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    July 22, 2022

    Health & the Hybrid Workplace - Bridging Remote & In-Office Employee Needs

    If you are a leader or manager, getting everyone on your team working well can sometimes feel like herding cats. It is even more challenging now that many organizations have employees working in different ways, different hours and different locations. That can be stressful for management and for employees. For leaders, this has an impact on your health and wellbeing and has an impact on your team’s health and wellbeing.

    This new working world many leaders find themselves in means taking a different approach to creating effective leaders at all levels and to the teams they lead. With deadlines needing to be met, clients awaiting response, sales leads to be followed up on, and getting products and services to the market, this can be challenging. Having more engaged, thriving teams makes getting things done more efficient and with less time consumption. All of that translates into more profit.

    Helping teams that are a mix of remote and in office working options takes some strategic thinking to make sure everyone is contributing. It’s also important to understand how your managers and leaders are reacting to current stressors and how they are leading those teams.


    What You Can Do

    For managers and leaders that were successful with an old way of doing things, becoming a different type of leader can be difficult. It is key to find ways to get honest feedback from your leaders at all levels to understand where some of the specific barriers may be for them. Once they feel more comfortable and confident with needed changes, the better the engagement will be with their team.

    Some of the people in leadership may also need some coaching and/or training. No matter how seasoned a leader is, they still need support when asked to lead in a different way. Even the most accomplished athletes have coaches to keep them at the top of their game. To succeed, your managers and leaders may need that type of support. It reduces their stress and sets them up for success.

    How comfortable are your employees in discussing their own personal “best” when it comes to a working environment? A good way to open this discussion and get real feedback is by having senior leaders share their own stories related to an issue you want to address.

    • An Example: A high level male executive gives a company-wide talk on going through postpartum depression with his wife and family. He discusses not only the impact but also refers to the support/resources/benefits the company provided to help him and his family.
    • Other Examples: A senior level executive discusses suddenly having to be a caregiver to a parent or how a colleague helped navigate coming back into the workplace after the birth of a child.

    It’s not just about presenting the issue and having a conversation, but also highlighting how your company has resources, policies, and support in place to help employees.

    These challenges that often get in the way of productivity and employee health and wellbeing now need more focused attention with a hybrid working environment. How you may want to help remote workers vs. those that are coming into the office regularly may mean taking a more strategic approach.

    A practical way to getting everyone “together” on a team is to discuss some sort of regular schedule that also includes flexibility. These meetings should include time to discuss what is getting in the way. The solution may be as simple as referring them to a benefit or service that is already in place.

    Make meetings productive and have an agenda, particularly if these are including both in person and remote employees. At the end of the meeting, everyone should feel it was time well spent and that needed actions have been identified and assigned.

    Questions for Your Team:

    • Does the team need to have one or two standing meetings a week and how do these meetings need to be structured? How can the person leading the meeting make sure everyone feels heard?
    • What should team members be doing to prepare for these meetings so they help everyone on the team get the work done?

    Have a protocol in place if someone has an emergency and cannot attend. Who on the team will they contact before the meeting and what information is vital for them to share so projects don’t get derailed?

    A big part of employee health and wellbeing is feeling included and respected, knowing that a personal crisis can be addressed, and knowing that their employer has taken the time to create working protocols that allow everyone to succeed. That is even more important when you have both in person and remote employees. Getting a more effective plan in place can reduce stress at all levels of the organization. It can mean better growth for your company.

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