Returning to the Office: How In-person Helps Hybrid Work
I recently wrote about Impact’s back-to-the-office journey. Like so many companies right now, we’re working on developing a combination of in-person and remote work that helps all our people succeed. We know it’s important, and our people do, too. But there are a lot of moving parts to doing hybrid well, so it’s going to take time.
Being strategic and transparent about why and how people come together for in-person is key. It makes the time spent in the office the most effective it can be. And ensures everyone understands and can contribute to the same goals when they’re together, face-to-face.
Why in-person is important for leaders
Leaders need to assess how much face-to-face time they need to dedicate to their people. If team members are new, or struggling to feel motivated or fulfilled in their work, leaders need to spend more in-person time supporting them. It can be done remotely, but it’s more effectively achieved when you’re in the office together, so you can:
- maintain a stronger pulse on what’s going on with new or struggling team members
- see and hear them in action, encouraging them when they falter, or congratulating them on a win
- better navigate the tough conversations about performance issues
- witness and help address any mental health or wellbeing concerns if they’re feeling overwhelmed
Leading, mentoring, and providing guidance and support to your people works best when you can build trust and mutual respect in an in-person environment. Especially for those who need the extra attention.
Why in-person helps teams thrive
In person is also more effective when teams are collaborating on big, interconnected, complex challenges. Working together in the same room helps teams:
- build more trust, which helps them challenge each other’s views
- learn things they wouldn’t think of when working in separate spaces
- come up with more innovative ideas
- better grasp nuances
- grow as individuals and as a group
- more easily bond and feel engaged by the work
- have more fun because everyone can share in the thrill of getting to the solution together
Engagement and excitement are truly contagious in-person in ways that are harder to achieve via Zoom or Teams. So for those larger, more interdependent problems the team is tackling, in-person work will help drive better outcomes.
In-person can positively impact everyone
When done right, coming into the office enhances the sense of commitment, connection, and active involvement that creates better results all around. It focuses everyone’s efforts on making the time spent together as valuable as possible. It ensures everyone is getting the support and attention they need to succeed. And it helps elevate creativity, innovation, and personal growth for everyone – the individual, the team, and the organization.