Remote and Hybrid Work Maturity Index - Stages

October 10, 2021

There are foundational pillars companies need to pay attention to when improving their hybrid work environment posture. We've extensively researched the common questions around hybrid working and categorised them to help every company through their remote and hybrid work journeys.

Introduction

As per our introductory Remote and Hybrid Work Maturity Index, this article aims at providing the basic stages of the Maturity Index Framework.

Mindset and Culture

The mindset is about anything related to how the company understands, approaches and supports hybrid work models.

As the levels progress, companies provide more guidance and support to their teams. Guidance and support around working but also turning the company into a hybrid-first business. This means employees are comfortable to work remotely, without the fear of drifting away from the company.

 

Modern Leadership

At Clearword we are massive fans of modern leadership techniques. These are techniques centered around the employee.

For a company to become hybrid-first, they must understand that there is no one-size-fits-all. Instead they must start shifting their more traditional management techniques towards modern leadership.

We often hear: How do I manage remotely? How can I motivate my team? How can I be sure my team is working? What if I'm not always on their case? These are all valid questions. They all stem from a slight misunderstanding in hybrid-first management techniques.

Thankfully we've written about these, but if you don't want to read, it comes down to: 1. Being Supportive, 2. Managing Expectations, 3. Squashing Proximity Bias, 4. Embracing Cultural Differences, 5. Planning with Flexibility in mind, 6. Pay attention, and finally 7. Deep Personal Introspection.

 

Digital Meeting Experience

Better meetings don't occur from the time slot allocated for the call. Better meetings and overall company culture are created by improving how we handle meetings at each stage of the Meeting Lifecycle : Before, During and After.

 

The three stages of the Digital Meeting experience

At every stage, increasing meeting-hygiene improves your experience. Currently as it stands, our general digital meeting experience is fairly poor, and Clearword aims to help with this.

 

Should you be interested in learning more about each stage of the meeting, have a look at our which describes the Digital Meeting Experience Lifecycle

 

Privacy and Security

Another important foundational pillar of Hybrid-Work is how privacy and security is treated across the organizations. 

The earlier you are on the Remote and Hybrid Maturity Index journey, the least security and privacy controls you're likely to have in place.

As you progress, and more people work remotely, your security posture gets affected, and you need to address it. As with any security concerns, you must consider a multitude of factors and how you are going to address them.

We are going to write more about the implications and various levels of security exposure throughout your maturity journey. Meanwhile we recommend reading "The New Security Demands Of A Hybrid Work Environment". The security risks haven't changed with hybrid, but their impact has amplified as people operate outside the network.

Mental Health and Life Balance

As every company with remote and hybrid models grows, they must learn to place a special emphasis on the mental health and work-life balance of their employees.

Meeting Fatigue has become a real problem in today's modern work environment. Stanford's Virtual Human Interaction Lab published an article which examined the psychological consequences of spending many hours per day on video conferencing platforms.

1) Excessive amounts of close-up eye contact is highly intense.

2) Seeing yourself during video chats constantly in real-time is fatiguing.

3) Video chats dramatically reduce our usual mobility.

4) The cognitive load is much higher in a video conference.

To summarize those for you, it's tiring to be on video calls. This is where the previous points are important. For modern leaders, they must place BIG emphasis on observing their colleagues. They must also understand the implications of being on video calls and working remotely.

Which brings us back to our main point of setting up processes in place to promote mental health and mental exercise away from the screen.

With a lack of leadership training for hybrid models, companies tend to have managers over-communicate with their teams. With incredibly useful and powerful tools such as Slack, we have no boundaries with our normal life.

It is the job of the entire team and the leaders to understand and set clear communication guidelines.