Posted on: 16th November 2022
Reading time: 5 mins
Just as we’re getting used to being ‘post-pandemic’, the next curveball comes into view. The cost of living and energy crisis is already impacting households and businesses across the world as we brace ourselves for a winter of rising bills – and this is not our only challenge.
The devastation of Covid, as well as other seismic geopolitical events, have created uncertainty world. Social, economic and environmental crises are so prevalent that an acronym is being used for these turbulent times - the age of ‘VUCA’ – volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity.
How can business leaders try to ensure their people are happy and their bottom line is healthy in these unpredictable times? Hybrid working is one solution that’s allowing people to work smarter to weather the storm.
Hybrid working can save businesses thousands of pounds every year by keeping overheads low, so leaders can focus on growth whilst ensuring their workforce is happy and productive.
In terms of personnel, changing our work models can bring together those who work from home, in-person office staff and those who opt for flexible office space, with cohesion and success. Hybrid working strengthens teams by creating flexibility and efficiency, improving staff morale and wellbeing, and boosting productivity.
When it comes to the bottom line, hybrid gives businesses the flexibility to more quickly adjust what it spends on office space and overheads – something that can improve invaluable during unpredictable economic times when leaders must react fast.
For true corporate resilience in uncertain times, hierarchies must be flattened, and responsibilities delegated, empowering wider teams with the knowledge and authority to make decisions, wherever they are based.
Hybrid working also means that leaders have to adapt to remain supportive and present. Effective leaders communicate with purpose, empathy and transparency, asking meaningful questions, allowing everyone to be their authentic selves, creating trust and cohesion between dispersed hybrid teams.
Open communication means that key information and robust training should be readily available to everyone, with digital tools like Slack keeping everyone up to date. In hybrid work environments communication is critical, so that every individual is aware of plans and techniques for confronting unexpected realities and seismic shake-ups, as well as managing day-to-day operations.
Hybrid working is here to stay, but how can leaders motivate and inspire when the workforce is scattered?
New York Times bestselling author, Keith Ferrazzi interviewed over 2,000 leaders during the pandemic, to find out how their organisations and teams adapted to new ways of working. He discovered innovative workplace solutions that produced exponential growth during a volatile and unpredictable time.
“Instead of going back to work”, says Keith “it’s about going forward to work. And to do this well, we need to embrace radical adaptability.”
Successful leaders are constantly assessing what’s coming around the corner, so they are prepared to adjust the business and the team, through collaboration and inclusion in strategic conversations and decisions. As the pandemic showed, ‘VUCA’ times can lead to innovation and breakthroughs in terms of how we work.
Some leaders worry that team members aren’t always working when they can’t see them. Ferrazzi suggests managing to outcomes, rather than to ‘face time’. For example, set up weekly or monthly chats with employees or teams to discuss goals and targets, and rate their results rather than their visibility.
Not only does this motivate employees and instil trust, but the check-ins provide reassuring contact and a sense of stability in tumultuous times when anxiety among workers can easily build.
Many situations where some claim “nobody saw it coming,” had, in fact, been identified early – like Covid-19 which was spotted before it hit the headlines, when not enough people were listening. Effective leaders look beyond the business, or even the industry, and seek perspectives from different sources. Work cultures that are diverse and inclusive, often lead the market.
Our landscape is ever-changing, and we must be prepared in order to survive and outperform the competition. Executing a hybrid way of working gives businesses the flexibility to adapt in ‘VUCA’ times and protect its bottom line, while giving employees the independence to manage their own stresses within a healthy work-life balance.
Contact the Regus team to find out how flexible office solutions can help your business sail through stormy seas.
Want to know more about how we can help with hybrid working? Give us a call.
We’ll get you set up straight away.