Human-Centric Work Design

In the war for talent, human-centric work design will be a unique differentiator between employers who attract and employers who alienate their talent. Both frontline and office workers want a more human approach to work. The normalization of remote work has made it clear that for many employees, location should not be at the center of how work gets done. Organizations must transition from a location-centric model to a human-centric work model, which puts the individual at the center of work design. Flexibility becomes the norm, not the exception, and individuals must balance multiple sets of needs in designing their work patterns. The workforce must experiment and learn from failure as it adapts to a more agile and fluid way of working. Organizations must design collaboration intentionally by addressing how, where and when teams must come together.

Rethinking the Workplace

The new hybrid human-centric work model will change the purpose of the office, along with its design and the organization’s real estate portfolio. Offices will no longer be the place where most employees go to do all types of work. Instead, hybrid employees will choose to come to the office for certain types of work activities, such as in-person collaboration, socialization or onboarding. Frontline workers also need flexibility and support. Hybrid workplaces need to be more flexible, too, since the space needs of employees may change over time. Organizations will need to create a workplace strategy that meets the particular needs of employees in each office. To do so, leaders will need to rely on observational insights, usage data, and experimentation in order to ensure that they are providing all employees with the spaces they need when they need them.

Shifting Talent and Skills

This new paradigm requires different and often more advanced skills. Organizations must attract and upskill talent as automation and digital trends shrink the half-life of skills.

Digital Enablement

It is imperative to harness the technologies needed to optimize hybrid work, transforming how humans and machines interact.

Managing in a Hybrid World

Instead of measuring hours of the day at work, set performance requirements related to results expected and manage to results. If results are not being achieved while workers are remote, a partial or full return to in-office work can be required.

Other logistical and cultural topics to address:
Company Culture
Department Culture
Building Safety (physically, who is in the building during an event? Who is the monitor?)

Some options for scheduling:
On remote days mark an All Day/Free meeting on calendar, doesn’t block calendar for meetings, and set that meeting as “working elsewhere”. Team members have visibility to in the office or remote that day.

Some options for measuring results:
– Operations work is measured by tickets.
– Project work it is measured by quarterly project deliverables agreed to each quarter for each project team.
All tracked in simple SharePoint lists with Power BI on top for reporting/review. Weekly we assess progress on deliverables and raise any risks or issues in a Red/Yellow/Green status reporting format in a SharePoint list. At the end of the quarter we report on root cause on why deliverables were missed, this helps highlight any team or individual that may not be meeting the deliverable based performance metrics (whether working in or out of the office). And being very transparent on quarterly deliverables allow us to notice a project is in trouble way before the end of the project plan.

Location Options/Comments:
And I have taken the approach that it isn’t important for everyone to know who is at the office or who is at home (or Starbucks, etc.). I think that somehow implies that there is a difference in what people can expect based on where people work, which I think is an old-school notion. To me what matters is are they available or not and that meetings include the ability for remote people to join by video or voice, wven when those remote workers can be at home or in another building on campus.

encourage each department to add a Channel to their department Team site named “Where are we”.
The manager requests or requires their staff to post daily in that channel if they are NOT onsite or if they are working from another facility (we have many). Everyone in the Team can check that channel to see where their co-workers are and how to find them. In some cases the Team uses it for additional status info such as “Reminder I will be on vacation Friday” and “Running out to get a coffee, brb” or “Will be in a meeting over in building x until 2pm”.
This has worked out very well and has allowed for Teams to feel connected and interact over the past year for us.

Six Habits of Remote Work
– what you do determines where you work
– the office usage changes (meeting location but not more than 2-3 days a week)
– your home office (we facilitate stuff and you need to work safe and stay fit)
– team skills (in hybrid working you need to redefine way of working of team)
– (personal) leadership to embrace and adopt to the transformation
– digital skills (learn the new tools and develop your digital skills to collaborate effectively)