'Hybrid workplace is more than an HR policy or office design issue'

New report shines light on the implementation of hybrid work arrangement

'Hybrid workplace is more than an HR policy or office design issue'

The implementation of hybrid work arrangement affects all aspects in the workplace, and is much more than just an issue in the policies by HR.

This is according to a new interactive report from the Leeds University Business School, which sought the feedback of UK office workers.

"An effective hybrid workplace is more than a HR policy or office design issue. It is a socio-technical problem, essentially affecting all aspects of work and requiring knock-on changes to IT, work processes, organisational goals and culture to be successful," said Dr. Matthew Davis, lead author of the report and Associate Professor in Organisational Psychology at Leeds.

The report also revealed the situation and reception of workers towards hybrid work, where it was found that:

  • 73% prefer to work from the office at least once a week
  • 33% have no dedicated workspace at home
  • 30% would like to have a "third space" such as a co-working office
  • 6% of workers are trained for hybrid activities

According to the report, no one-size will fit in terms of hybrid policy that will accommodate all the needs of employees.

"Organisations will never design a perfect arrangement that suits everyone, there will be trade-offs for individuals and teams," the authors said.

Read more: Hybrid work: How to engage a multi-generational workforce

Based on their analysis, the authors also noted some approaches that could be taken in designing hybrid work arrangements:

  • Be clear on the purpose, value, and reasons for office working
  • Define what a good outcome would be
  • Map the system
  • Articulate the constraints and non-negotiables
  • Don't rush to create rules
  • Staff involvement and engagement is key
  • Be prepared to lose people
  • Experiences matter
  • Train people
  • Act with honesty and be prepared to fail

And for Davis, he said the key to a successful hybrid work arrangement is "good management."

"The key to successful hybrid working is good management – clear and demonstrable objectives and outputs, active communication and feedback whether remote or in-person working," said the lead author.

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