Saturday, February 12, 2022

Remote and Hybrid Workplace – Behaviours and Skills

We have started living with the corona and its different variants now. You can see the large crowd outside on the roads, market, offices etc. Though few companies are still operating work from home, most of the companies will not go fully for remote work. It also depends upon the jobs and roles. However, companies are encouraging flexible or hybrid workplace models asking employees to work 2-3 days from the office and rest from home or anywhere. Time flexibility is already given by few progressive organizations even before the pandemic. 

Image: Google

There are different personalities and mindsets at the workplace. Few people emotionally get attached to the workplace and they customize the workplace with family pics and some mementos on the table. This gives them a sense of belonging and attachment to the organization. Few people like to create charisma by walking around. Few people want to understand everything about the organization, few take interest in gossiping and few need to interact with people which gives them energy and so on… workplace is the need of those people to interact, be creative, be communicative to demonstrate the impact. This may not be possible during remote models and hence hybrid models are more relevant considering the different personalities and their mindset towards the work. 

Here the discussion is not about work from office, home, anywhere or hybrid; organizations have decided this based on their priorities. We need to come up with some characteristics and skills required in those environments. 

Chris Dyer & Kim Shepherd in their book “Remote Work” mention a few things which are necessary skills people should have for remote work. But I think those skills are necessary during even hybrid or work from anywhere models. When you have the flexibility to operate as an ease of performing, then accountability and taking ownership of your own actions is very important. 

Further following are few behaviours and skills which are imperatives to make the model successful. 

Strong critical thinking skills: Critical thinking is the analysis of an issue or situation and the facts, data or evidence related to something. Every employee should prioritize learning these skills now. This includes observation, analysis, inferences, interpretation, relevance, curiosity and so on.   

Collaboration: Because collaboration is harder in a remote or hybrid model, those who are thoughtful and deliberate collaborators will stand out.

Professional drive, or the motivation to build one’s talents, both horizontally and vertically. 

A results orientation and sense of urgency are also important, and a remote model will reveal those who lack these traits faster than a sticks-and-bricks model will.

Communication is another skill which we need to focus on. In the normal course 7% communication happens through only verbal communication, voice 38% and 55% by body language. It also means that nonverbal communication is around 93%. Now the question is how to bring this 93% communication through virtual calls while communicating with the teams. It is not just communication but using the voice, tune, modulations, presentation tools effectively. 

One of the characteristics we should not ignore is work ethics and values. You must have read a lot of news where employees are moonlighting and doing multiple jobs with different companies. Organizations need to create a strong ecosystem where people are trained and educated on ethical standards, track and take appropriate actions. 

Remote work, work from anywhere or hybrid working is beneficial for employer and employees, but organizations need to come with strong standards and rules where employees are clear what is expected from them on a professional level. Further there should be clear guidelines on it means a breach of contract as per the rule books.    

(Opinions are purely personal & does not represent my organizations, current or past) 

Author's book are available on AmazonFlipkartPothi and BookGanga. You can buy the print copy of Vitality in Human Resources on amazon. Click >> Vitality in Human Resource: Adding human dimensions in HR processes    

Royalty from books is used for social cause. 

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