If you’re dangling on the edge of introducing WFA in your organisation, this article is for you. While we’re big advocates for the wide-scale move to flexible working and hybrid teams, we know that there are challenges on the horizon. Challenges that make their way into leadership conversations, and leave us teetering on the edge of embracing the future of work.
Today we’re going to get into some of the tougher-to-swallow facts about hybrid work so that you can be well prepared for the challenges that lay ahead of you. This is going to be quite the journey, but when approached with the right tools and strategies, we know you’ll make it to the other side smiling.
The challenges of adopting a hybrid work approach.
Hybrid work requires commitment
How committed are you to creating a hybrid working environment, really? Your level of commitment to the process and the approach will determine how successful you are in your adoption of WFA as an organisation.
If only a small portion of your leadership team are committed, it could be a struggle.
If your people don’t receive training on hybrid leadership skills, it could be a struggle.
If your senior leadership team avoid embracing new technology, it could be a struggle.
If your people aren’t involved and engaged in the transition, it could be a struggle.
In order to truly make WFA ‘work’ for your organisation, leadership team and employees, you’re going to need to do everything you can to prepare your people and set up for long-term success.
Hybrid work calls for new cultural rhythms
Simply taking what you’ve always done and replicating it in a virtual setting isn’t going to give you the results you desire from WFA. New cultural rhythms will need to be established to ensure your culture is strengthened, not diminished, by the move to Work From Anywhere.
From team cultural rhythms through to one-on-one connections, they all play a part in how successful your organisation will be after the transition to WFA.
Hybrid work will take time to perfect
On the note of transitioning into WFA as an organisation, remember the keyword – transition. Your people might not like it at the beginning; there will be dissenters, challengers and questioners along the journey.
You might try out a new cultural rhythm that doesn’t quite work for your team. You may even set up a new project management tool only to find out after a few weeks that it doesn’t quite ‘do’ what you need it to.
WFA excellence doesn’t happen overnight. If you were hoping for that, we’re sorry to be the bearers of bad news. However, we know that it is possible to achieve with time. We even wrote a book to guide you on the journey, step-by-step.
WFA comes down to a matter of belief
Do you believe that your team can truly Work From Anywhere?
Do your leadership team truly believe that the entire organisation can thrive in Work From Anywhere?
This transition will challenge long-held beliefs around what work is, what it looks like, and how it should be done. In order to truly make WFA ‘work’, you’re going to need to consider how your beliefs around work need to change.
Hybrid work may highlight weaknesses in your team
Unfortunately, along the way you may find that not all of your people are cut out to perform at a high level autonomously. It’s a realisation that dawns on leaders around the 5-6 month mark, and that’s okay.
WFA can often bring to the surface issues that have been lingering, going unnoticed, in a co-located office due to presenteeism. In a way, we like to think this is a good realisation to come to, because it’ll help you to build a team that truly wants to be there.
Hybrid work is worth the effort
Finally, we’d like to remind you of this: WFA is worth the effort.
Yes, there are going to be challenges. Yes, there are going to be days that are tougher than others. Yes, you’re going to need to learn new approaches and strategies for tasks you’ve done in the same way for the past 15+ years.
It’s going to make you question your beliefs around work, and your beliefs around leadership.
But, in our humble view, all of those downsides are worth the upside.
Has this list sent a shock down your spine? If you’ve realised that your organisation isn’t as well equipped as you’d like to be for the future of work and the move to WFA, we’d like to give you a helping hand.
At Pragmatic Thinking, our purpose is to make work an extraordinary experience. We know that when you make the ⅓ of your life (that is work) better, it has a flow-on effect that trickles into every area of your life.
We truly believe that Work From Anywhere is the solution that workplaces have been searching for, but have never been able to put their finger on. Now that it’s here, we want to guide you on the journey. Pick up our practical guide to becoming a world-class hybrid team today.