picture. The principle of location fit for purpose also has the power to unleash unparalleled performance and engagement, particularly in High Achievers — individuals who have a high level of awareness of their rhythms and work styles and will make the most of any opportunity to strive for excellence. So, let’s see how a hybrid model could empower your High Achievers to thrive.

2. Work When and Where You Are Most Productive

So far, we have covered hybrid work schedules that include mostly office days and work-from-home days. But to fully harness the potential of schedule and location fit for purpose, it is essential to explore every possibility that workplace flexibility offers. As covered in a previous article, lifestyle design is one of the keys to mastering performance. Here, we will cover two of the many possible ways of utilizing lifestyle design to boost productivity and engagement in your high performers.

Nobel-winning scientists have demonstrated that circadian rhythms —or the internal body clock— dictate our energy flow throughout the day. This is why, when trying to peak performance and tap fully into a talent’s potential, it is crucial for them to understand what their most productive hours of the day are and to be trusted with the autonomy to design their own schedules according to that. Having Larks (morning people) do their most important work during late hours, or Owls (night people) waking up at the break of dawn to fulfill those high-priority tasks, is a sure way of wasting your talent’s spark while also depriving them of the experience of an engaging and productive workflow. Encouraging your high performers to design a schedule that aligns with their internal body clock can increase not only wellbeing but also performance and productivity. High Achievers bask in the possibility of designing work schedules that complement their energy flows and know exactly how to make the most out of every hour of their days to always deliver a performance that wows.

On top of that, environments have a much higher impact on us than we usually recognize. So, when championing the idea of location fit for purpose, it only makes sense to open up the possibilities and contemplate all the ways that the world could be our playground. Beyond the office and home, different environments spark different types of productivity in individuals. From the beach to a dynamic airport environment, from a silent library to a busy coffee shop, from sitting in front of a desk to taking a walk through the city or the woods, every single set of stimuli nourishes a different side to our productivity. Some environments are best for focus work, some others invite creativity and out-of-the-box thinking, while others might be more suitable for having a conversation. The key, then, is to empower high-performing talent to find their best environment for the task they have at hand.

It is important to keep in mind, though, that autonomy does not work the same way with everyone. As much as it is an excellent tool to empower High Achievers into doing their best work, it also gives Cruisers the perfect opportunity to deliver less and coast more. However, micromanaging is not the answer to that problem. Read our previous article to find out how maintaining a mediocre culture means risking your best talent and how to fix the performance gap while nurturing and caring for your High Achievers.

All in all, giving your talent the autonomy to structure their schedules and pick their locations according to their own work styles is an excellent way of attracting and keeping High Achievers in your company. This is a critical factor to maintaining a thriving culture and peaking your company’s overall productivity. Championing a work style centered around performance and achievement means that work gets structured after the goals that you are looking to achieve and the tasks that will get you there, rather than having your predesigned structures dictate the outcome of your projects.

Bonus Tip: Show Your Hybrid Culture

As highlighted by LinkedIn in their Talent Drivers survey, flexible work arrangements are the fourth most important factor for professionals seeking new positions, having risen from seventh place in only five months. However, while searches for remote jobs have increased by 60% since March 2021, only 9,7% of US job listings offer remote work options. So, if you are offering a hybrid model, making it clear in your job description will give you a competitive edge in your search for top talent in the job market.

Purpose: The Key to the Future

The Future of Work is rapidly approaching. As the world enters the new era of work and productivity, leaders need to be at the mind and soul of a revolution that sparks life and purpose into the workplace, bringing good change and driving humanity to its peak. A hybrid model, when done right, is an excellent way to start nourishing High Achieving Empathic Givers: the changemakers of tomorrow.

Curious to explore how your company can thrive with a remote-first approach in the long run? Then this is for you. We are turning two of our bespoke cultural and training programs designed for the c-suite and top talents into a new format. As part of our effort to help leaders and employees to unite around common goals and priorities and bridge the distance caused by isolation and pressure, we are offering two entirely virtual training programs:

LeadEx is a leadership program designed for leading distributed teams successfully. Its focus is on keeping an engaged workforce while the world is turning.

RemoteEx is a performance program designed for remote workers to create work routines to reduce stress, boost productivity, and increase wellbeing despite the challenges of uncertainty.

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