Although we created Consequent nearly 20 years ago intentionally with a model we call “traditionally virtual1,” we had no idea it would be tested in a global pandemic. We shared our thoughts on virtual work in March 2020 and have since found a traditional-virtual approach to be hugely beneficial for our team.
Some workers can decide whether to resume in-person work settings or to continue in a virtual environment, while others are not afforded the flexibility. Yet all of us will need to be able to manage in a hybrid world regardless of our individual situation. Our clients, vendors, and other business associates may be employing different models and we all must find a way to work together seamlessly.
Here are key tips on blending styles in the new normal:
- Have a human touch: communicate clearly and connect on a personal level. Explore having special in-person gatherings while continuing to use video conferencing to engage everyone for important meetings.
- Use flex time: allow people to self-manage their work hours. Consider making a short block of time “required” work hours to accommodate the needs of people taking care of others or to allow people to work simultaneously in multiple time zones.
- Trust: trust others and trust yourself to do your best work, whenever and wherever.
While not everyone will have a choice around where and when they work, we will all be coexisting and working in different ways. Staying flexible and keeping the human element at the forefront should help us all navigate these uncharted hybrid waters together.
If you would like a PDF of the Traditional-Virtual chapter from Jack Bergstrand’s book, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll send it to you. We’re also happy to discuss in more detail what has worked for us.
1 What is a traditional-virtual model? As defined by Consequent’s founder and CEO Jack Bergstrand, it’s not completely traditional – that is, working 9-to-5 at the corporate headquarters – yet not totally virtual, which can hinder scalability. To be traditionally virtual, organizations need to be traditional enough to create a productive organization and virtual enough to compete anywhere in the world, at any time.