A brave new world of remote/hybrid work
Is there a former nine-to-five person that hasn’t seen the 7:59 am vs 8:01 am meme? Spring is upon us, and with the general awakening of nature, we’re witnessing the awakening of various incentives to bring employees back to the offices. No more remote work for you! – can be heard from CEOs worldwide, notably the US.
Someone somewhere had a blast conjuring up a name for the new trend and wasn’t left disappointed when – The Great Return – presented itself as a perfect nickname to continue the sequence of – The Great Resignation and The Great Retirement.
I wouldn’t be surprised if the mentioned person had his/her hands held up at the time of The Great Revelation with a convenient flash of lightning going off somewhere in the distance to highlight the drama.
But to get back on track.
Warning beacons of Gondor are lit
Meta, formerly Facebook, announced its hybrid return to the office on March 28. Microsoft said that starting on Feb. 28, workers would have 30 days to adopt working preferences with their managers, with the expectation that most would be able to work remotely up to half the time.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai said that he is most excited that the future of work will be flexible. He maintains that it’s important to get people together in an office environment for at least a few days a week.
Following the trend (that was gaining traction even before the Covid19 pandemic) Twitter, Square, Shopify, Slack, and many others are opting for Remote first / Hybrid work setup.
To sum it up, the IT and Tech industry in general, with 77% of remote employees, is at the top when it comes to embracing the hybrid model. Before the pandemic, the percentage of fully or partially remote professionals was around 41%.
Love it or hate it, hybrid work models along with fully remote IT jobs are here to stay. The question that pops to mind is how to maintain the company culture in this brave new world of remote jobs?
By calling everyone back to the office under the impression that the productivity and employee control will go up, or by investing in employees and providing solid ground for their professional development?
If you’re doing things the right way then it shouldn’t matter if your employees work from the office, home office, a beach somewhere, or the Moon for that matter.
The grass is always greener if you water it regularly
A friend of mine is working fully remote and has been for a couple of years now. Her job is to manage people from all over the world. She starts the day by calling Canberra or Seoul and ends with her managing someone from Warsaw. The retention rate of her fully remote team is 100% and has been since she took over. Did she use dark magic to keep her teammates onboard or, among other things, implement emotionally intelligent policies?
What are those and how can I buy them in bulk?
Smart companies hire or nurture managers (call them team leads, if you will) that understand how to create emotional connections with their people. Mainly by creating a culture based on flexibility, trust, and accountability.
If you show personal interest in people, clearly communicate work scope and expectations, establish guidelines, offer support, and coach instead of micromanaging then you’re providing freedom for employees to explore ideas and take risks, ultimately furthering themselves and the company.
How to keep a low turnover rate
A workplace survey found that 94% of surveyed employees responded that if a company invested in helping them learn, they would stay longer. Circling back to employee retention rate or its Dark Side equivalent – the turnover rate, we’ve managed to keep our turnover rate steady at 14%.
Of course, we try to provide our employees with real benefits – more vacation that they can really make use of, health and well-being benefits, bonuses and benefits for parents, but also a quality team and team leader with whom the person works. If both the professional and human component of the relationship with the immediate supervisor is quality, then people are happy to stay in the company.
Mihael Sedmak, Agency04’s CEO
Location, location, location…
…is becoming less and less of an issue. We have been implementing a hybrid work model with the possibility of being fully remote even before the pandemic started.
Our offices are located in Zagreb and Split, and whoever wants to come to the office every day has that option. Most of us however opted for a hybrid model, where we come to the office once or twice a week, usually Wednesdays. Some of our colleagues are not located near our offices and are working fully remotely.
The best part? No one cares, or to quote Gravity’s CEO Dan Price – “Do whatever you want. As a CEO, what do I care? If you get your work done, that’s all that matters.”
13.4K retweets and 120.4K likes speak plenty about the favorable public opinion regarding the subject.
We have job openings for both Zagreb and Split offices, as well as fully remote positions so go and check them out!