The latest SuperStar Communicator podcast is a masterclass from Susan Heaton-Wright where she shares top tips for leaders who are leading hybrid working with good communication.
Key learning points:
In this fascinating interview, which has MANY take aways. Here are three learning points.
* What is Hybrid working
* How can we listen to employees to reassure them
* The challenge of bridging the gap between those working remotely and those in the office
the Superstar Communicator Podcast
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Read the Transcript here.
Welcome to the superstar communicator podcast. My name is Susan Heaton-Wright, a leading impact speaking and communications expert. My aim is to show you how to make an impact. So you will be heard or listened to and respected for career success. Listen weekly to the podcast, and go to our website, www.superstarcommunicator.com .
Hello, everybody, this is Susan Heaton-Wright. Thank you for tuning in. Today, I’m gonna be talking about everything hybrid, hybrid working, what it’s about some of the challenges related to that, both as a leader and an employee. And just before you wonder what’s going on in the background, I have opened my window, because I have got some beautiful birdsong in the background. And I’m hoping the microphone will pick it up. Hope you can hear that, but it is the most wonderful sound, something that’s very special with spring and summer, isn’t it? Anyway, let’s get back to hybrid working. And before I explain what it is, because this is a term that is being bandied around an awful lot, I wanted to share with you a downloadable checklist for leaders and employees about what to consider before going back to the office, or setting up hybrid working or if you’re an employee, how you are going to fit in with hybrid working, you just need to go to www.superstarcommunicator.com/hybrid . That’s all you need to do. And hybrid, it’s spelled H Y B R I D, just in case you need to double check that anyway. I will mention it at the end too. So what is hybrid working, we have had a situation where virtually everybody, in the last year or so have been forced into working remotely. We haven’t been in an office. In my case, I haven’t had people that I’ve been training face to face in a room, whether it’s one to one coaching, whether it is a group of people, we’ve all been remote. And as the the vaccine and restrictions have been lifted with the pandemic, people are understandably wanting to go back to work in the office. However, one of the challenges is that with COVID restrictions and social distancing, offices need to be set up in a specific way with certain regulations to ensure that everybody is safe, that they the risk of them, contracting COVID from each other, is reduced. So as a result of that, one of the practical things to do is to reduce the workforce in an office so everyone can fit in. Which means in reality, that there are going to be some people who are working remotely, whilst other people are going to be in the office together. And hybrid working. The way that we are thinking about this is trying to bridge the gap between working in the office and working remotely. Now this is really, really important because obviously we want to reduce the risk of anybody catching COVID or spreading it to other people whether or not they have had the vaccine, because there are some people who’ve decided not to have the vaccine and there are a small minority of people who actually are unable to have the vaccine and those people that are unable to have the vaccine, we obviously want to protect them.
But this whole situation is impacting on everybody. Because if we go into a work situation which is hybrid, there are going to be people in the office. There are going to be people working remotely And how do we bridge the gap between those people so that they all feel part of an organisation, part of the discussion that they are actively involved in any decision making, or any projects, any news. And this is one of the main challenges of hybrid working.
So in the next few weeks, I’m going to be blogging, I’m going to be podcasting, I’m going to be videoing, I’m going to share lots of ideas about how we can implement this. And of course, one of the most important things is communication. Both ways. Because hybrid working is far more challenging then working remotely. The challenge is that those people that are in the office are benefiting from being around each other, there are those off chance moments, what we all call the, the water cooler moments when you might just say something, and it sparks a conversation, or you know how another team are working or what they’re working on, or sharing an idea, which you don’t get, if you’re working remotely. Also, when you have a meeting, or you are doing some decision making, or even running a project, those people that are in the room have a massive advantage, because they are able to read the room, they’re able to catch the eye of somebody else, they’re able to read any gestures, any subtle body body language that you don’t have when you are working remotely. And so the person that is working remotely, if they’re in the conversation, they have to work that much harder in order to get those nuances. So I’m going to break that down and think about how we can run those meetings, run those projects, run those decision making, interviews, all of those things in a way, that is the most efficient and effective way of working, it is definitely going to impact on productivity for that very reason. And also, the another challenge is that there are going to be some people who are anxious about returning to the office for whatever reason, it might be that that actually they really got used to being at home, and having a lifestyle that really fits with them. And the thought of commuting to work, and being surrounded by lots of people could be make them feel quite anxious, then there are other people, of course, who are craving, being surrounded by other people. And I absolutely appreciate that, too. Now, only on Monday, for the first time in 14 months, I was in front of a client. And I was exhausted at the end of it because I had got used to another way of communicating. And if that’s for me, then I’m sure that it’s going to be the same for many, many other people. So also, we need to think about how we prepare everybody from coming back into the office. One thing that I’ve said to one of my clients is you remember when we went to secondary school, or high school, it would be in the United States. And usually there were a couple of days when you got to know the school layout and got to know about all of the rules. Without older students being there sort of orientation, maybe there need to be a couple of days to re-introduce everybody back to the office so that they get used to the restrictions and particular rules that are put in place. And that might be something to think of. But also, I believe it’s very, very important that this two way communication with this. So if anybody is feeling anxious, if the body feels that they should voice their opinion about the way that the proposals are for people returning into the office, they should be actively heard and considered, because it might be that somebody else has got a really, really good opinion or piece of advice that everybody might not have thought of. So from this quick masterclass, there are a few things to think about. First of all, what hybrid working is, the fact that there are going to be challenges? Particularly if you’re one of the people who is dialling in or working remotely. How can you make sure that those people are fully integrated in any project or any conversation ? Also managing the possible anxiety of individuals to make sure that they feel comfortable.
So before I go, remember that I have got my checklist for you, either if you’re an employee, things that you need to ask your leadership team or if you’re a leader, things for you to consider. And I’m not talking about the legislation and the risk and health which I like to hope that you are going to a professional person. HR should be dealing with that. And specialists should be coming in to do the risk assessment, not talking about that. I’m talking about communication two way. So if you want to have one of these checklists, you need to go to www.superstarcommunicator.com/hybrid . So until next time, this is Susan from superstar communicator. Thanks for watching. Thanks for listening even. You have been listening to the superstar communicator podcast. Don’t forget to subscribe and review the podcast on iTunes and on apps. Please contact us if you want to discuss any topic would suggest a topic for us to include or a guest who could come on to the podcast go to www.superstarcommunicator.com