• Hybrid work

    No future for conservative, suspicious, top-down ruling leaders

Hybrid work

Hybrid work is here to stay. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the mindset of employers and employees so much that reverting to the old pattern is no longer an option. And that is good news for all sectors - even the manufacturing industry - because such an opportunity to transform the work culture only occurs once in a generation.

And yet hybrid work is nothing like as new as one might think. Even before the coronavirus pandemic erupted, many companies active in professional services were already working within a hybrid labour model, albeit often in the primary form of teleworking. Independent professionals or “digital nomads” were pioneers. And for knowledge workers, working remotely a few days a week was the most normal thing in the world. The biggest change post-COVID? Hybrid work will become standard for more people within more companies. Diehards of mandatory office work will have to follow, whether they like it or not. After all, no one wants to push their company or organisation out of the market due to a lack of motivated employees, do they?

Adapted work organisation

This (new) hybrid way of working obviously requires an adapted work organisation. An environment where participatory management bridges the gap between top-down and bottom-up. Where leadership focuses on technological and digital opportunities and human needs. Indeed, in the changing world of work, people’s well-being becomes a central driver that makes the difference between success and failure. A veritable “war for well-being” is being waged behind the frontline of the “war for talent”.

Well-being has become a powerful weapon in the struggle to make your employer brand an attractive one, largely because the younger generation(s) of recruits choose authentic leaders within an innovative labour organisation who are genuinely concerned with how their employees feel and have an eye for a work-life balance tailored to the different generations within the company.

In short, culture, vision, leadership, values and norms form the building blocks of the innovative, future-oriented labour organisation. Are you ready for that? Are you willing to change? Do you dare to look into the future and reject what is not future-proof?

Embrace flexibility

Do you know how and where best to start? After all, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all solution. After all, the expectations of your employees, customers, partners and suppliers are constantly changing... in terms of work (and workplace) organisation, remuneration, flexibility, mobility, automation, sustainability, etc. Everyone, from digital nomads to office tigers, wants to work on their own terms. Even if teleworking is impossible.

The only way to solve this complex puzzle is by embracing flexibility throughout your business model, starting from the - preferably self-managing - team. Just ask yourself, how low are the responsibilities in your organisation? How flexibly you can adapt existing corporate policies? Why are more and more employees finding themselves reflected less and less in collective labour agreements?

Indeed... the time is ripe to break taboos, to let go of habits.

Five-step plan

Fundamental rethinking of your existing work organisation naturally has an impact on all the ins and outs of your company: from tax, social-legal, financial to real estate, HR, sales and marketing and communication, to the ICT configuration, cybersecurity and workplace layout. Especially for professional service companies, BDO rolled out a five-step plan to guide you in the transformation to a hybrid working environment.

  • Step 1: Do the maturity scan. Start at the beginning and ask yourself how far have you got? Curious? Our experts have developed an online quick scan “How mature is your organisation in terms of hybrid work?”.
  • Step 2: Based on that scan result, we use a vision exercise to test where your ambitions lie. How far are you willing (and able) to go with the existing resources and strategy?
  • Step 3: With respect for the DNA of your company or organisation, your experts and ours will jointly develop a blueprint (and hands-on tools) for the new work organisation.
  • Step 4: To subsequently convert that blueprint into a concrete and feasible step-by-step plan.
  • Step 5: We ensure that we do not stray from the objectives along the way - habits sometimes prove to be stronger than ambitions - and we anchor the new or adapted working model in the day-to-day operations. Finally, we are setting up a continuous improvement model so that you can adapt continuously according to the needs in an ever-changing world. After all, your work organisation is not a building made of concrete or steel that has been there for 30 years, but an organic process that moves constantly.