How to ensure Business, Belonging, and Balance in a Hybrid Way of Working
Jolien Noppen

The previous wave in new ways of working was rather a straightforward challenge, revolving around the well-known 3 B’s of Bricks, Bytes, and Behaviours. The adaptive challenge we’re facing today in the hybrid way of working will not take away those 3 B’s - it will still be about offices, technologies, … - but requires an additional set of B’s: Business, Belonging, Balance.

Business - making sure sh*t gets done

COVID-19 shook the employer-employee relationship. Before, employees had to comply with the work regime set out by the organisation. Today, many of those organisations have adapted their way of working to their employees' new reality. We can only encourage the shift to a more human centered approach. However, companies can’t survive on happy employees alone. There’s a business to run and customers to satisfy. 

Organisations have to figure out how to work together, manage responsibilities and keep the business going in a remote or hybrid setting. One way to tackle this is by shifting your approach to Output Management. Working with a dispersed workforce, you need to be flexible in where and when your employees work. Goodbye, micromanagement, and fixed 8-hour working days. Hello, trust and evaluating people based on their output and results.

Another thing that can help is Agile Project Work. Agile might sound like a fancy buzzword that conjures up images of scrum masters, Kanban boards, and what’s in a name. But the time that agile project work was just for IT geeks is far behind us and many business leaders have implemented it to help visualise, divide and follow up on the workload remote. 

Belonging - keeping the team connected 

With connected, we don’t mean literally connected via Zoom or Microsoft Teams. We see connected as being part of a team working towards a shared goal, which creates a feeling of belonging. It’s about the personal connections and relationships between team members. 

As a leader, you probably still have regular contact with your team members individually, making sure they have everything they need to perform well on their own little island in the big sea of remote work. But you might have lost the connections between those islands. The relationships and collaboration between team members. That feeling of being part of one team with one shared goal. Elements such as a positive culture, cohesion, and psychological safety - which took years to build - might be wearing away in no time.

This impacts productivity. Team cohesion, culture, and psychological safety are not just fluffy HR concepts, but key indicators of team performance. Since teams are the building blocks of our organisations, we need to make sure they don’t crumble down. 

  • Missing that team spirit to ignite performance? Our course on Team Cohesion & Motivation helps you keep the fire burning in your team. 
  • Want to create a context where everyone feels confident and safe to speak up, even on difficult topics? Play a round of Psychological Safety Poker with your team or check out our workshop on Courageous Conversations at Work
  • Do you want to boost your virtual leadership skills and create a context where team members stay connected and keep that sense of belonging? Check out our course on Remote Leadership
  • Looking for a more innovative, data-driven approach? JiGSO Listen is a team listening platform that empowers teams by giving them the insights and tools they need to build a culture of psychological safety and team cohesion. 

Balance - self-care and self-development 

Right now, we’re experiencing an unprecedented amount of change and uncertainty, forcing us to adapt to a new reality both in our professional as in our private lives. From going to the office every day to taking a plane to the other side of the world to simply visiting family and friends whenever we feel like it, the things we took for granted are no longer a given. 

And we’re not out of the storm yet. We’ve only just made the switch from physical to remote work and the Hybrid Way of Working comes knocking at our door. In this new way of working, self-care and self-development are vital. We need to take care of ourselves and build up resilience in these challenging times. Remember the good old days where we were still allowed to take planes and the flight attendant would instruct us to put on our own oxygen mask first in case of an emergency? It's only by taking care of ourselves that we can better take care of each other.

One way to do this is to reflect on how you deal with change. How easy it is for you to adapt to new situations or circumstances? Adaptability will be an important skill in the times to come. So important that after IQ and EQ, there’s now AQ - the Adaptability Quotient. The world is changing quicker than ever. It’s how you deal with this change that will make the difference. Those with a high AQ experience less resistance and discomfort when confronted with unforeseen situations or challenges. 

Adaptability is like a muscle you can train and develop. The first step in your work-out program is to measure your current Adaptability Quotient. AQai, an international organisation with a mission to unlock the secrets of human adaptability, has built a robust method for measuring your AQ based on scientific research.

Keeping your B's in check

Business, Belonging, and Balance are equally important. Putting too much focus on Business without looking at Belonging and Balance will lead to a disconnected, unengaged workforce. Focusing only on Balance and Belonging in these challenging times and neglecting Business will impact productivity. 

It's only when both business, belonging, and balance are catered for that you will get your people and business to thrive. Together.

So, you better get prepared, establish new practices, get your people up to speed with the right mindset and necessary skills, and make work great again.

Cover Image - Beanmachine - How to Thrive in a Hybrid Way of Working.jpg

Want to find out how we can help? Check out our offering on How To Thrive in the Hybrid Way of Working or download the brochure.

Liked the read? Love to learn more? Let’s talk!

Jolien Noppen
+32 473 49 31 04