Two high level factors to consider with hybrid work are the Time and Place in which the work should be conducted.
Determining the nature of the work required to achieve your team’s objectives, provides a foundation on which to consider the needs of the team balanced with everyone’s preferences (e.g., home or office). This consideration will dictate the optimal time and place for the work execution.
Ability to Focus
As an example, if you are working on building a strategy, planning a project or solving a complex problem, you need to focus your attention and think clearly.
Time: When do you naturally have the highest level of energy? Your brain needs a lot of energy to focus your attention. If you are a morning person it will therefore be easier to focus your attention in the morning.
Place: Is it easier for you to focus undisturbed at home, in the office or another remote location?
Ability to Collaborate
If you are brainstorming together with others, to explore a problem or a solution, your efforts will be more effective if you can collaborate in-person.
Time: This will depend on when the team can come together. It is also be impacted by energy levels. Many people tend to be more creative in the mid to late afternoon.
Place: A meeting room or collaboration space in the office.
Establish a continuous improvement routine
A simple way to get started on your journey to establishing an optimal way of working for you and your team, is to run weekly to monthly experiments, then reflect on what worked well (why is this?) and what could be better (and how?).
To enable your team to regularly reflect and improve your way of working, you need to build a routine. The time you spend reflecting and improving will be much smaller than the number of hours of unproductive time that gets recycled into productive time. Your team will also experience less stress and a greater sense of satisfaction and meaning.
Weekly Review and Planning Meeting
Clarifying your priorities and making them actionable, helps you to determine as a team, the best way in which you can work together and how much of this needs to be in-person, virtual or in a hybrid format.
For example spending 15 to 60-mins on a Monday morning to determine your top 1 to 4 priorities for the coming week, helps you to plan and focus your time and energy accordingly.
You could use this time to:
Prioritise: Align the team’s top priorities and what each person is doing to help achieve them.
Review: Continuously improve how you work as a team: Spend a short while reviewing what went well last week (& why) and what could be better this week (& how). Form an experiment that tests out the hypothesised improvement.
Plan: Consider the nature of the work that needs to be done. How much is to be done alone, undisturbed to concentrate (Focus). How much needs to be done together with others (Collaboration), and how much time should you set aside to be able to respond to others requests and coordinate with others, e.g. to respond to email or catch the urgent and important requests or curve balls (Responsive)?
Consider the energy demands of the work and the required location. What are your individual preferences in regards to location and time?
- Focus: Intentionally book calendar appointments for this week and the coming weeks when your brain works best, to concentrate, contemplate and be creative on your most important work. Different roles need varying amounts of Focus Time. E.g. your R+D team might need the most where as Customer Support might require the least. Could this work be done at home or in a quiet location in the office? This is energy demanding work so aim to schedule this when you tend to have the highest energy.
- Collaboration: Determine which meetings are required. Do you have enough time with the right people and is it best to meet in-person, virtually or hybrid? Which meetings do not relate to your priorities and can be delegated, delayed or eliminated?
- Responsive: Schedule time to respond to others. Different roles need varying amounts of Responsive Time. E.g. your R+D team might need the least where as Customer Support might require the most.
- Recharge: Schedule short Recharge and Mental Preparation sessions throughout the day. Ideally at least one every 60 to 90-mins. Especially before important meetings, mentally challenging work or before you transition from work to home life. Have you got solid work boundaries in place?
By reflecting as a team on how you work each week, you can gradually establish a way of working that fosters wellbeing and sustainable accomplishment. Your individual preferences of the office vs. remote locations can be considered against the nature of the work activities required to achieve your common objectives.
Your continuous improvement process will support the evolution of the way you work no matter the external changes that occur.
Your way of working
Are you happy with the way you work, the value you add, and your resulting sense of accomplishment?
Reflect on the following six questions. What are your answers?
- Do you know what your top 1 to 4 work priorities are this week and how they relate to your team’s/squad’s/tribe’s/circle’s/organisation’s objectives?
- Do you and your team regularly reflect on how well you all work together to achieve your common purpose and objectives?
- Do you have enough time and energy to focus your attention on your most important work activities to achieve your top priorities (e.g. to concentrate, contemplate or to be creative)?
- Do you have enough time to connect and collaborate with your colleagues on the achievement of your organisation’s objectives, while also having the opportunity to build meaningful relationships with your colleagues?
- How much of your time is spent adding value and do you experience a meaningful sense of accomplishment and purpose in your work?
- Do you have sufficient time for self-care during work and enough time and energy for your priorities outside of work?
Your outcomes of improved wellbeing and sustainable performance will come from these enablers:
Our FOCUSWRX service helps you establish such a way of working. We facilitate an activate and engage, action learning journey to help you embed your way of working that demands as little as 6-hours per team over 8-weeks. We help you set up a sustain and improve practice and provide you with objective and subjective data on how you are doing, together with personalised and practical advice on how to improve (provided via our technology platform shown below).
Every hour invested gives back a minimum of three hours, during the same time period, to do your most important work.
For example, is your team or organisation doing better on one or all of the following?
- Clearer on your priorities and how to achieve them?
- Are you getting more time and energy on your most important and value adding work?
- Do people get enough time to focus vs. collaborate in meetings?
- How do people feel during the day and what are team’s objective levels of stress and energy (aggregated and anonymised). This data is optional.
In addition to the team experience and journey, each individual can optionally get personalised and confidential support on their own self-leadership and self-care behaviours too. For example, they can optionally receive coaching and tools to help them measurably improve their stress and energy through practices that improve sleep quality, day time recovery or levels of movement.
We deliver our activate and engage service through Team and Leadership Team journeys, employee onboarding, learning and development programmes or open group programmes.