The workplace is embracing hybrid working, but effective management, formal training, and addressing challenges around inclusion are essential for maximising productivity and employee wellbeing.
Speaking at the Benefit Expert summit, Chartered Management Institute policy and innovation manager, Hamish Shah shed light on key aspects of the contemporary workplace, revealing challenges such as the lack of formal management training for a significant portion of managers, the widespread acceptance and variations in hybrid working policies, the emergence of mandated office days, and the importance of effective management and trust in hybrid and remote work scenarios.
He also delved into the productivity benefits of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in the workplace, highlighting the pivotal role of managers in fostering inclusive environments.
CMI research shows that over 85% of managers offer hybrid working, but it’s more common in large organisations and the public sector than in SMEs and the private sector.
Shah highlighted that 82% of managers lack formal management training, which affects working conditions, particularly hybrid working.
He also explained that poorly managed hybrid work can impact inclusion, posing challenges for disabled workers and women missing opportunities with managers nothing the impact on mental wellbeing due to disrupted workdays and increased pressure for those with caring responsibilities.
Shah noted that managers should know the downsides of remote work which poses challenges for both managers and their teams, such as social isolation, distractions at home, and potential negative effects on mental health and work-life balance
But according to CMI research, home working has had a positive impact on productivity with 7 out of 10 managers attributing their increased productivity to hybrid working.
Flexible work hours, professional growth, and remote/hybrid choices are among the top factors that managers credit with promoting employee wellbeing. The majority, 72%, agree that working in a hybrid environment enhances team health, and 84% say it’s simpler to strike a work-life balance.
However, positive attitudes towards hybrid working are seen in CMI’s research, with 80% of managers praising efficient team communication. However, challenges in onboarding (70%) and relationship-building (66%) emerge in hybrid settings.
Shahs suggests shifting from using presenteeism as a performance metric, consistently inquiring about your staff’s wellbeing, ensuring that necessary adjustments or support is provided and ensuring that managers provide training and engage in regular career conversations.