How coaching can improve your hybrid work model
The pandemic has seen many businesses move towards a hybrid work model, with some time being spent working from home (or remotely) and some time being spent in the office. According to a 2021 survey by Accenture, 83% of workers said they’d prefer a hybrid work model, working remotely at least 25% of the time.
There are numerous benefits to hybrid working, including cost savings, increased flexibility and autonomy, ease of juggling childcare and reduced risk of burnout.
But how can you guarantee that the hybrid model works well for your employees and for your business? You can’t always see what’s going on beyond the screen and whether members of your team may be struggling.
A mismanaged transition into hybrid working can also lead to employees feeling undervalued, uninspired and frustrated.
Coaching can be used to ease the transition into a hybrid work model and ensure its success. Here’s how:
Exploring team values
Coaching workshops can help find personal and at work values so that both individuals and businesses understand what is important to them and can therefore have things set up in the best way possible.
The values identified may highlight that certain individuals may benefit from more interaction or face to face time whereas others may benefit from more ‘space’ or time for reflection within their working week.
This can help both the business and individuals to plan diaries around hybrid working. For example, teams can plan more meetings, brainstorming sessions or mentoring for times when people are in the office. Alternatively, time outside of the office can be used for more ‘independent’ work, reflective sessions or planning.
It’s important to remember that whilst many of your team may be in favour of hybrid working, this may be for different reasons. During the pandemic, people have faced different challenges and are now at different points in processing the events of the past two years.
Providing people with space and time to explore their values and how these can be aligned at work is a powerful way of improving people’s wellbeing and mental health as well as their productivity.
Communication is key when employees are working remotely and team members are in and out of the office at potentially differing times.
It’s helpful for individuals to know their working style, understand what's important to them, identify who the right people are for them to talk to and to learn how to communicate their needs.
It’s easy for doubt to creep in and for inner critics to hold people back from communicating what they really want and need within the workspace. Working with a coach can identify these critics and ensure they don’t prevent you from being open and honest with your needs. Using a coach to thoroughly understand your own strengths and areas for improvement and then how to communicate them, means you can build a more enjoyable, productive and purposeful work day.
Similarly, as a business it’s crucial to be able to have more effective conversations to address people’s needs. Coaching can help to facilitate listening to employees, understanding how they work and marrying up the needs of different individuals on the team.
The 2015 Ted talk below on how to have better conversations highlights the importance of good communication. It is still incredibly relevant today, if not more so:
Effective communication and meaningful conversations can ensure everybody feels valued and help build trust between colleagues and the business, creating a happier work environment.
Creating positive relationships
Hybrid working can change the dynamic of a workforce. Learning how to manage upwards and downwards and having a better understanding of each other's needs will be paramount in ensuring you build strong and adaptable working relationships.
Again, understanding different individuals' styles of working with people - strengths and areas to work on - will help to nurture existing relationships and build new ones. The more we understand about our own styles and those of others, the easier we can communicate in more effective ways.
Coaching can be used both by individuals to increase self-awareness and understanding or as a team to improve the understanding of each other's needs to foster these relationships and build trust.
Building a strong team
Everyone is different and everyone’s needs are different. By creating the time and space to get a better understanding of each person on the team ensures the team as a whole can function better and to a higher standard.
Group workshops can foster a strong team by addressing key questions, exploring the answers and building a strong and resilient team that feels valued. Examples of questions to get individuals to reflect on could be:
What contribution can I make?
What do I get most excited about?
What is my biggest concern?
What can I bring to the team to build a feeling of community?
McKinsey looked at causes of ‘The Great Resignation’ that has been taking place in America during the Pandemic, during which 19 million Americans have left their jobs. Employees were found to be tired, grieving or reassessing their priorities within work. Following the research, it was concluded that along with the problem comes an opportunity. Their conclusion being:
To seize it, take a step back, listen, learn, and make the changes employees want — starting with a focus on the relational aspects of work that people have missed the most.
For details on how coaching can help you seize the benefits of an effective hybrid work model email firstname.lastname@example.org.