Profile roles against dependencies and adjust role design

Once you understand what activities can be achieved in which locations and the roles involved, you can begin to shape your hybrid working strategy.

No job exists in isolation. In almost every position, role, department and division, there will be many layers of crossover and interaction. It’s why so many organizations moving to a hybrid working structure are focusing so much effort on adapting their office space to encourage easy, effective collaboration.

Of course, collaboration can only happen if the right people can get together when needed. This means that once you know which activities are suited to hybrid working, you’ll need to ensure people can easily connect – physically or virtually – with their team members.

Finding the best-fit hybrid approach For every organization, there will be different ways of achieving an effective approach to hybrid working. Each model will have its strengths, weaknesses and trade-offs. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer.

So, it’s important you’re able to map out different scenarios and approaches to decide which one best supports your business strategy. This may mean running multiple what-if exercises to anticipate changes in the business, workforce or market.

Importantly, you should be able to switch between different scenarios quickly, so you can compare changes and make faster decisions. If you’re using slow, cumbersome spreadsheets to do this planning, you’ll be tempted to go with the first viable option at the expense of potentially higher productivity gains.

Conversely, being able to rapidly model different scenarios and quickly see the impact will enable you to make more informed decisions and have contingency plans ready if things change.

Nothing stands still for long Finally, your hybrid working strategy should be open to continuous improvement by tracking employee sentiment, business performance and competitor response. It’s unlikely you’ll find the optimum solution from day one. And even the right solution for today will need to adapt to changes in the coming months and years. Like your business planning, this work is never done.

So, you’ll need measures in place to monitor whether your approach is delivering for the business and its people, whether roles need to be redesigned or augmented and to ensure your hybrid working strategy supports longer-term business planning and goals.

"Most people have been working virtually for less than a year. While that amount of time seems substantial, it is unlikely that employers have discovered the full range of opportunities that virtual work provides during that period."

Gerald C. Kane, Rich Nanda and Anh Phillips MIT Sloan Management Review