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Is Hybrid Working the new normal?

by | Jun 30, 2022

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A hybrid work arrangement is one where employees can work both from home and in the office. This can give employees the best of both worlds, allowing them to have the flexibility to work from home when they need to, while also being able to come into the office for face-to-face collaboration.

There are a few things to keep in mind if your organisation is considering a hybrid work arrangement. You’ll need to be able to communicate effectively with your team, whether that’s through video conferencing, chat tools, or good old-fashioned phone calls. Your team will also need to be comfortable working independently, as there will likely be times when they’re working from home and won’t have anybody else around to help them out. Finally, you’ll need to make sure everyone is able to stay organised and on top of their work, as it can be easy to let things fall through the cracks when everyone’s not in the office every day. Most organisations are becoming hybrid workplaces, and employee’s are starting to see the benefits of:

  • Better work-life balance
  • Less time and money spent commuting
  • More flexibility 

But organisations also reap the benefits like:

  • Being able to hire internationally
  • Less money being spent on office space
  • Reduced exposure to illness, and less sick days because of this

Is hybrid working a brand new idea?

Hybrid working is not an entirely new concept. This has been a growing trend over the past decade but has accelerated in recent times. COVID-19 forced employers to think about how to create a balance between home and office work, and hybrid working is a great way for businesses to achieve that.

But the concept of working from anywhere in the world and making your life as autonomous as possible is something that Tim Ferriss spoke about in his 2007 book “The 4-Hour Work Week”. It’s all about how to work less and live more. The book has sold millions of copies and has been translated into over 35 languages. It’s a bestseller, and for good reason.

The book is divided into three sections:

Part 1 is all about lifestyle design. In this section, Ferriss discusses how to figure out what you really want in life and how to create a lifestyle that allows you to live that way. He also talks about how to make more money so that you can have the freedom to work less.

Part 2 is all about outsourcing and automating your life. In this section, Ferriss shows you how to use technology and other people to do more with less effort on your part. He also talks about how to travel the world without going broke.

Part 3 is all about what Ferriss calls the “new rich.” In this section, he talks about how to live a life of adventure and excitement without having to wait until you retire. He also talks about how to create wealth so that you can have more time and freedom to do the things you love. The book is full of actionable advice and inspiring stories. It’s a must-read for anyone who wants to live a richer, fuller life.

Cal Newport and Tim Ferriss Revisit “The 4-Hour Workweek” in the Tim Ferriss show – listen to it here.

“The 4-Hour Work Week” and Whole Brain® Thinking

Ferriss originally came up with the idea for the book while working on his blog, which he began in 2004. He had been experimenting with lifestyle design principles for some time, and he wanted to share his findings with others. The blog quickly gained popularity, and Ferriss decided to turn it into a book. 

Ferriss advocates for a lifestyle known as “lifestyle design”, which includes working fewer hours, outsourcing work, and automating one’s life. So if this sounds like something you want, Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® could help you get there.

When it comes to being successful in today’s workplace, it’s not just about what you know, but also how you work. That’s why being time-effective, an efficient communicator and a good collaborator are all important skills to have if you want to break free from the regular 9 to 5.

Whole Brain® Thinking can help you understand how you think, and how you can get the most out of yourself. It can also help you be a great communicator, which is crucial if you want to work autonomously and away from the office. This means being able to communicate clearly and concisely to make sure you are understood the first time to help keep everyone efficient. 

How can each Thinking Style™ be successful in a Hybrid Workplace?

 To operationalise Whole Brain® Thinking you should look at the four key quadrants (figure 1) below and start asking yourself questions that pertain to each quadrant. 

Figure 1

A Quadrant: What?

The “What” in regards to a hybrid working environment needs to be very clear. Clarity is essential for people to understand the goals. Questions you should be asking include:

What do we mean by hybrid work?

What are we expecting in terms of how employees are going to work and interact with others?

What kind of technology are we going to be using?

What are the new rules of the road?

B Quadrant: How?

The “How” is really about the teams themselves. Teams are the engine of how work gets done in today’s environment. Many of us are in more than one team, and often we’re on a bunch of teams. Some of us are leaders in teams and some of us are members of teams. In many instances, this is happening across the globe. We’re dealing with different cultures and different mindsets and different time zones. This shift to a hybrid working environment is an opportunity to do a reset on thinking about teams, as a new way of looking at doing work. 

C Quadrant: Who?

The “Who” is all about people. Creating psychological safety for employees by creating a space where people feel safe is paramount. Trusting people means that you’re focusing on outcomes versus activities. A lot of managers have been focused on activities and not outcomes. Ann stated that, she likes to “encourage managers to offer direction, not directions. This, in turn, makes sure that people understand that they’re trusted to get the work done, whether they’re working remotely or whether they’re in the office. It’s about trust, and then letting them figure out the “how” in terms of how they’re actually going to do something is so important.” 

D Quadrant: Why?

The “Why” is all about an employee’s work and the meaning of their work.  Employees will want to know how they can continue to achieve their same goals within a hybrid environment. Based on Gallup, 60% of people aren’t even aligned on the real purpose of their company. The new hybrid movement is a chance to get people aligned by asking the question, “What are we here to do, and how does that connect to me?”

If you want to learn more about how Whole Brain® Thinking and the HBDI® can help you and your organisation, have a look at how it works here or get in touch and we’ll help you find the right solution.

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