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Hybrid Working – No Room To Work

Over one third of UK office workers have no dedicated workspace at home and only 6% have been trained for hybrid meetings, reveals a new report from Leeds University Business School.

The report and interactive tool, based on research led by Dr Matthew Davis, Associate Professor in Organisational Psychology, and six colleagues at Leeds University Business School and the wider University, advises staff in charge of designing or updating hybrid working schemes to avoid trying to force a ‘one size fits all’ policy and to include employees in the creation process.

The report’s authors point out that the availability of dedicated workspaces at home and familiarity with technology means workers can have very different experiences of hybrid working.

Leeds University Business School’s analysis of employee data shows that working from home without access to a specific desk or separate room (i.e. having to use a kitchen table or the sofa) is associated with lower performance, job satisfaction and engagement.

The implementation of hybrid working schemes can also cause some to feel disconnected from colleagues and managers, engender an ‘us versus them’ mentality and lead to excessive supervision from managers.

Dr Matthew Davis said: “An effective hybrid workplace is more than an HR policy or office design issue; it is a socio-technical problem, essentially affecting all aspects of work and requiring knock-on changes to IT, work processes, organisational goals and culture to be successful. The key to successful hybrid working is good management – clear and demonstrable objectives and outputs, active communication and feedback.”

The researchers advise employers, where possible, to implement principles of work rather than strict rules that can reduce working flexibility and undermine the main benefit many employees say they get from hybrid working.

https://futureworkplace.leeds.ac.uk

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