An 8-hour workday never existed, until in 1867, when Henry Ford instituted the rule for his manufacturing staff. Creating day shifts for weekdays and holidays for weekends wasn’t a standard from always.
Work design has changed innumerable times in innumerable ways. Sometimes, that has happened due to man-made reasons, and sometimes, they were changed due to unpredictable natural occurrences. This time, it’s the pandemic.
Although COVID-19 pandemic led to monumental changes in traditional work design, it also revealed some outdated assumptions that have been having a damaging effect on performance, innovation, and development for a long time.
The 9-5 workday is one perfect example to highlight here. For decades, organizations have grown accustomed to believe that:
- Workers would be more productive in their city offices than in suburban homes
- To come to a decision, meeting in conference rooms was the best location
- Workers would perform better only when they work inside the 9-5 framework
Today’s concepts of hybrid and remote work have totally outshined these assumptions. One would have never imagined working outside these frameworks, but the pandemic made it apparent. As a result, the fundamental work design shifted from office-centric work to human-centric work.
Outdated assumptions, however, continue to exist and are impacting the growth of many organizations. Today we will discuss 3 most outdated assumptions that are damaging hybrid work in the current scenario.
“Consistency – the key to Equity”
In a culture where consistency has always been the key rationale behind fairness and equality, most HR leaders tend to believe that the same would be true for hybrid work models – which is not true.
Equality across an organization may have worked in traditional working environments, but the same may not work in a hybrid world.
The new principle that works for a hybrid work model is not equality of experience or working conditions, but equality of opportunity.
Progressive HR leaders must let employees decide on their own level of flexibility and consistency.
“Serendipity – the key to Innovation”
73% of HR leaders consider serendipity the key ingredient in innovation. Spontaneous interactions around the water cooler and during tea-breaks might have given rise to some of the most innovative ideas in the office, but they may not have the same effect in virtual rooms.
Today, serendipitous moments may not have the same effect and besides, most such moments were intentional, arguably speaking.
Today’s zoom-based workforce suffers highly from virtual fatigue. Forcing teams to connect, therefore, may not lead to innovative outcomes.
“Visibility – the key to Performance”
Clearly, this is not the era where seeing employees at their desk would matter more than the quality of the jobs done.
Still, many refuse to believe that. Software apps are being developed to ensure that employees are working during the allotted times in a hybrid setting; tools are installed to record their movements. 36% of employees admit that they sometimes pretend to work because of the expectations to be.
Rather than focusing on employee punch-in and punch-out times, managers of today must evaluate employees by judging their quality of work and inputs from other areas.