The importance of workplace culture in a hybrid environment – News Couple
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The importance of workplace culture in a hybrid environment


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From 2007 to 2011, I dipped my toes into faraway culture, out of necessity and success. My job required dealing with developers in the United States, Canada, Russia, France, China, and other countries. Remote culture has enabled us to build meaningful products faster and smarter than others.

When she launched Quantum Metric as CEO in 2015, advances in video conferencing and shared collaboration tools made it easier to work across time zones and geographies. It seemed natural to build a new company using a hybrid team that was “remote first”, capitalizing on finding the best talent in the world. Sure, we had the headquarters in Colorado Springs, and we had subsidiary offices in Denver, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., but it wasn’t required that employees come into the office. Most of our employees were away before 2020, a trend that will continue long after the pandemic is over and that has proven successful at scale.

As the world navigates through the effects of a cyclical pandemic, many leaders are asking: Can companies that have traditionally focused on office culture find the same success they have with their personal workforce?

Absolutely. There is no doubt that companies can not only succeed, but thrive with a hybrid model. With increased access to talent, increased working hours and geographic flexibility, there is more reward from working in creating a successful mixed work environment.

The key to company culture and success is not where the workforce is located, but rather the strategies and practices that companies put in place to build their cultures. Widely successful technology companies, such as LinkedIn, are aware of this and have backed away from a one-size-fits-all approach to the workplace, opting to enable teams to decide how they return to the office — if all.

Create workplace practices that empower your workforce wherever they are

In today’s first digital world, mandatory days in the office can be a huge turning point, especially for employees who are weighing potential risks to their health. Offering free lunch, exercise classes, and other perks can be tempting. However, what most employees really want from their post-Covid workplace is flexibility.

As the world recovers from the pandemic, it is important to recognize that the workforce has been operating under severe psychological distress. For many, remote work has eased anxiety about contracting the virus. Working from home has also allowed parents who deal with remote childcare and school to keep their jobs. Some are even willing to take pay cuts to stay at home.

But this does not mean that personal experience should be discarded.

For some employees, the option to work in person in an affiliate office can boost morale. Quantum Metric has just launched a satellite office in Chicago thanks to popular demand, although our Chicago-based employees are in no way obligated to work in person. Instead, it’s about providing our team with the resources they need to succeed. For some, that means collaborating in person alongside colleagues a few days a week. Our employees can do this at their discretion and comfort level.

By giving employees the flexibility to work wherever they are, companies also open themselves up to hiring top talent. The best person for a job may not be close to the office, but that doesn’t mean it should be taken out of consideration, does it?

Related: 5 Tips to Promote a Successful Hybrid Workplace

Business leaders fear hybrid or remote work, but they shouldn’t

Before the DotCom boom and the digital revolution, working from home was a rarity.

With the advent of communication tools such as Slack, Zoom, Google Meet, and Microsoft Teams, companies have begun to develop a technology suite that enables more employees to work from home while staying connected to their teams.

Despite all these sounds, my current work-from-home setup has caused some severe headaches. Slowly adapting managers fear that their employees will not work as much from home, that they will lose motivation or that they will waste all their work day shopping online or surfing Twitter.

These concerns often result in ineffective micromanagement, which stifles creativity and makes employees resent their work. It turns out that capturing every hour in your employees’ calendars isn’t going to produce better results.

Instead, we need to empower, commission, and incubate hybrid teams. Early on, I quickly discovered that there were some team members not working well remotely and others thriving. I analyzed the traits of each employee and discovered what would become the heart of our culture.

  • passion: Enthusiastic team members come to work every day and are self-motivated and energetic to take on the challenges of the day. There is no need for daily contact points. These members are entrepreneurs, often motivated to go about their day to day tasks.

  • insistence: Diligent team members won’t hit a roadblock and walk away. They will pass things across the finish line without the need for careful management, a management technique that usually fails.

  • integrity: Knowing that you can trust your leader, peer, or direct report eliminates office politics and the motive of second-guessing. Even with clients, knowing that we are all doing the right things and giving honest responses builds a strong sense of community.

With trust and culture dissolved, and our team spread across the country, you might be thinking, “How do we stay on the same page?”

Related Topics: Why Your Culture Is Connected to Digital Success

Putting the customer first helps mixed teams align around a common goal

I know my team works hard all the time. But my leadership team’s responsibility is to make sure we’re working hard on the right things.

how to do that? My answer is simple.

Focus on aligning your team around a common goal: the customer. At Quantum Metric, we avoid internal accidents and miscommunication by delivering value to our customers. We learned this through a design methodology we developed called Continuous Product Design.

Putting the customer at the heart of your business can help overcome the trust and detail management issues associated with the hybrid model. Amazon credits this approach with enabling its continued success – creating a customer-centric organization and culture.

Companies need to build practices and invest in tools that enable innovation, but in a way that helps your customers achieve their goals. Your employees need space to develop new ideas, the freedom to collaborate between teams and the opportunity to experiment. Some leaders like to say that they fail quickly, but I prefer to think of it as constantly iterating and adapting to the changing needs of your customers, as well as your business.

One of the best ways to understand your customers is to build and recruit a team with diverse backgrounds, perspectives, and experiences. A mixed workplace allows teams to retain and hire diverse talent.

A blended workplace approach can save your employees thousands of dollars, hundreds of hours, and an immeasurable amount of stress. It’s not good for your workforce – it’s good for your business as employees break free from traditional office models to focus on their passion for work.

Related topics: The importance of returning to the office after remote work



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