Hybrid Work: The Team Member Perspective
Our desire to be independently responsible is compelling and motivating. We desire the freedom to think and move as we feel is most beneficial for a desired outcome. The COVID-19 pandemic required leaders to trust team members to work from home. We found this to be true for many of our clients for the first time.
Trusting our team members to be responsible is a good organizational culture attribute. Studies on organizations with unlimited vacation policies have confirmed that team members can be trustworthy and responsible. Research has shown that, in organizations with unlimited vacation time, team members take thirteen days a year, two days fewer than in those with formal policies.
While pandemic restrictions forced organizations to provide team members with the independence to work on their own, in most cases, it was appreciated by the team members. Some of our clients had an even greater return on investment: team members working from home rather than traveling the country and entertaining clients still generated sales. It was a win–win.
The energy that came into the lives of team members working from home surfaced from:
- the independence to do what felt like the right thing to do;
- the trust of the organization that the team member would do the right thing;
- the sense of responsibility to do what is best for the organization; and
- the flexibility to work and support the family with a sensitivity to the needs of both.
The result was a more fulfilled team member, who felt that life had a balance that honored both work and the family, and who was better able to meet the needs of each.
Like that first taste of sea salt caramel ice cream, once you have experienced it, you can’t pretend it does not exist. Feeling valued and trusted to be responsible for doing the right thing for the organization is foundational to living a fulfilled life of meaning. When provided, it was deeply appreciated. When it gets taken away, it is confusing and perhaps de-energizing.
Why would an organization de-energize team members?
Next week’s blog will address the organization’s perspective on hybrid work. Then, we will look at what might be a workable model for hybrid work in the future.
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