The Value Creators Podcast Episode #20. Julie Kantor and Felice Ekelman on How To Thrive With A Hybrid Workplace

The nature of work has changed, so how we manage it must change, too.

As businesses barrel along into the fast-changing digital age, we find that the very nature of work has changed. The new name for the office or the factory is the hybrid workplace. Not only where we do work, but how we do work has changed, and how we synchronize work with each other has changed the most. For the firm, productivity is at risk. And all the standard approaches to business that we’ve been taught are outdated. Take management as an example. How do you manage a hybrid workplace and workforce. Our point of view at The Value Creators is that management is an old-fashioned concept we have to discard. We need something new. 

The Value Creators podcast hosted two of the best experts to address the challenges of the hybrid workplace, Julie Kantor and Felice Ekelman. They are co-authors of the book that will provide the background to our discussion today: Thrive With A Hybrid Workplace: Step-by-Step Guidance from the Experts.

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0:00 | Intro

03:06 | Old System VS New System: Work-life Balance & Remote Work During the Pandemic

09:55 | Hybrid Work and Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World

14:02 | Hybrid Model: Nine to Five Model is Gone

16:42 | Hybrid Workplace: Seven Seas Framework

22:53 | Hybrid Policy: How Are We Managing Change?

24:50 | Culture of change: Importance of Face-to-Face Connection

28:07 | Communication, Collaboration, and Leadership in a Hybrid Work Environment

34:46 | Coaching as a Fundamental Part of the Hybrid

37:27 | Smart Goals: Well-Being in the Workplace

38:48 | Productivity in the Hybrid Workspace

41:34 | Hybrid Workspace: Compliance Load

46:12| Wrap up: Where are we heading?

Knowledge Capsule:

We need to re-think the idea of productivity in the world of Hybrid Work:

  • Leaders are struggling to measure the productivity of knowledge workers in a hybrid setting, as traditional metrics like presence in the office are no longer applicable.
  • Early data emphasizes the risk of lost productivity – performance is lowered.
  • There’s a big need for leaders to clearly communicate what excellence in performance looks like in a hybrid work environment is emphasized.
  • But driving hybrid work performance faces compliance challenges:
    • In a hybrid workplace, compliance issues may arise, particularly if employees are working from different states. Local laws may apply, leading to complexities in compliance.
    • Issues related to measuring hours worked, especially for non-exempt employees, pose challenges in maintaining accurate time records.
    • Issues of perceived equity can easily arise.
  • Therefore clear expressions of intent are imperative:
    • The complexity of managing compliance and policies in a hybrid work environment requires intentionality and thought from employers.
    • Inconsistencies in enforcing hybrid work policies can lead to litigation and allegations of discrimination.
  • Hybrid work leads to a new Future of Work:
    • Not just the way we work will change, but there’ll be changes in business models, such as the Chinese business model, RenDenHeyi, which emphasizes decentralized value creation through relationships and connections more than reporting relationships and structure..
    • The integration of work, home, and personal life is expected to continue. Management must include a focus on mental health and well-being.
    • Technology will change the nature of the hybrid workplace even faster, with advancements like mirror boards for synchronous collaboration.
  • Employers should look at hybrid work as a great opportunity to create new value for employees:
    • The shift to a hybrid work model presents a significant opportunity for employers to differentiate themselves and demonstrate flexibility and trust to employees.
    • Employers who successfully navigate the challenges of hybrid work have the potential to be seen as best in class.
  • Thrive in a Hybrid Workplace:
    • The book, “Thrive with a Hybrid Workplace,” focuses on the concept of thriving in the context of a hybrid work environment.
    • The emphasis is on how employers can create a workplace where both employees and the business thrive.
  • Looking to the Future:
    • Predicting the exact future of work is challenging, but the integration of flexibility, trust, and well-being will continue evolving towards more employee value.
    • Employers have the opportunity to create a workplace that fosters trust, flexibility, and ultimately, thriving.