This week, Gartner published a report indicating that employees are 12 percent more likely to leave a business without clear hybrid-working considerations.
Caitlin Duffy, Director of Gartner’s HR practice, explained that suitable hybrid work avenues are becoming the norm. Workers expect this, adding that “today’s hybrid work models lack the informal channels for absorbing norms present in an office setting.”
Duffy also added:
As organizations create more formalized hybrid work models, HR leaders can reduce work friction and increase engagement by establishing and communicating new norms more intentionally and explicitly.
Gartner’s Key to Remote Working Success
Any workplace environment, whether frontline, on-site, hybrid, or remote, requires specific approaches and unique challenges.
With hybrid workplace operations separating employees and limiting face-to-face interactions, employers must manage engagement and connection between workers and their colleagues.
Gartner’s research finds that visibility, flexibility, and connectivity drives success in demanding hybrid work environments. The firm organized a survey between October 2022 to November 2022 conducted across 3,524 employees to support its research.
Scheduling meetings can provide a space for a workforce to gain company-wide visibility and share work preferences. Keeping workers up-to-date and informed about their business’s standing in hybrid environments can improve employee satisfaction.
Caitlin Duffy also added that “work preferences evolve over time and with team staffing changes,” meaning that workplaces should organize regular meetings for sharing work preferences, not as a “static, one-time occurrence.”
Moreover, Duffy said:
Progressive organizations build dedicated time to revisit and update work preferences into everyone’s schedule, and any newly created teams or projects begin with a review of all members’ work preferences.
Gartner’s research claims hybrid workforces that share work preferences undergo an eight percent higher engagement, a seven percent higher sense of inclusion, and a five percent higher performance rate. Although, despite the benefits of heightened workplace visibility, Gartner says that less than half of organizations implement such practices.
Workplace transparency allows teams to co-create policies and inform critical mission decisions. Moreover, Gartner’s research claims that heightened worker visibility expectations can improve employee performance, collaboration, engagement, and inclusion.
A crucial benefit and attraction towards hybrid working is the increased flexibility for employees at all levels of a business.
Gartner states remote working protocols can significantly improve employee productivity and performance. Remote working days give increased autonomy to employees, allowing them to manage their work around daily activities and commitments.
Another benefit businesses can attach to hybrid working is “meeting-free days.” Again, Gartner’s research says that while 55 per cent of organizations offer remote days, only 22 percent of organizations include “meeting-free days” – meaning a majority of organizations are missing out on potential efficiency improvements.
Gartner says meeting-free days allow employees to customize work structures, reduce “virtual overload”, and avoid meeting fatigue.
With workplaces adopting hybrid and remote working operations, connectivity requirements will increase. Businesses must take the appropriate steps to ensure workers are well-connected with their colleagues at all levels.
Hyrbid and remote workers must remain connected with their colleagues via video conferencing applications such as Zoom or Teams, or they can take innovative steps towards adopting immersive collaboration platforms!
Moreover, dispersed teams must also remember to meet in person. With remote work operations becoming the norm in business, regular face-to-face meetings can help workers stay engaged and connected in a digital world.
Gartner’s research indicates that organizations can enhance employee outcomes by facilitating regular in-person meetings and on-site work with managers. However, research shows that 40 percent of organizations leverage in-person practices.
Caitlin Duffy said:
Beyond in-person meetings, working in person with a direct manager can allow a mutual understanding of goals and work preferences and deepen relationships, making on-site work more valuable. Organizations should avoid implementing policies that require employees to be on-site while managers can work remotely, as this will foster disappointment and resentment in the workforce, which could ultimately lead to attrition.
Combating Change Fatigue
Another modern challenge CIOs may face is change fatigue, where employees feel exhausted from workplace alterations such as digital acceleration, staff departures, and having to adjust to various working models.
CIOs should understand and manage employee standings such as apathy, burnout, and frustration by approaching workplace operation alterations with new technology solutions and standards to combat change fatigue.
The first step is to view change fatigue as a problem for businesses. According to Gartner’s research, eight of ten CIOs do not frequently discuss employee change fatigue.
The second step is to divide up change leadership among multiple people. Gartner points out that worker fatigue can be overlooked when a single manager oversees project, product, and initiative operations.
The third step is to get top executives and lower levels of the organization to work together so that departments can understand each other during change.
The fourth step is to honor the feelings of their employees during times of change. According to Daniel Sanchez-Reina, VP Analyst at Gartner, it’s “critical for CIOs to create a mental track record of as many positives as possible”, and comprehending the emotional impact of positive or negative workplace change is essential.
Business leaders have many opportunities to make the workplace positive, including management structures and technology solutions.
In light of increasing remote and hybrid workplace expectations, managers must understand how to look after their workforce and support them in completing tasks. Keeping workers engaged, ready to finish projects, serve clients, and meet objectives while staying positive.