Are you struggling with managing hybrid workers? Or have your team got fairness queries or gripes?
People are wondering how the post-pandemic work environment will settle. It looks likely office-working will no longer be the same after workers have seen the many benefits of flexible working. Yet in-person interaction will not die out, but take on more intentional and purposeful forms. The question is have all managers caught up?
At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Evolve team at UEA looked into how to accentuate the positive and mitigate the damage from enforced remote and isolated working. We used a rapid review of reviews, qualitative research and previous project outputs to help us create a checklist for managers on how to pro-actively manage remote workers. It was checked and improved by members of the Eastern Region Workplace Wellbeing Taskforce (a forerunner to the current Evolve Network). We originally made this available via the PrOPEL Hub as an aide memoire for managers. It has been discussed and used by many organisations since then to help line managers understand their role and responsibilities – however skilled they may have been in in-person management techniques.
Now we are sharing the checklist again via Evolve. We think this is important because in our regular workshops and webinars we receive a lot of questions about making hybrid working work. Luckily, the checklist is still relevant to answer many of these questions, because it was informed not only by pandemic research (see below for full list of contributing sources) but also on existing literature on teleworking (which often included a hybrid element pre-pandemic) and managing distributed workers (managing in many different remote and in-person situations).
As with all Evolve content, the checklist forms a reminder to managers to engage in meaningful dialogue with their workers and explain decision-making around hybrid reasoning and terms openly and transparently.
Our checklist offers useful ideas for pro-active management based on:
- Findings from research on the management of distributed workers, carried out by UEA for the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health
- Findings from a systematic review of reviews on the wellbeing and productivity challenges of isolated and confined working carried out by Dr Helen Fitzhugh and Professor Kevin Daniels for UEA at the start of UK lockdown 2020
- Findings from a mixed methods study with Cambridgeshire Constabulary of moving to more distributed and agile working in summer 2020 (not yet published)
- Comments and feedback from a range of professionals in the Eastern Region Wellbeing Taskforce.
Download the checklist below and watch a webinar giving more details about the checklist on Youtube HERE.