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Sept. 30, 2021 - Welcome to "Gen H," the Hybrid Generation. Hybrid work environments are the new normal, and they aren’t likely to go away. When "horseless carriages" (i.e., cars) entered the world, Thomas Edison concluded that "the horse is doomed." That didn’t exactly happen, but auto technology couldn’t be de-invented. Similarly, hybrid work environments won’t replace the office, but they’re here to stay in our 'Physi-Digi' (physical-digital) world. Consider these five tips to help you adapt and work effectively in Gen H.
1. Be Flexible
These evolving hybrid settings are transforming our understanding of work. Adapting to this change requires being flexible enough to recognize the delicate balance between our professional and personal lives.
Your colleagues have diverse backgrounds, ages, demographics, and responsibilities in and out of work. Suddenly, you probably know more than you ever thought possible about the personal lives of your boss or employees you manage. They have children attending school from home, noisy roommates, attention-seeking pets, spouses or partners under the same roof, or are passionate country music fans.
Be flexible and empathetic in this evolving new reality. A little respect is more than likely to be reciprocated many times over.
2. Work Wirelessly
Working with colleagues and clients in a hybrid environment is simple if you can wirelessly engage and collaborate. A recent survey of US and UK-based IT managers and executives found that 63% of companies prioritize adopting collaborative solutions for their hybrid workforce.
Enterprises need security and flexibility for their teams to collaborate wirelessly. In Generation H, this means the ability to work with anyone, anywhere, from any device, via any videoconference platform.
High-speed internet, dependable Wi-Fi, as well as dependable notebooks and mobile devices are essential. For IT managers, this also means deploying secure, easy-to-manage, and reliable hardware solutions like Kramer’s VIA Connect2 to bring colleagues and clients together in a click.
Seamless communication with videoconferences and voice calls is critical for hybrid collaboration. You want to prevent "a failure to communicate" among colleagues, whether they work in the office, at home, or halfway around the world.
A decent noise-reducing microphone and headset or earbuds can help your communication stay focused. Check the settings of your videoconference software to reduce background noise for others in hybrid meetings.
But remote work doesn’t mean giving up your company’s culture and congeniality. Hold virtual coffee breaks, ring a virtual gong to celebrate the latest sale, or hold a virtual meet-my-pet session with your team. Keep those conversations going!
4. Respect Time and Boundaries
In Gen H, work isn’t usually a 9-to-5 job. Hybrid environments offer the flexibility for a teammate to take her dog for a walk, help his kids with schoolwork, or run an errand at the corner supermarket. Of course, everyone still accounts for their time, but companies are devoting even more attention to their employees’ well-being in their personal lives in exchange for loyalty and appreciation.
Colleagues should be sure to keep one another in the loop about when they may be temporarily unavailable. Good calendaring is a must. During the evening or weekends, responsible employees will put in the time for such a quid pro quo arrangement.
This benevolent paternalism has boundaries, of course. If you’re a night owl, but your teammates prefer to sleep, it’s not a great idea to schedule 1:00 a.m. early-morning strategy sessions.
5. Get Stuff Done
A key objective in every hybrid work environment is collaborating effectively to get stuff done and do your job well. Being entrusted with freedom and flexibility is never an excuse to ignore your work.
Even law firms know that lawyers are motivated by having a collaborative hybrid work environment letting them work from home. But they also know that attorneys have obligations to their clients. Failing to meet deadlines or get the job done has consequences.
If you need help managing your hybrid work, ask for it. Organizations know that helping employees collaborate wirelessly and well – from any location, from any device, and with any videoconference platform — is essential to every enterprise’s productivity and bottom line.