How agile teams can find success in hybrid work model
Working from home or remote work is not a new concept. High-tech companies have been doing this for the past decade, and it became increasingly popular even before the global pandemic. Better technology, leadership, and tools have enabled healthy businesses to move to a hybrid work model. They do this not only because it reduces costs but also because it helps workers balance their working lives, wherever and whenever they want. This will help create better employee engagement and enable companies to draw more talent.
Today, many companies are redesigning their workforce strategies to make hybrid work a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining employees. But as tempting as it sounds, supporting some companies and teams near and far has been a challenge, so they're thinking about how a hybrid workplace can help you reap the benefits. Also, is the hybrid work model compatible with the aspirations of the workflow teams for Agile teams, or does it help or prevent them from adhering to agile values and principles?
What is a hybrid job?
A hybrid workplace is a place where employees work from home, the office, or both. A hybrid workplace gives employees the flexibility to work remotely or locally. It uses a combination of physical and virtual work spaces to create a seamless work environment. Unlike previous standards for working from home or teleworking, hybrid workplaces are designed to be the norm for people to work, compared to an exception to existing personal workplace policies.
In this type of meta-office, employees can work from home or in the office according to their preferences or needs. This type of setup has many benefits, such as reduced costs and higher productivity. The benefits include better employee ties, greater involvement, and more diverse teams. As with any workplace, technology alone is not used; the hybrid model also has its own workplace culture, strongly based on flexibility, cooperation and trust. Everyone contributes to the involvement and well-being of all employees.
Advantages of a hybrid work model
Organizations support the hybrid model for a number of reasons. First, this gives teams autonomy and flexibility, which promotes high performance. It also encourages cooperation, positive working relationships, and effective work habits.
Another reason why hybrid work is becoming popular is that it fits into our global economy. The projects involve people all over the world. Teams work in a more flexible and iterative way, while leaders and stakeholders are more involved in traditional planning methods. The hybrid work model evolved organically in response to the growing complexity of the work environment.
1. An agile and hybrid workplace
Agile works well in a hybrid workplace because it supports the idea of a flexible work environment. Agile's core values help create the necessary collaboration, communication, and empathy that are critical to maintaining a healthy hybrid workplace. Even so, hybrid workplace applications need to invest in collaborative technologies and adapt project flows as the need for flexibility and mobility increases. Agile (and non-agile) teams should consider five things when doing hybrid work:
2. Invest in collaboration technologies
Agile teams need to accommodate team members who can work anywhere, anytime: this can be done by ensuring that the technology and processes they use contribute to communication, collaboration and ideas. This needs to be done to support both near and far crew members who may be halfway around the world and need very efficient synchronous and asynchronous communication.
Access to virtual work spaces, such as video conferencing, meeting rooms, bulletin boards, brainstorming tools, documents, and other tools outside the traditional office space, is critical to more efficient employee collaboration.
3. Refract and create time zone friendly teams
One of the biggest challenges in hybrid work is managing time zones and communicating with team members. The problem becomes even more complicated when you have a global team. For example, if you live in California and work with someone in India, you have a time zone difference of 16 hours. Over time, cooperation sometimes becomes difficult or impossible. The best way to solve this problem is to bring together a team of people living in three time zones. This allows for an overlapping work schedule and gives team members more time to collaborate.
4. Increase empathy and strength
Although it can be difficult for people to work remotely, the best way to create a hybrid workforce is to develop empathy between people. Empathy is an important component of empowerment when it is valued by management and co-workers. When we work alone, we sometimes miss having lunch with a coworker or going to the boss's office for a quick chat. These impromptu meetings in the physical workspace help us better understand our co-workers. They help us imagine ourselves in another person's position, leading to better teamwork, community, and empowerment.
So we need to work to create opportunities for empathic communication in a hybrid workplace. This includes web-based social events, more group work than individual, and more 1: 1 conversation to support a colleague's goals.
5. Set work-life boundaries
Zoom fatigue is one of the most talked about topics today, with everyone working remotely. When people jump from one meeting to another, it's no wonder why that happens. Boundaries and personal scheduling go hand in hand. When setting boundaries, both teams and people must agree on appropriate meeting times, meeting times, and business hours.
In addition, as with field work, team members must take regular breaks from their workplaces and go for a walk or stretch.
6. Check and adjust
Yes, this is already a key part of Agile, but it is important to do it not only in the project work, but also in the organization and team building. Make sure you and your team reflect and create solutions to work better in a hybrid environment.
We have reached an exciting place. It is not uncommon now to join a team where people work hundreds or even thousands of miles apart. Everyone works face to face in a hybrid work environment and does it well. It is practical, cheaper than personal rooms, and helps to create a more diverse team.
As a result, more and more companies are opting for a hybrid work model. It is good that an agile approach to work includes values and methods that help shape the behavior needed for a hybrid workplace to flourish.