The turmoil of the past two years has led to a degree of uncertainty in the labor market. However, one thing remains for certain – the hybrid work environment is now part of the new normal.
To survive and thrive in this mixed atmosphere, employees and employers must master the best of both worlds, legacy and new age. Here are the top seven skills required to keep fit:
1. Understanding technical entanglements: Although employees will always have the support of the company’s IT team, it is still important to understand the basics of troubleshooting when minor technical issues occur. More so when working from home or remotely on timed tasks and computer glitches that end up stopping work. Besides installing regular software updates, one should have a backup plan ready in case the connection persists or other issues. The plan can include a portable hotspot, an additional laptop, or a nearby coffee shop with reliable Wi-Fi.
Additionally, one can use collaboration tools, whiteboards, shared productivity suites, and more to tackle these hurdles. For example, Zoom Whiteboard offers a one-stop solution for collaboration and efficiencies within its platform, simulating a personalized experience. Likewise, during video calls, the right apps can enable more effective communication, enhance team collaboration, and ensure more productive results. To be clear, in-app surveys can facilitate feedback, and encourage greater participation during video calls. Meeting facilitators can then ask queries during or after meetings, provide real-time feedback on urgent issues to participants and even get input from attendees who prefer to provide opinions anonymously.
2. Time management: In the new age work environment, time management is very essential, especially when working from home. Both workers and managers must prioritize tasks on a daily basis and then work accordingly, taking on critical tasks beforehand. Time management also involves taking a short break on its own as technology fatigue is an increasing problem in the virtual world of work. Even a short break once or twice a day can rejuvenate a person and lead to more productive results compared to working without a break.
3. Encouraging Continuous Feedback: In today’s mixed world of work, maintaining clear lines of communication is critical to the smooth running of an organization. Therefore, employers should encourage a positive work environment to welcome continuous feedback from all employees. Gathering this feedback can help managers better understand their employees’ perspectives, problems, and challenges. For example, creating a common chat group can ensure that all employees are on the same page about the progress of ongoing tasks, and can share their views and input at the same time. This will help keep them all connected and foster a collaborative and engaging workplace culture.
4. Learn how to communicate: Employees must learn how to communicate. Knowing how to stay on top of office events now takes an extra effort. Earlier, this was easy due to coffee and lunch breaks around the same table in the cafeteria and other opportunities for a short break. But when working remotely or from home, this opportunity is no longer available. However, strong communication skills can help bridge the communication gap, and fill in the blanks at office events.
5. Boosting confidence: In a mixed workplace with many remote workers, leaders and managers must trust employees to do what is assigned and deliver what is assigned without frequently seeking status updates. Likewise, workers who do not interact directly with managers must have confidence that the work is being hired fairly and transparently. When trust remains a two-way street in a flexible, remote workplace, better outcomes for both employers and employees are assured.
6. Build a supportive mindset: This is all about employers as well as employees who foster an environment of trust with an empathetic and caring outlook. Given the challenging circumstances of the past two years, leaders and employees must take the time to connect with their peers, especially those who are struggling to deal with the current headwinds and who are still unable to achieve 100% as they did previously. By guiding and holding such individuals in their hands during these turbulent times, one can make them feel more secure and comfortable. The ability to connect with and comfort those caught up in self-doubt is a vital leadership skill that can protect colleagues’ lives, especially in remote work scenarios. For managers, this requires maintaining a good balance between being a leader and a professional friend. By serving as a frontrunner in creating a supportive work atmosphere, one can go a long way in building a vibrant team spirit that delivers at the highest levels.
7. Setting Work and Life Boundaries: In a hybrid working world where many people are working remotely, it can be easy to lose track of time. Accordingly, it is necessary to establish start and stop times for daily work – with exceptions only for time-bound deadlines that may require a few additional hours. These limits can help maintain a healthy work-life balance by separating work hours and personal time. This is critical to ensuring that employees do not experience burnout due to the stresses that arise in the constantly connected digital or hybrid workplace.
If employers and employees take the above guidelines seriously, including the work-life balance limits, they can certainly be sure of increased productivity and better outcomes for everyone in the long run.
The opinions above are those of the author.
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