Several companies globally have moved their people to a hybrid workplace. While working at the office and at home benefits both employers and employees, too often, it can be collaborative and lonely.
Employees show up at the office for a scheduled number of days only to find a ghost town. They commute long distances only to spend their time alone and on Zoom calls. Likewise, work-from-home days can feel robotic and blur the lines between work and life.
The solution? Adopting the “both/and thinking” way of thinking.
Rocketbook’s CEO Joe Lemay and CIO Jacob Epstein admitted to their shared love for flexibility. So, rather than measuring their people’s schedules and office face time, they emphasize their employees’ output.
They also created a comprehensive guide to make this arrangement work well within their company. Here are some of them:
- Embracing the tensions. Viewing tensions as paradoxes—persistent interdependent contractions—they can lean into the yin-yang of opposing forces, recognizing that the organization must engage with both rather than choose between them. Epstein summarized, “There are so many benefits to being remote; there are so many benefits to being in person, but the sum of both gives you far better options than either individually.”
- Consider how to make virtual and in-person work. Instead of asking what work model to implement, Lemay and Epstein: “How can we make virtual and in-person work best?” Research shows that shifting to both/and question motivates us to think more creatively about possible outcomes.
- Understanding the differences and finding synergies. Better integrative solutions start with first pulling apart and understanding the different options. By being clear on the differences between these options, they could find better ways to implement each and leverage their synergies.
- Experiment. Situations change, and that means that the way we work also continues to change. As Lemay stressed, “Being experimental is core to the business and the culture.” He and Epstein are constantly surveying their people, looking for feedback, and then asking how they can adapt. Do this and listen well to what your employees are saying.
The question goes beyond implementing hybrid or remote work models in today’s workplace. Business leaders must also think of how they can use “both/and thinking” to work from home and in the office better.