Hybrid working models and organisational silos are at the top of every organisation’s agenda.
After what has been something of a mass experiment into remote working, it is no surprise to see a rise in hybrid models. And yet there is still some level of resistance to it. Even after the fact that it has (for the most part) been a proven success.
Atlas Cloud found that 79% of UK workers who are new to remote working thought that they have proved that they have been working productively during lockdown.
Some of the resistance comes from old-school employers who are keen on “presenteeism”. Whereas some have concerns over organisational silos excluding those working from home.
What are the common silos, and where do they tend to occur?
It’s easy to forget those who aren’t front and centre. That is one of the biggest fears of a permanent, flexible workplace culture for many. Whether that’s down to trust or keeping everyone engaged is another discussion.
Common, simple mistakes:
- Impromptu meetings and events only for those in the room
- Choosing to reward those who have remained on-site for hard work during tough times
- Inadvertently excluding those who had to work remotely for whatever reason
Ultimately, it is about fostering a new culture and keeping on top of it until it becomes second nature.
“The worst thing that companies can do is ignore what they have learned about their workforce and how they like to operate. Companies who have resisted the new world of work until now have had their worlds turned upside down, but there is a real opportunity for HR leaders to help them continue their digital transformation.”
How to overcome these silos
On paper, it is pretty simple, yet practice makes perfect. We all need to hold each other accountable for how we move forward. Regardless of your role, keeping on top of these four areas will help drive change for the better:
1. Having a clear communication plan
Sometimes a shake-up is needed to make things happen. By reviewing your communications, you can account for everyone in and out of the room. Think about email distribution lists, messaging apps, conference calling systems etc. Many of these options are cheap (or free) and easy to set up.
Don’t forget, you can also utilise the communication tools within your digital benefits platform, which is ideal for updates.
2. Mapping out ways of working across the organisation
Many teams will develop their preferred methods of engaging. While it is often simpler to ask questions and catch up in person, it is not always possible. And adhoc phone calls are not always appreciated.
Once again, by setting clear guides on communication apps to use within your organisation can help. As well as this, encourage your departments to be clear on the best ways to communicate.
3. Treating everyone fairly
One of the top silos is how you treat those who are in the office vs. those who are working from home. For example, many companies chose to reward teams for their hard work during the initial lockdown.
While it only seems fair to praise those who have gone the extra mile, it needs to be dealt with sensitively. There will be team members who, through no fault of their own, were unable to support as much while childcare provisions were closed.
Regardless of how the pandemic has impacted ways of working, this period of time has been stressful for a multitude of reasons. And with less people taking proper breaks or holidays, the risk of burnout is high. Make sure that your employees are aware of all the benefits on your platform; that’s anything from discounts on breaks, shopping and childcare, to health and wellbeing resources, and employee assistance programmes (EAP).
4. Set an example, from the top down
As any leader knows, driving a cultural transformation within a business needs commitment. By setting an example for your team and the wider business, you can help make these changes a success.
Set wider team or company goals and a fluid approach to knowledge sharing across your departments. Avoid specific team goals which can prevent open cross—departmental knowledge sharing. This will unify teams across the company, break down silos which have already formed and prevent further ones from developing. This will also help to breed a culture of inclusivity throughout your organisation.
Hybrid working models are proving to be popular and will no doubt change the face of the modern workspace. Allowing home working, office working, or a mixture will help retain and attract talent.
Identifying and addressing potential silos can help make hybrid and remote working a success. Through doing this, you can begin a transformation of the culture of your company, and help make it a less stressful place to work.