There has been a lot written about the hybrid world of work, and recently I ran a survey asking leaders about what was working well and some of the issues or concerns they had.
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I thought I would share some initial results with you. Here is what the survey is telling us so far:
Seventy-eight per cent (78 per cent) of offices have moved towards having work-from-home options, and of this 53 per cent have a mix of some days in the office and others from home. A hybrid model that seems to be working better than others.
Twenty-three per cent (23 per cent) have an ad hoc structure, which we know from other trials can cause issues long term.
Interestingly, 15 per cent have asked all employees to return to the office.
So far, only 38 per cent of respondents feel the hybrid model is working well and their people thriving, and almost equal the number feel their structure needs more tweaking to get it right.
Leaders are often challenged by their employees on “why do they need to be in the office if they can do the same work from home?”
If we want people to come back into the office a few days a week, it needs to be more than just doing the same work. Can we link in training, team or culture days, which have a positive impact on connection?
Fifty-seven per cent (57 per cent) of our respondents said that the work is no different, and maybe this links into 30 per cent having the issue of keeping people connected to the culture.
The hybrid model is built on high levels of trust, some of the issues that managers and leaders are experiencing connect directly with this.
Some of the concerns are not having a clear line of productivity, concerns about effectiveness and not confident that the work is being done and service levels are being delivered to.
Technology enables the success of hybrid models, and saw the industry move to contactless and virtual options during COVID-19. Two years later, 20 per cent have maintained virtual inspections, 25 per cent provide virtual tours online and only 15 per cent offer contactless move-ins. Perhaps a consideration for the industry and teams is to understand what opportunities technology offers us and how we can adopt our business processes to take advantage of this.
Lastly, we asked about what are some of the key concerns or challenges, and 50 per cent of our respondents said that profitability is a clear challenge, as is recruitment, office structure, hybrid culture and ongoing accountability of teams.
We have no previous hybrid model to refer to in this changing world of work; we are writing the rules as we go.
It would be great to have you complete the survey. We will continue to share the results with you.
As an industry, if we can collectively collaborate and work together on many of the issues we are all currently facing, we are more likely to discover better solutions than trying to do it on our own.
Sadhana Smiles is the CEO of Real Estate Industry Partners (REIP).
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