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Hybrid working: skills for leadership
Hybrid working: skills for leadership

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Hybrid working: skills for leadership


It seems that there has been a shift in acceptance of hybrid working since the pandemic, with mixed-location working here to stay for many organisations. For years many employees had battled with bureaucracy for the right to work wherever they felt would be the most productive location for them, and for some that remained just a dream. However, for others it is now the new reality. You only have to look across the job adverts on LinkedIn and from recruitment companies such as Indeed, to see that remote or hybrid working is no longer viewed as an attractive perk of a job but is actually now an essential requirement. 

While employees and employers are enjoying the many benefits of hybrid working models; leaders need to be more aware than ever of how it makes their employees feel and to do that they need to be more empathetic than ever. Forced home-working during the pandemic gave us an insight into each other's domestic lives, but the empathetic practices and habits formed during a pandemic can start to fade, and previous in-person working habits can creep back in. Leaders must step up and clarify what hybrid working means and set up suitable frameworks, policies and guidelines to support their employees. 

As Vanderheyden and De Stobbeleir (2022) quip: ‘functioning optimally in a hybrid working environment requires more than just good Wi-Fi and an ergonomic office chair at home’. Leaders must recognise that different skills will be needed to support their employees and managers. Hybrid meetings – to build bridges between those in the office and those working at home – are tricky; managers need not to micromanage but to allow their employees to make their own decisions. Active listening will become a pivotal skill to communicating effectively. It is often easier to be distracted outside of the office with competing priorities, or just feel overwhelmed back in an office hot-desking and looking for a seat to work in.  

There is no doubt that hybrid working is here to stay and, if supported well, it can be a really positive change for an organisation, but it requires leaders to foster inclusion and create connections with their hybrid workforces. 

This free course, which is part of the Supporting hybrid working and digital transformation collection [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] , is designed to allow leaders to reflect on hybrid working arrangements and provide insights into some of the different views of what is meant by ‘hybrid’, as well as exploring areas such as accountability and communication skills. Throughout the course there will be signposts to frameworks and guidance to help you identify how you move forward and adapt for ways of working in the future.