It’s not a secret that the workspace landscape has changed dramatically over the past few years.
As a result, more and more companies are incorporating the hybrid way of work as opposed to being fully remote.
And as it turned out, some were more prepared to make the transition than others.
While technology plays a crucial role in establishing an efficient flexible work model, Barbara Repandis, Chief Human Resources Officer at “Kelley Kronenberg”, believes that it’s not the once-and-for-all solution for staff motivation and productivity.
Continue reading because in this article, Barbara shares some valuable insights, including:
From SaaS startups to law firms, companies are crafting ways to fold in new structures that include remote and hybrid work. Expectedly that involves a lot of trial and error.
As one of the few remote-capable law firms in Florida pre-pandemic, “Kelley Kronenberg” was in a position to adapt to the changes fast.
After all, they already had the tools and policies required for the switch.
“Thanks to our technology infrastructure and some productivity tools, we managed to start working remotely and be productive from day one, without any hiccups”, Barbara shares.
However, it took more than just tools to maintain the company culture and keep employees engaged with the mission and work. Soon, the psychological needs of the workforce swiftly rose to top priority.
To meet those needs, the company’s HR team took action in a few key areas:
Transitioning to fully remote work hit newly licensed attorneys harder than some veterans, which led to unique difficulties the company hadn’t encountered before.
“Managing a remote workforce is becoming kind of the new norm.“ — Barbara Repandis
While younger workers may feel more at ease jumping into a Zoom call or a virtual huddle for a mentor session, that concept can be a bit overwhelming to later generations.
“Newly licensed attorneys were the ones that were affected the most by the remote environment and felt like they were missing out on the mentoring and training that other attorneys were fortunate to have before the pandemic.”
“Kelley Kronenberger” has a sizable number of employees who are still remote or hybrid. The company focuses on training its managers to engage with their teams as often as possible, including on out-of-office activities.
Tackling this factor of remote work hasn’t been easy, but the results speak for themselves.
“We are getting better day by day. I feel that this reality of managing a remote workforce is becoming the new norm,” Everybody thought that we were going to be out for only six weeks, back in March of 2020. And now we realize that’s not going to happen.”
With shifting timelines, regulations, and multiple policies affecting countless companies—the ones who adapt are the ones who survive.
“We have to get more comfortable with the idea of being flexible and maintaining a culture not only inside the office but also with remote teams.” Barbara points out.
Moreover, being flexible requires:
The way team leaders perceive productivity is changing from managing by attendance to managing by objective. Dr. Wade Larson, Chief Human Resources Officer at “Wagstaff Incorporated” also considers this to be valid. Read more about it here.
“Returning to the office: I don’t think it was easy for any employer.“ — Barbara Repandis
The hybrid work model has helped “Kelley Kronenberger” stabilize their culture and, in turn, their retention.
With people back in the office, they can instill their brand identity effectively during onboarding and create a stronger sense of belonging. A whopping 97% of the employees prefer a flexible working schedule, according to a recent study.
Of course, figuring out the suitable hybrid work model differs based on company and industry specifics. What works for a law firm may not work for an educational technology startup and vice versa.
The hybrid model is here to stay, whichever blend of remote and in-person work you choose. It’s paving the way for a new standard in the working world built around flexibility.
“Flexibility is the key word here. It depends on each company’s DNA.”
Every company has its own identity, and a significant part of that comes from leaders in human resources keeping tabs on what their teams need to succeed.
Naturally, with flexibility being the expectation, it can be overwhelming to figure out what aspect of that wide range to focus on.
“It’s about having HR enforcing the proper training and education, as well as identifying the communication gaps. And then coming in and reinforcing that message.”
Undoubtedly, transparent communication is important for a successful hybrid work strategy. But using the right technology is paramount.
Click here to see how the versatile OfficeRnD Hybrid software can help you take your hybrid work to the next level.
This post is based on a podcast with Barbara Repandis, Chief Human Resources Officer at “Kelley Kronenberg”. To hear this episode, and many more like it, you can subscribe to “FlexWorld: The Workplace Revolution” On Spotify.
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