Hybrid and Remote Worker Wellbeing Requires a Different Approach
tags: wise decision making,leadership development,wise decision maker,leaders,hybrid work,decision making process,decision-making,Hybrid teamwork,working remote from home,Remote Worker Wellbeing
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, and remote and hybrid work has become the new norm. This shift in work style has forced companies to re-imagine their workplaces and adapt to the changing work landscape. Having helped 22 organizations transition to hybrid and remote work, in my experience one of the biggest challenges involves providing various wellbeing benefits for employees. To learn more, I spoke to Kayla Lebovitz, the CEO and founder of Bundle Benefits, which provides a variety of virtual wellbeing and professional development benefits for organizations, about the changes she is seeing in her clients regarding hybrid and remote work.
Adapting to the Changing Work Environment of Hybrid and Remote Worker Wellbeing
Lebovitz noted that companies are adjusting their workplace reimagined plans to adapt to the changing work environment. She noted that companies are becoming more flexible in terms of work schedules, and people are working the schedules that work for them. The focus is now on results-driven productivity and collaboration, rather than on facetime. Companies are now giving employees the flexibility to take care of personal and well-being issues during the day. This change in approach is seen as a way to improve employee happiness and ultimately, their performance.
Lebovitz also noted that the role of the CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer) is becoming more vital to the success of a company. Companies are realizing that without a CHRO with the experience, skills, and strategies needed to think about the people part of the equation, they will lose to their competitors. CHROs are now seen as the visionary leaders pushing the whole organization forward. This is a marked difference from the pre-pandemic times when CHROs were not typically in a visionary position.
Lebovitz spoke about the importance of supporting employee well-being, particularly for remote workers. There is a lot of discussion about burnout and hybrid work, and it is often thought that remote workers are more likely to burn out than in-office workers. However, research shows that in-office workers doing the same tasks are more likely to burn out compared to workers who work some or full time remotely. Leaders have misconceptions that remote workers are more likely to burn out, perhaps because they are expected to be on all the time. This is likely due to the fact that remote workers do not have to suffer through long commutes or facetime at the office, and are therefore more able to focus on their work. However, it is still crucial for companies to support the wellbeing of their remote workers. Indeed, Lebovitz noted that both remote and in-office work have different stressors, which lead to burnout.
A Customized Approach to Hybrid and Remote Worker Wellbeing
Companies are finding that offering a cookie-cutter approach to wellbeing is not effective, and instead need to offer a range of benefits that promote total wellbeing. These benefits can include things like gym memberships, meditation classes, and professional development opportunities. However, companies need to be careful not to just implement these benefits and then walk away. Instead, they need to continually evaluate the impact of these benefits and listen to employee feedback to make necessary adjustments. Lebovits reports that her company has found that remote workers tend to take more professional development sessions, while in-office workers tend to participate in team sessions. Privacy is also a significant factor in determining the types of sessions that employees take.
One of the challenges in offering wellbeing support to remote workers is measuring the ROI of these offerings. While it is clear that investing in employee wellbeing is important, it can be difficult to quantify the impact of these investments. Lebovits notes that companies can ask deep questions about the value and impact of their wellbeing offerings, and can look at whether employees are talking about these offerings positively. If employees are expressing that they feel less burnout, less anxious, and less stressed, and are developing professionally as a result of these offerings, this can be a good indicator of the success of these initiatives. However, it is important to keep in mind that it can be difficult to measure the ROI of these initiatives with hard numbers.
Lebovitz noted that companies need to provide more curated choices when it comes to employee benefits. One size does not fit all, and companies need to provide personalized options for their employees. This is particularly important as there are different generations in the workforce, and each generation may have different needs. Lebovitz suggested that having curated choices in ways to support employees is essential to improving their well-being and ultimately, their performance.
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about significant changes in the way we work. Remote and hybrid work have become the new norm, and companies are reimagining their workplaces to adapt to these changes. Supporting employee well-being, particularly for remote workers, is crucial to improving performance. The role of the CHRO is becoming more important in driving the change needed for a successful company. Ultimately, companies need to provide more curated choices when it comes to employee benefits, to ensure that employees are happier, perform better, and ultimately, help the company succeed.
Remote and hybrid work have become the new norm, and companies need to provide more curated wellbeing employee benefits to ensure that employees are happier, perform better, and ultimately, help the company succeed... >Click to tweet
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Dr. Gleb Tsipursky was lauded as “Office Whisperer” and “Hybrid Expert” by The New York Times for helping leaders use hybrid work to improve retention and productivity while cutting costs. He serves as the CEO of the boutique future-of-work consultancy Disaster Avoidance Experts. Dr. Gleb wrote the first book on returning to the office and leading hybrid teams after the pandemic, his best-seller Returning to the Office and Leading Hybrid and Remote Teams: A Manual on Benchmarking to Best Practices for Competitive Advantage (Intentional Insights, 2021). He authored seven books in total, and is best know for his global bestseller, Never Go With Your Gut: How Pioneering Leaders Make the Best Decisions and Avoid Business Disasters (Career Press, 2019). His cutting-edge thought leadership was featured in over 650 articles and 550 interviews in Harvard Business Review, Forbes, Inc. Magazine, USA Today, CBS News, Fox News, Time, Business Insider, Fortune, and elsewhere. His writing was translated into Chinese, Korean, German, Russian, Polish, Spanish, French, and other languages. His expertise comes from over 20 years of consulting, coaching, and speaking and training for Fortune 500 companies from Aflac to Xerox. It also comes from over 15 years in academia as a behavioral scientist, with 8 years as a lecturer at UNC-Chapel Hill and 7 years as a professor at Ohio State. A proud Ukrainian American, Dr. Gleb lives in Columbus, Ohio. In his free time, he makes sure to spend abundant quality time with his wife to avoid his personal life turning into a disaster. Contact him at Gleb[at]DisasterAvoidanceExperts[dot]com, follow him on LinkedIn @dr-gleb-tsipursky, Twitter @gleb_tsipursky, Instagram @dr_gleb_tsipursky, Facebook @DrGlebTsipursky, Medium @dr_gleb_tsipursky, YouTube, and RSS, and get a free copy of the Assessment on Dangerous Judgment Errors in the Workplace by signing up for the free Wise Decision Maker Course at https://disasteravoidanceexperts.com/newsletter/.
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