What is missing from conversations about hybrid and remote working?

1.1k views2 Upvotes21 Comments

CIO Strategic Advisor in Services (non-Government), 2 - 10 employees
We have to remember we're talking about humans, not machines. A lot of these conversations on hybrid or remote working take a very cold approach. The focus is on the work to be done, whether it gets done, and whether expectations were met. But there's another component to this, which is a sense of belonging. A lot of folks aren't having that conversation.

You might have heard the term DEI come up, meaning diversity, equity and inclusion. But it's becoming DEIB, with the “B” standing for belonging. How do we start to ensure that folks feel a sense of belonging, whether they're in the office or fully remote? Being in the office is an easy way to help people feel like they have a sense of belonging, but if an organization is completely remote, how do you make all of those folks feel like they still belong to the organization as opposed to being all independents?
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VP, Global IT in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees

Belonging is an important point because we are group animals. Even within the gig economy, people still want to be part of a group.

VP, Global IT in Manufacturing, 1,001 - 5,000 employees
With hybrid or remote working models, the biggest change is for the managers because you need to adopt a different management style in order to make it effective. You can no longer oversee your floor to check that everybody's behind a computer. Back when you could do that, you assumed they were working, but you never knew for sure. Now you have to change the conversation to be about what the expectations are, and what timeframe is reasonable to get the job done. It requires you to shift towards managing by output and whether people deliver the things that need to be delivered. It's a difficult conversation for a lot of people because some managers don't really know what their people are doing, believe it or not.
Director of IT in Education, 51 - 200 employees
We must keep in mind that we are discussing people, not machines.
Many of these discussions about remote or hybrid working adopt a very chilly tone.
The task at hand, whether it is completed, and whether expectations were met are all in the forefront.

But there's more to it than that; there's also a sense of belonging.
Many people aren't having that discussion. 
CIO in Education, 2 - 10 employees
The conversations about Hybrid and Remote work are missing details about the working atmosphere and mental pressure faced by employees while working remotely. While a lot has been discussed about security and technical aspects, other aspects related to the company's work culture and experience should be also considered important.
Director of IT in Education, 5,001 - 10,000 employees
The challenge for me is new employees, specifically, entry levels in getting them up to speed with company culture. Also the learning curve for them takes a longer time as we don’t get the personal interactions.
CTO in Software, 11 - 50 employees
I think people fail to recognize that we as humans are very different, and while return to the office is a trend right now, as an employeer/manager one must recognize how to best allocate resources. There's some who might benefit from WFH, some who might benefit from traiditional office and some who might benefit from hybrid. The challenge here is striking a balance where team dynamics can be potentiated and individual preferences are taken into account without being the sole deciding factor.
Director of IT in Services (non-Government), 5,001 - 10,000 employees
It goes without saying that relying too heavily on technology makes fundamental communication difficult. When many of us initially made the switch to entirely remote work in March 2020, we had to overcome technological challenges, but switching to hybrid working may also be challenging. Recently, I was told by a senior executive that when their staff started coming back to the office, they discovered that their video conferencing systems weren't completely capable of meeting the demands of hybrid working, if they could even remember how to use them. 

Corporate culture may be essential for communicating the organization's originality to potential new hires, especially in sectors where businesses face intense competition for talent, like banking, consulting, or the technology sector. How can a company's unique "feel" be preserved if employees never or hardly ever come to the office or spend time together? And how can businesses set themselves apart from one another in the competition for talent?

These two things are most impacted due to hybrid working and organizations must find ways to mitigate the issues. 
Director SASE Customer & Partner Success in Software, 10,001+ employees
Infrastructure costs. Now that our buildings are only half full, at what point do we let leases expire without renewing?
Vice President Information Technology in Finance (non-banking), 201 - 500 employees
Sense of belonging is not given the required importance and therefore not being discussed too much. The remote workers must have the feel on inclusiveness.
Director of IT in Education, 11 - 50 employees
•  The largest change with hybrid or remote working models is for the managers since you need to adopt a different management style to make it work. You can no longer patrol your floor to make sure no one is sat at a computer. You thought they were operating when you could do that, but you were never certain. The dialogue must now shift to focus on what is expected and how long it should take to complete the task. It calls on you to switch to managing by output.

•  Avoid over-optimizing performance; if you give your staff some breathing room, they will become accustomed to their new role and oftentimes become more productive on their own.

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1.2k views1 Upvote

Chief Technology Officer in Software, 51 - 200 employees
My personal experience. 

I usually get the feedback and go back with data driven analysis providing details to cross leaders to understand the context and make decision basis data and and not gut feeling. 
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