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A 2021 study by McKinsey showed that 90% of businesses want to adopt a hybrid way of working, where staff can choose when they work from home, the main office or from a local coworking space.
As the hybrid model is more and more widely adopted by the corporate world, trust will be a key factor in the success of businesses because employers are no longer able to see staff at their desks on a daily basis.
Happily, the benefits go both ways. Companies that report having high levels of trust in their teams tend to have a much lower staff turnover, greater stock market returns and increased levels of customer and employee satisfaction.
What’s more, research by Harvard Business Review showed that, compared with employees at low-trust companies, those working for high-trust firms reported 74% less stress, 100% more energy at work and 50% higher productivity in the workplace.
We look at ways business leaders can foster a positive hybrid work culture based on trust
A solid culture of trust in the workplace is proven to improve communication, encourage teamwork but when people are unhappy they become less productive and are unable to interact as effectively with their colleagues.
According to a Microsoft Index survey, a manager’s role becomes even more important when working with a hybrid workforce. The results reveal a widening gap in the expectations of managers and employees, but having one-on-one conversations can build this trust and enable employees to have more confidence in adapting to hybrid working.
Recognise and reward
It’s important for managers to recognise when a job has been done well and, more importantly, to acknowledge it. Bonds are strengthened when work is immediately recognised and celebrated, especially by peers and leaders.
Observe stress levels
When the usual work stress levels start to rise and challenges become untenable, it’s important for managers to recognise this and adjust the workload accordingly. Simply acknowledging rising stress levels can strengthen the trust employees have in their leadership.
Allowing more autonomy over how people work is one of the most important factors in building trust in your teams. Some folk work best alone while others need the heady buzz of a busy office to focus.
Allowing your team to have greater control over how and where they work can be a driving force in building trust. Hybrid working gives employees the freedom to choose where they will be most productive on that particular day and schedule their work accordingly (for example, focused tasks at home and collaborative meetings in the office).
Vulnerability used to be seen as a weakness but, thanks to experts such as Brené Brown, it’s been repositioned as a superpower. “Vulnerability is simply an emotion we experience when we don’t know the outcome,” says leadership and culture consultant Carolyn Swora in an interview with Howspace. “The belief that we can’t build trust with teams virtually can get in the way of us trying to lead through this vulnerability. But Covid has really shown us that we don’t have control over a lot of things.”
Find flexible solutions
Those who crave the flexibility to work from anywhere often still desire the real-life connections that working in an office brings. This is where flexspace solutions such as Regus create a synergy between flexibility and mobility. Companies that support this new way of working will find ways of maintaining employee effectiveness, engagement and loyalty through the culture of trust.