Making Hybrid Work For You

Learnings from our Living Lab

About the Living Lab

When it comes to the return to the office, one size does not fit all. There have been many starts and pauses and there will be more, but it feels like “the return” is gaining real traction.

Large tech companies have implemented hybrid policies requiring employees to work in their physical offices a few days each week. This has caused a range of reactions from anxiety in employees who love working from home to relief among employees who miss the comradery of human interactions.

What all sides of the ongoing debate must recognize is that getting employees into the workplace isn’t a one-sized-fits all endeavor. Every company will need a nuanced, case-by-case, flexible strategy that accommodates matrixed teams and can be easily adopted by employees.

The Living Lab is our story of how One Workplace is implementing hybrid work and how we continue to learn what our employees and our business need from our physical space, our technology, and our wellness programs.

3 Trends at One Workplace

We've isolated out trending concepts from the wide array of learnings about organizational culture, workplace protocols, and individual behaviors.

Fulfillment

Employees are less professionally fulfilled when working remotely or in a hybrid environment, but they're willing to sacrifice this for a deeper fulfillment in their personal lives

Burnout

Managers and high performers are carrying the burden of RTO demands, making up for disengaged colleagues which leads to burnout

Hyper-individualized

Remote work made us increasingly hyper-individualized, focusing more on individual needs than the needs of teams, organizations, or communities

Our spaces are where we gather, innovate, and learn... places where we can bring out the best in our people. ​

– Mark Baker, One Workplace CEO

6 Insights

Our Living Lab research uncovered some key insights faced within our hybrid workplace. These can present difficult and almost intractable challenges as organizations look to their own hybrid future. However, we have some suggested actions that companies can take to help solve for these findings.

Live Your Purpose

Serving the greater good is an aspirational goal. The job of leaders is to make it actionable.

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Create Serendipity

Unplanned, spontaneous interactions are necessary for organizational cohesion but the way we implement them can't feel forced.

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Reboot Team Norms

Team norms and rituals for communication, collaboration, and setting expectations may need a reboot for hybrid work.

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Build Social Capital

Hybrid work will move us further towards the trend of hyper-individualism if organizations do not intervene.

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Redefine Productivity

Productivity must be redefined to include aspects of cultural connection, social belonging, and boundary setting.

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Foster Innovation

Working from home limits our experiences and hinders our ability to think creatively. Leaders need to inspire new ways to innovate.

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9 Hybrid Personas

From the office advocate to the digital nomad, and everyone in between, these personas can be used to connect colleagues, build workplace empathy, and serve as an instructive team building experience.

Request a Consult

Are you struggling to implement a hybrid work strategy for your organization?

Contact +one,​ a One Workplace division, to explore ways you can help employees make the most of your physical space, ​ technology, and wellness programs.

Living Your Purpose

A deep belief in the why of what we do is necessary to drive our connection to a physical workplace.

Suggestions:

  • Communicate your organization’s mission and values
  • Draw connecting lines between mission and tasks or roles
  • Use the workplace as a communication tool
  • Ensure policies and protocols align with your values

Creating Serendipity

Many of our strongest cultural connections are formed by our sense of propinquity – simply being near each other and sharing meaningful moments together.

Suggestions:

  • Prioritize social connections & wellbeing programs
  • Intentionally design for unplanned moments
  • Increase the frequency of cross-team touchpoints
  • Offer opportunities to explore shared affinities

Rebooting Team Norms

Remote work has disrupted our team relationships and our shared expectations. Returning to the office offers an opportunity to reset team norms for a hybrid future.

Suggestions:

  • Individual teams may have distinctly different needs
  • Managers share the heaviest burden
  • Habits have been formed that may need to be changed
  • Team communications may need to evolve

Building Social Capital

Remote work can create barriers between teams, driving them deeper into silos. Our return offers the opportunity to create more connections between and across teams.

Suggestions:

  • In-person events allow for connections not possible virtually
  • Utilize ERG’s or affinity groups to bring colleagues together
  • Use initiatives to partner colleagues from cross functional teams
  • Communicate regular updates from each part of the organization

Redefining Productivity

Returning to the office helps us remove the focus on productivity as a measure of completed tasks. ​ Productivity must now be redefined to include aspects of cultural connection, social belonging, and boundary setting.

Suggestions:

  • Establish social metrics to measure and improve cultural connection
  • Recognize and reward social engagement like other achievements
  • Establish opportunities for intentional social connection each work-day
  • Avoid after-hours virtual social connection moments

Fostering Innovation

Working from home can limit our experiences and hinder our ability to shape new points of view. Shared experiences and social interactions jumpstart the creative process, leading to new ideas and solutions.

Suggestions:

  • Use social settings as a place to intentionally generate ideas
  • Encourage internal and external networks for innovation and creativity
  • Use field-trips and excursions to broaden your experiences
  • Publicly celebrate mistakes and errors and ask for improvements

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