Get a clear business-wide view of roles

Org charts will show you the people you have, their job titles and reporting lines but they won’t tell you much about people’s roles and activities.

Likewise, job descriptions will only give you a partial view of what people do every day. Yet this is exactly the data you need to make hybrid working successful. It’s about how productive work gets done and how value is created.

So, you need to understand what defines each role – its objectives, the specific activities delivering value, and the skills and competencies needed to deliver target outcomes.

Discovering what employees actually do As we’ve said, to create an effective hybrid working strategy, you need clarity on what people do on a day-to-day basis. This can be more complicated than it appears and you’ll most likely need to integrate data from multiple sources. But the result should deliver a clear picture of roles, activities and responsibilities.

You can then explore which roles are strategic, operational or tactical to help better align your people with your business strategy. You can go further to look at the relative costs of each activity, so you can factor this into your hybrid working plans.

This will show you who’s doing what, how much time they’re spending on each activity and what it’s costing the business, so you can map it to value creation.

Adding the where and when Finally, you’ll be able to see where roles and activities are currently being performed and when each type of work typically happens. With this insight, you can begin to optimize where and when each task would best take place.

If you can see which activities need focus time, which depend on collaboration and whether that collaboration would produce better results done virtually or in person, you can begin to engineer productivity at the activity level. This should then roll up to deliver significant gains overall.

Spending time and effort on this step will give you the level of granularity you’ll need to work out how individual roles and activities fit into your hybrid working strategy.ation dependencies within your hybrid working strategy.

"When thinking about jobs and tasks, start by understanding the critical drivers of productivity — energy, focus, coordination, and cooperation — for each. Next, consider how those drivers will be affected by changes in working arrangements along the axes of time and place"

Lynda Gratton Harvard Business Review