Many HR professionals are commenting on the feeling of utter exhaustion as a result of the pandemic and creating a robust hybrid working plan is essential to easing this burden. This blog will outline a hybrid working model that will support the wellbeing of your staff. Explain how your organisation can incorporate effective wellbeing strategies into your hybrid workplace plan so that team members can bounce back after the difficulty of the last few years.
After years of organising the logistics of the pandemic, many people are now dealing with the delayed emotional reaction to the pandemic. It is essential now more than ever to have ‘wellbeing strategies’ in place especially to deal with this delayed fatigue reaction which is debilitating in this new working model. The hybrid working model – where some staff are working remotely and others are in the office – needs a robust wellbeing strategy to dovetail into it to ease the transition.
Why are so many professionals exhausted?
Many of my mental health colleagues are talking about the emotional exhaustion that the pandemic has created, noticing that there is a pattern with organisations and working with them to reduce the stress that hybrid working has created.
Why are so many professionals exhausted?
We are aware from the statistics that employee mental health has been in decline since the beginning of the Covid pandemic. Lockdown changes in themselves were difficult to navigate as the pandemic guidelines and restrictions changed so regularly, meaning that the workforce had to adapt overnight to working from home.
Many organisations see the benefit and the necessity of working with this ‘hybrid’ working model. Recent research suggests that over 80% of businesses are working like this, so how do businesses get the best from this model, how can you best serve your key performers to ensure that they remain positive and productive? Recognising the issues, raising awareness and creating a hybrid working model that includes a comprehensive wellbeing strategy will ensure that all key performers feel both supported and make the transition in a way that works best for them and for the business.
Whilst some thrive working away from the office, others are recognising the lack of collaboration, online meeting fatigue and an increase in email influx which is leading to even greater levels of mental ill-health, as well as physical symptoms of postural alignment, eye issues and lack of connection with colleagues, is creating a knock-on effect in terms of organisational productivity. A hybrid plan will ensure that these issues are recognised and covered.
What is a hybrid plan?
Image by Parabol with thanks
What is a hybrid wellbeing plan?
The hybrid way of working, where some of the workforces are returning to the office and others are remote means that new ways of working are required, creating a hybrid plan that has wellbeing at the centre of it is a great way to keep productivity high as well remaining inclusive, comfortable and collaborative so that your business retains a healthy, and happy workforce.
And yet the Microsoft Work Index 2021, illustrates that 60% of organisations do not have a hybrid plan.
A hybrid plan will consist of three major elements that include both the technological aspects of keeping a disconnected workforce working together, as well as looking at the way these teams are managed and led. The third aspect is to ensure that your business’s wellbeing strategy dovetails into this plan to ensure that all team members feel supported, included and remain connected.
I have written articles on the implication of hybrid working and the problems it raises for staff wellbeing in other articles for example this will be of interest if you are looking to avoid some of the problems associated with hybrid working: What effect has hybrid working had on your teams’ mental wellbeing?
The overall structure of a hybrid plan will include three elements the technology required which makes remote meetings suitable in the office, leadership coaching skills to make the best use of collaborative meetings and a Resilient Wellbeing Strategy to ensure that everybody feels connected and supported.
There are other essential elements required in a resilient hybrid plan which I have summarised that have arisen in resilience training and coaching sessions that I thought would be useful to share here:
What does a hybrid working plan look like?
A hybrid plan is an essential strategy that ensures an easy transition for both organisations and their people. A plan will mean that both senior and junior team members will work in the best way that works for the workforce and the organisation and enables the team to remain focused, productive and best manage their time.
In its simplest form, a hybrid plan requires policies and procedures around managing the office technology, on a deeper level considering your team’s wellbeing and engagement and leadership style in a hybrid space is also important.
For most organisations, the first hurdle has been to ensure that the office is practically set up for ‘hybrid’ working. For example meeting rooms in the office require cameras and microphones so that people at home as well as in the office can attend.
This level of set-up has been achieved so moving forward an effective hybrid plan will also include elements that include leadership skills that can support employees and a wellbeing programme that brings the entire organisation on board so that every staff member is aware of their responsibility for their own health and of other team members.
What are the key elements of a great hybrid wellbeing plan?
What are the key elements of a great hybrid plan?
A hybrid plan can be as simple or as complex as needed. The basis of any great strategy is the need for situational analysis and what is going on for the team leaders as well as their teams. Therefore creating a plan can include simple policies and procedures around topics and elements.
A hybrid plan has a number of elements which includes:
- L&D for leadership adapting their skills to accommodate hybrid working
- Hybrid policies and procedures
- Organisational support for wellbeing around hybrid working
- How hybrid meetings will be hosted and run including details around meeting room policies
- Inclusive ‘hybrid’ meetings that are collaborative
- Wellbeing Strategy and programme
- Leaderships skills that use a coaching style of management will see a great level of connection when working remotely
- Creating a wellbeing culture where the responsibility for wellbeing is recognised by the entire organisation, not directed to one department
- Leadership communication styles are critical in a hybrid space and this article offers insights on the type of skills are needed in a hybrid workplace The 6 leadership skills that are essential for hybrid working
- Increasing resiliency spaces in the workplace so that team meetings are collaborative and creative
- Air quality has become a significant issue with the pandemic
- Managing hot desks – what is the capacity of a hot desk and how will it be allocated
- Ensuring meeting rooms with cameras and microphones to facilitate hybrid working.
- Autonomy over their location of work and time that staff work will bring the best long term results for your organisation if these arrangements can be planned for and articulated in the ‘hybrid plan’
- Discussions around where it is suitable to work and this conversation need to be managed and both parties need to create a workable solution
- Casual working dress, what is appropriate so that staff feel empowered and avoid anxiety in the new mode of working and what is deemed suitable.
Pulling all these hybrid elements together is a wellbeing strategy that puts the welfare of the organisation’s greatest resource at the heart of all hybrid plans
- Wellbeing programme that dovetails into a hybrid strategy
- Inclusive wellbeing strategy so that employees feel supported
Creating a Wellbeing Strategy that will support and retain staff is essential – if you are looking for a simple Guide on how to create your organisations’ Wellbeing Strategy that will dovetail into your hybrid plan then this Guide will be the perfect place to start click here and download your free Wellbeing Strategy Guide
How can your organisation create a Resilient Hybrid Plan
An integral part of a hybrid plan is a wellbeing strategy that includes a coaching culture that works on every level of the business
If your organisation is looking to put together a hybrid working plan that dovetails the management skills required to create the workable autonomy and a wellbeing plan that brings everything together then connect with me.
What are the essential leadership elements of a hybrid working plan?
I have pulled out a few of the more essential leadership elements of a hybrid working plan. Elements that require more input, time and consideration to make the hybrid transition successful for the company in the longer term.
- Inclusive hybrid meetings that are collaborative
Ensuring that meetings are succinct, well planned, collaborative and enjoyable will ensure that all parties benefit from the experience.
Setting an agenda and scheduling the agenda points, will ensure a more collaborative and strategic use of time.
Equipping meeting organisers with the coaching leadership skills to look out for the wellbeing of the team and be comfortable and able to ask appropriate questions will ensure the best work is done.
- Leadership team building
The traditional directive leadership style doesn’t work remotely. It is not possible to direct each member of a team in a ‘command and control’ management style. in fact, when working remotely this command and control approach reduces productivity. Organisations suffer if every manager tries to direct every interaction and way of working for every member of their team.
A more autonomous leadership style that is authentic and open will create the best working culture in a hybrid environment. Leaders no longer need to direct, but to ask open questions using coaching models and techniques.
A coaching management style will benefit the leader by removing work from their desk so that they are free to concentrate on the strategic direction of the team and the organisation.
This coaching approach to management also improves ownership and involvement for the team member, who will feel engaged with the process and committed to finding a workable solution. Empowerment, ownership and high levels of engagement are advantages of a coaching management style.
if you would like to read more about A Coaching Management Style this blog article will be interesting read more here Why a coaching management style is best for hybrid working
- Organisational Support Network
Improving the support network throughout the organisation requires a well documented and presented wellbeing strategy.
A resilient wellbeing strategy that supports the overall culture and will ensure that the wellbeing responsibility is not with one team for example HR or the team leader.
- Wellbeing programme
Managers who are aware that their team is struggling are looking for company support to do this job effectively.
A wellbeing programme will provide tools and techniques that assist the leader and give them confidence in tackling the issue. Managers don’t have to fix their team members but they do need to take responsibility by listening, connecting and offering support to find out what they need. It is not good practice to push the issue over to HR
A wellbeing programme that has a coaching element in every piece of training, and every stage of the employees’ journey will ensure that the employees remain resilient in the face of such a drastic and long term change.
Embedding coaching skills into every work interaction will enable a more resilient organisation and workforce.
If your organisation would appreciate some assistance in putting together a resilient wellbeing strategy that includes coaching at every level for a comprehensive hybrid working model reach out via LinkedIn or drop me an email at email@example.com
To support organisations with performance issues and boost productivity during hybrid working contact Adele for coaching sessions for team leaders and employees. Coaching that use a structured approach towards clear objectives, personal growth and moving forward.
Creating a Wellbeing Strategy that will support and retain staff is essential – if you are looking for a simple Guide on how to create your organisations’ Wellbeing Strategy then this will be the perfect place to start click here and download your free Wellbeing Strategy Guide
If your organisation is looking to incorporate a coaching programme or would like to investigate the opportunities that coaching can offer please email me to discuss your organisational requirements or book an appointment straight in my diary