The recent Harvard Business Review (HBR) article In the Hybrid Era, On-Sites Are the New Off-Sites explores the global shift from working everyday at the office to working everyday at home and coming to the office when it makes sense. While this not be the future for every organization, many will continue forward like this after the pandemic. One of those continuing forward is EA Markets, a company that decided to get rid of its HQ and let employees work from anywhere. But its leader also want his team to be together physically, for "intentional on-sites", so he rents a space monthly to bring everyone together for "SuperDays". Here are the author's tips to make those on-sites successful as shared by HBR:
Align to Values
Make sure that each on site has a theme or implicit aspects that connect to your organization's values. For EA Markets those were: Health, Wealth & Growth.
"Health, which includes flexible office choices, commute limits, and team-building, as well as taking care of employees’ wellness.
Wealth, which includes cross-functional meetings, sprint-like work sessions, and team lunches and events.
Growth, which is the time for personal and professional development."
Focus on Professional Development
Working from anywhere can also challenge some of the traditional modes of professional development.
Growth isn’t an afterthought or something an employee can only do on their own time, which is why during our working session, employees brainstormed ideas that included: having lunch-and-learns, interviewing senior leaders about their career paths, bringing in outside speakers, and hosting book clubs.
Retain and Enhance Rituals
Look for opportunities to bring back rituals that have been lost not being in the office or to develop new ones that bond the team together.
Ask yourself and your team: When do you feel most ________-ish? The answer to the question will give you insight into some rituals that already exist in your company and how to get started building your own rituals roadmap
We know that the future is going to be very different than the past. Many organizations are going to need to radically rethink how they work, and that will mean making big decisions around what space is needed, when and where. That's what we do: Figure out all of the ways you reorganize for the future, how to test those new solutions and how to implement with high user buy-in.