4 ways to make hybrid work successful in the long term

4 ways to make hybrid work successful in the long term

Embracing the Hybrid Work Revolution: Four Strategies for Success


Hybrid work has become the new normal for many knowledge workers, but it hasn’t been an easy adjustment for everyone. Even seasoned freelancers like myself, who have worked from home for over a decade, have had to adapt to the isolation that comes with this new way of working. Gone are the days of in-person interviews and meetings, replaced by video calls and online interactions.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, video chats were a rarity in the professional world. However, over the past three years, they have become the norm. Tools like Zoom and Teams skyrocketed in popularity as remote work became the reality for most individuals. While the growth of these platforms has since slowed down, video chats continue to be a vital part of the hybrid work landscape.

Despite the convenience and flexibility of remote work, many professionals still feel isolated and disconnected. Hours spent alone in a room are occasionally broken up by a video call, but it’s not enough to combat the sense of exclusion. Companies are making efforts to ensure that remote participants have the same experience as those in the office during hybrid meetings, but some individuals still feel left out.

While some companies are eager to return their employees to the office, others have embraced the hybrid work model and are reaping its rewards. Here, we will explore four strategies successful businesses have adopted to make hybrid work work.

1. Find the Perfect Balance

Adam Warne, CIO of retailer River Island, emphasizes the importance of interaction and connectivity in hybrid work. While remote work allows for productivity in a quiet environment, it’s essential not to overlook the value of working together as a team. Warne believes in finding the right balance between remote and in-office work, ensuring that individuals have a purpose for coming into the office rather than simply being physically present. Collaboration and teamwork should be at the forefront of a successful hybrid work strategy.

2. Embrace Radical Approaches

Carter Cousineau, VP of data and model governance at Thomson Reuters, manages a globally distributed team that has been working from home even before the pandemic. For her team, constant communication is key to success. Cousineau pays close attention to feedback and introduced a radical solution to bridge the gap between remote and in-office employees. All-team meetings are now conducted solely through screens, eliminating any disparity between those in the office and those joining remotely. This approach fosters a sense of togetherness regardless of an individual’s physical location.

3. Establish Clear Rules and Guidelines

Jeff Singman, EVP of technology at Arkos Health, stresses the importance of setting clear rules for remote work. While working from home offers numerous benefits, including increased productivity, it’s crucial to establish guidelines for responsiveness and clarity in communication. Singman also advocates for thoughtful meeting planning. Instead of inviting everyone, meetings should be recorded for participants to view at their convenience, allowing for uninterrupted productivity.

4. Develop an Integrated Strategy

Cynthia Stoddard, CIO at Adobe, is determined not to lose the gains achieved during the pandemic’s remote work period. She highlights the significance of employee experience and collaboration with other departments, such as facilities and HR IT, in shaping an effective hybrid work strategy. By considering all aspects of the work environment, including seating arrangements and technology access, companies can create a conducive and fulfilling work experience for employees. Investment in content and content taxonomy facilitates easy access to information necessary for employees to perform their roles effectively.

As the hybrid work revolution continues to reshape the modern workplace, companies must find innovative ways to foster collaboration, connectivity, and balance. By embracing these strategies, businesses can create a thriving work environment that combines the benefits of in-person and remote work. The key to success lies in finding the perfect balance, embracing radical approaches, establishing clear rules, and developing an integrated strategy. With these principles in mind, companies can navigate the complexities of hybrid work and unlock its full potential.