: Hybrid work needs a cultural change in companies ::

The report speculates that defining an organizational culture was a challenge for companies even in traditional office environments, when it was essentially driven by presenteeism and rooted in a range of behaviors related to the physical workplace. In a hybrid environment, these historical norms are no longer effective and culture simply cannot be left to chance. In fact, some recent international surveys[1] They point out that only one in four hybrid workers say they feel connected to their company’s new culture.

In this sense, Poly’s analysis highlights that creating an effective culture in this new context of hybrid work requires adopting both a top-down and bottom-up approach, so that there is a balance between the strategy of management and the level of autonomy granted to employees in the management of their tasks. Otherwise, the risk is that the commitment to this new way of working becomes only a rigid set of corporate rules capable of systematically limiting the autonomy and personal development of employees.

The report is based on recent studies on the correlation between the attachment or identification of the employee with the company and the hybrid work policy that impacts the link of employees with the organization. In this approach, the main conclusions of the report are as follows:

  • Hybrid cultivation should not be left to chance. Organizations should take stock of their current culture, for example through a culture audit, to assess the essentials, determine what has worked – and needs to be maintained – and what needs to evolve for the success of the model hybrid.
  • The culture should clearly frame the values ​​around the hybrid model, including a level of intentionality and purpose when it comes to defining why people come together. This is what some experts define as “creating a meeting culture with purpose”. This needs to be clearly communicated throughout the organization so that people at all levels buy into the shared vision.
  • To be truly effective, the commitment to a hybrid company culture must go beyond a simple list of company rules. The study points out that for an effective hybrid model, it may be more appropriate to provide a framework of guiding principles for each team to establish the principles of communication and collaboration that best suit their goals and priorities. This will create a culture of cooperation between people that is much more agile, active and efficient.
  • So far, reorganizing spaces to foster collaborative interactions has been one of the most important components in establishing the hybrid model. However, the report notes that simply redesigning workplaces is not enough to foster a hybrid culture. On the contrary, it is the culture that must promote the new concept of the workplace so that new spaces are created capable of strengthening the bond between professionals and fostering the development of a truly hybrid way of working.
  • Once the culture is defined and the new spaces created, technology becomes an essential ally. One size does not fit all and communication and collaboration products must be specifically designed to support the tasks and needs that can be performed and arise in different places. This means going beyond the tools used in the office to provide employees with solutions that ensure equal participation and collaboration no matter where they log on.

The just released report is part of Poly and WORKTECH Academy’s ongoing research observatory to create new ideas, identify challenges and explore emerging opportunities around hybrid working. On this occasion, for the preparation of the analysis, Poly and WORKTECH Academy have based themselves on the most recent studies and surveys in this field, as well as on the reflections obtained from a discussion group made up of managers of the employee experience or equivalent positions in large companies.

[1] Gartner, Culture in a Hybrid World, 2022

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