The pitfalls of The hybrid working structure and how to avoid them
While hybrid work boasts of big potentials, it’s not foolproof. Considering hybrid work without putting certain things in place can seriously disrupt productivity and create a tense, unproductive and unpleasant atmosphere. Leaders must therefore avoid the following potential pitfalls in order to get the best from a hybrid work structure.
1. High Dependence on Manual Processes
If you are not taking advantage of opportunities to automate, then you and team stand the risk of missing out on a loads of opportunities for expansion and growth. While it’s not a replacement for human team members, leveraging AI-based assistants can support the success of your team. Actually, reducing your manual processes with AI can:
• Allow employees to spend time on more challenging, rewarding tasks
• Give suggestions for better quality during creative blocks
• Improve productivity metrics.
2. Poor Work-life Balance
The Microsoft study revealed a third daily “productivity peak” well after traditional working hours and an increase in after-hours and weekend work. For many people working remotely, it is difficult to draw the line between work hours and non-work hours. Yes some nocturnal team members may prefer the flexibility of tending to private and family matters early in the day and getting work in latter in the day while diurnal team members many prefer the opposite but it is important to put policies and structures in place to ensure your team maintain a positive work-life balance event while implementing a hybrid work structure.
3. Tools Overload
With the influx of options marketed towards increasing employee productivity, you might find yourself tempted to train your team to utilize all sorts of work management tools. But there are a few points to consider, such as, focusing on using app-less tools that work with the apps your employees already use, to reduce unnecessary training costs while also preventing app-bloat There are actually some truly innovative options out there, but overdoing it may actually overwhelm your equipment and your team members – creating new challenges that are not necessary.
4. Cybersecurity Threats
The hybrid work environment can be very exposed to a host of cybersecurity threats. Not only has the number of cybercrimes dramatically risen since the pandemic, but the fact that your team are using numerous routers and devices to access sensitive data can also provide just the loophole an attacker needs to infiltrate your organisation.
If you have a bring-your-own-laptop policy, or if your staff are taking their office laptops home on remote days, you need to ensure these devices are thoroughly protected. It would be best if you had a very reliable antivirus, firewall and threat prevention tool. You also need to implement clear and straightforward cybersecurity policies and provide adequate training for your employees.
5. Unconscious Bias
An unfortunate pitfall here is that employees who come to the office may get more opportunities than those who don’t. Unconsciously, leaders may treat remote and hybrid teams less important.
According to a recent research by MIT Sloane Management Review: “Employees who work remotely may end up getting lower performance evaluations, smaller raises and fewer promotions than their colleagues in the office — even if they work just as hard and just as long.”
Leaders must be mindful of this possibility and as it can have devastating effects on company culture and work relationships. And how can you do this? By setting clear individual goals and evaluating everyone’s results based on how these goals were achieved. That way, you can let data, rather than your subjective perceptions, guide your evaluations.
To further position your leaders for peak performance, you can download a free copy of the latest edition of The Peak Performer Magazine at www.thepeakperformer.africa You can also enroll your Mid-level Leadership Team for the Made4More Accelerator Program https://abiolachamp.com/made4more-accelerator-program-2024/ and your Senior Leadership Team for the Dr. Abiola Salami International Leadership Bootcamp MOMBASA 2024 https://abiolachamp.com/mombasa2024/
About Dr. Abiola Salami
Dr. Abiola Salami is the Convener of Dr Abiola Salami International Leadership Bootcamp and The Peak PerformerTM. He is the Principal Performance Strategist at CHAMP – a full scale professional services firm trusted by high performing business leaders for providing Executive Coaching, Workforce Development & Advisory Services to improve performance. You can reach his team on firstname.lastname@example.org and connect with him @abiolachamp on all social media platforms.