Becoming a hybrid or remote company seems easy on the surface. Everyone is doing it nowadays.
Most large businesses have readily embraced these models as it is necessary to stay relevant in the future of work. But are these organizations truly prepared for the implications of becoming a flexible company?
Unless concrete policy and design alterations have been made, the answer is likely no.
For software company Corel, this has come in the form of what it calls a “Work3” initiative.
“This is a philosophy that encourages employees to determine their own personal productivity pods, and choose the work hours and locations that make the most sense for them,” said Christa Quarles, CEO at Corel.
According to Robert C. Pozen, a lecturer at MIT Sloan School of Management, companies that want to fully prepare for a flexible future should follow the “FLOCS” formula:
Function involves outlining and coordinating the flexible workplace, including supporting the varying styles of working through design.
Location means being able to accommodate employees even if they are not in the main office. This can come in the form of adopting a third workspace for those who live in different time zones and still want a professional setting to go into closer to their homes.
Organization is the most straightforward element in this formula. Leaders need to keep track of which teams want to meet in person and which tools and space are required for a successful meeting.
On the other hand, culture may be the trickiest part of transitioning to a flexible work environment. Having a healthy culture depends on a variety of factors, including colleague relationships, company values and policies related to hybrid or remote work.
Scheduling is the final key to an autonomous workplace.
“If a team spends two or three days a week in the office, it makes sense for those days to be the same for all team members, who will cram a lot of in-person meetings into those office days,” said Pozen.
“That team might rotate its office days with another team in the office for a different two days. Such a rotation would reduce the office costs of the firm, while giving all employees a permanent space as a base.”