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Survey shows the importance of hybrid work norms

Hybrid work norms important to keep staff

Staff are more likely to leave the company if it doesn’t have clear norms for hybrid work, a survey shows. Organizations that lack explicit norms around hybrid work can increase the likelihood of an employee leaving by 12%, according to a survey by market research firm Gartner.

“As organizations create more formalized hybrid work models, HR leaders can reduce work friction and increase engagement by establishing and communicating new norms more intentionally and explicitly”, says Caitlin Duffy, director in the Gartner HR practice. 

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Gartner says research found that the most successful hybrid models encompass three main categories of explicit norms: 

Increasing Visibility:

Creating transparency around work preferences provides an opportunity for employees to co-create team policies, such as when to focus and how to best communicate with one another. 

Schedule visibility and shared work preferences can improve employee performance, engagement and inclusion in a hybrid model. However, less than half of organizations are implementing these practices.

Employees whose hybrid teams share work preferences can experience 8% higher engagement, a 7% higher sense of inclusion and 5% higher performance compared to employees whose teams do not, according to the survey of 3,524 employees.

“Progressive organizations build dedicated time to revisit and update work preferences into everyone’s schedule, and any newly created teams or projects begin with a review of all members’ work preferences”, said Duffy. 

Enabling Flexibility

Frequent remote work days and meeting-free days have emerged as hybrid work norms that contribute to improved employee productivity and performance. 

While 55% of organizations are offering frequent remote days, only 22% of organizations have meeting-free days, according to the survey.

Remote work days give employees more autonomy over their work and personal lives to schedule activities and commitments in accordance with what works best for them. 

The best hybrid models offer three or more remote days per week, on average.

Setting meeting-free days enables employees to customize their work structures, reduce virtual overload and stem meeting fatigue. While easier to implement than increasing remote-work days, meeting-free days still generate improved performance and engagement by creating room in employees’ workflows for deep focus time, reflection, innovation, creativity, rest and personal needs.

Fostering Connections

Concerns about organizational culture have led some organizations to implement hybrid models that heavily favor on-site work or a full return to office. Gartner research shows that rather than implement rigid return-to-office mandates, organizations can improve employee outcomes by facilitating periodic in-person meetings and on-site work with managers. Yet only 40% of organizations are implementing e,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,ither of these methods.

In addition to conducting impactful in-person meetings for relevant milestones – regular in-person goal setting and strategy planning meetings, kickoff meetings for signature projects and annual team retreats – progressive organizations embed a variety of in-person meetings in their annual calendars.

“Beyond in-person meetings, working in person with a direct manager can allow a mutual understanding of goals and work preferences and deepen relationships, making on-site work more valuable,” said Duffy. 

“Organizations should avoid implementing policies that require employees to be on-site while managers can work remotely, as this will foster disappointment and resentment in the workforce, which could ultimately lead to attrition.”

Read Also:  Half of women in hybrid work feel burned out


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