Berger Leadership Blog

Sep 03, 2021 by B. Dan Berger

Tips for Leaders in the Hybrid Workplace

As organizations begin to head back to hybrid work settings in the coming months, it’s most beneficial for leaders to reflect on the past 18 months and combine the best parts of virtual leadership with the most effective parts of managing face-to-face.

In a recent article from Harvard Business Review, Nitin Nohria highlights important practices for CEOs to continue using in a hybrid setting, and those that can be left behind. Here are a few helpful takeaways for all business leaders to utilize as offices start re-opening.

  • As the pandemic has provided the ability to hold meetings virtually and more efficiently, it’s necessary to recognize some of the negative consequences of video meetings. As more companies are adopting a hybrid work setting, ways to limit issues like “zoom fatigue” include holding more in-person meetings (especially one-on-ones) and cutting down the number of attendees in virtual meetings.
  • Even though more people are vaccinated, and the perceived risks of air travel have fallen, there remains debate about post-pandemic travel. Although business travel may never hit its pre-pandemic peak, face-to-face meetings are helpful for business leaders when building relationships. One helpful technique to utilize in-person interactions in a hybrid setting is to set a target ratio for video and in-person meetings with different constituencies. For example, CEOs who want to visit longstanding clients might aim for an 80/20 mix — 80% by video, 20% in person.
  • Working virtually makes it difficult to carve out work and personal time. In an HBR study, pre-pandemic CEOs worked 79% of weekend days (3.9 hours per day, on average) and 70% of vacation days (2.4 hours per day, on average). The post-pandemic reset should be an opportunity for leaders to set boundaries and carve out more time for reflection, reading, and thinking. The current working environment is much different than it was pre-pandemic, and that means making changes where necessary while remaining healthy and happy in the process.

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