Who Should Own Working Hybrid at Your Company? The Pros and Cons of Each

Earlier this week, we ran a LinkedIn poll. The question was simple: who is running Working Hybrid in your company?

Results started pouring in CEO, Facility Manager, Head of People, and IT department — they were all in the mix. Yet not one of them was poking their head out as a clear winner.

This alone is a compelling insight. As strong as the momentum currently is towards hybrid ways of working, it seems there’s still a collective uncertainty around who exactly is meant to own the process of implementing and overseeing the ins and outs of hybrid work.

Let’s look at who the candidates are — and why they are in a prime position to take on the challenge of helping their company transition to Working Hybrid.

The CEO

The CEO is our first candidate – and perhaps the most obvious.

Hybrid work presents a fundamental alteration of how a company sees itself, its people, and its space — and such a profound change needs to be met at the top executive level.

Furthermore, the transition to hybrid has implications for so much of a company’s operational framework — from its use and management of real estate to its work culture and operating software — that it requires someone with an extensive knowledge base and skill set to properly oversee it.

The CEO is the person ultimately responsible for the success or failure of a business, and you could argue that it is therefore their job to oversee the implementation of hybrid work.

Pros:

  • Great to have top-level ownership of a core business strategy
  • Wide skill set and knowledge to manage all facets of implementation

Cons:

  • Risks of getting bogged down in the day-to-day
  • Less “people-focused” and more “business-focused”

The COO

Next up is the COO. The person whose job it is to oversee the day-to-day operations of the organization — and someone who could be instrumental in the successful implementation of hybrid work.

The transition to hybrid work represents a complete shift in an organization’s management of its resources — the chief of which is its people and spaces.

The office has become a tool for work, rather than a platform, and the main platform has now become time.

Negotiating this conceptual shift is something that the COO would be more than capable of handling. With their strong communication skills, connection to all department heads, and intimate knowledge of large and smaller-scale work processes, the COO would be a top candidate for helping implement the right tool for hybrid work and overseeing its effective use.

Pros:

  • Deeply aligned with the day-to-day operations of the company
  • Can ensure that processes and systems are in place to support remote work and in-person collaboration

Cons:

  • May not have a comprehensive understanding of the needs of individuals, or technical challenges
  • May not have the skill set to manage all facets of implementation

The CTO/Tech Lead

I know what you’re thinking. What does technology have to do with such an operational question?

Hear us out. Hybrid work doesn’t just represent a change in a workplace’s physical routines and rituals. The proper implementation of hybrid work involves installing software that assists you on every step of your hybrid journey — from desk booking and room booking to smart scheduling and team coordination.

Such an installation could be daunting — especially if handled by the wrong person.

That’s where the CTO comes in. With their technical expertise, the tech lead of a company could ensure that their chosen hybrid software works seamlessly alongside the rest of a company’s technical catalog — whether it be integrating with Microsoft Teams, Slack, or any number of digital tools.

Pros:

  • Best placed to manage hybrid software and integrations

Cons:

  • Detached from the operational / people-focused reality of hybrid work
  • Distracts from product-related technical issues

The Facility Manager

Another figure who could be crucial to a company’s hybrid transition is the Facility / Office Manager.

The Facility Manager is the person responsible for ensuring an organization’s physical spaces are configured to support the workforce.

In the era of hybrid work, this responsibility is particularly important. With a workforce fluctuating between remote and in-person work, the office has developed a whole new identity: a flexible, malleable hub that caters to the complex schedules of its residents.

Such an office needs to be carefully designed, and even more carefully managed. It should feel like a destination workplace, with a biophilic design and carefully placed office neighborhoods. It should also be set up to prioritize energy conservation — with thoughtful consideration for low-use zones and a plan to raise the office’s overall energy efficiency.

The Facility Manager is perfectly placed to mark out the office as a place for productivity and fulfillment in a company’s new hybrid work model.

Pros:

  • Familiar with the physical workspace and can ensure it is configured to support fluctuating workforce

Cons:

  • Not so in tune with higher level functions of hybrid work — from a financial/operational perspective
  • Wouldn’t be best placed to manage hybrid work software and its introduction

The Head of People

Call this person what you will — Head of HR, Chief People Officer, Chief of Staff — they are another clear candidate for managing and owning the transition to hybrid.

Hybrid work is fundamentally about people (just read the manifesto!). It’s about ensuring that each individual in the company feels supported in their own unique way — so that they can flourish in whatever working environment suits them best.

Enter HR. With such a strong connection to people — and their satisfaction in work and beyond — it feels like a no-brainer that they should somehow be involved when it comes to overseeing a change that affects every single person in the company.

HR representatives could ensure employees are set up to be just as effective from their homes, oversee the complexities of their working requirements, and provide adequate onboarding and training to employees who are less familiar with the processes of hybrid work.

Pros:

  • Deeply aligned with the needs of employees
  • Can provide much-needed training and support

Cons:

  • Less focused on the management of the physical workspace
  • Not a stakeholder in the financial implications of working hybrid, or technical requirements for software

The Chief Hybrid Officer

The Chief Hybrid Officer is a new role that companies are turning to in their attempt to give justice to the complex challenge presented by the transition to working hybrid.

As you’ve hopefully now seen — the person tasked with implementing hybrid work needs to have an exceptional skill set, ranging from solid business acumen and operational nous to the ability to manage a physical workspace and digital software.

Such a wide-ranging assignment could well be handled by an existing employee — but it would seriously risk distracting them from their core work. Furthermore, it could mean under-delivering on the potential of a well-implemented hybrid system.

The Chief Hybrid Officer would own this process from start to finish. Their goal would be to maximize the impact of the hybrid work model, from championing employee well-being and satisfaction to cutting down real estate costs and helping a company’s ESG mission.

Pros:

  • Holistic approach to the hybrid transition
  • Full ownership of all relevant areas, including implications

Cons:

  • Difficult to hire for the position
  • Smaller companies may struggle to justify the role

The responsibility for implementing and managing hybrid work in an organization can fall to a variety of roles — from the CTO to the Chief of Staff.

Yet there’s no right answer. Every organization is different, and every team has its specific circumstances and requirements for transitioning to a new way of working.

When deciding upon whom the responsibility falls to implement hybrid work, we recommend assessing your company on several different fronts:

  • Your company’s size and capacity for a new executive role
  • The relative financial impact hybrid work could have on you
  • The importance of environmental impact and optimization to your company
  • The day-to-day capacity of C-level executives for a sizeable new project

Our mission at Kadence is to help companies navigate this complex world. Whether it’s giving advice on the proper way to educate your employees about hybrid work, or helping implement software that will act as your guiding light in the transition — we’d love to be part of your journey.

Hybrid OS: Your Company’s Hybrid Workplace Operating System

Have you installed your Hybrid Workplace Operating System yet?

Hybrid OS: the new hybrid workplace operating system that countless businesses worldwide depend on to help manage their people, projects, and spaces.

Now, of course, we don’t mean an actual operating system (like Mac or Windows). But it’s high time we began to view hybrid work — the policy, not the loose concept as a platform that is just as fundamental to business as the way operating software is to computers.

Let’s take a look at 5 surprising parallels between hybrid work and a computer’s operating system.

1. They both provide the foundational framework

Just as an operating system provides the foundation for software and applications to run on a computer, a well-implemented hybrid policy establishes the fundamental structure for how a company operates.

Not only does it provide the rules and processes for a company’s core work practices, but hybrid work ensures that every single employee in the company is working from the same platform and basis — and that they are empowered to flourish from that platform.

The importance of this framework cannot be understated: with uncertainty at an all-time high in the working world, hybrid work ushers in much-needed structure and stability.

2. Their primary goal is optimization

An operating system acts as the brain of the computer — with optimization as its primary goal. It manages the computer’s resources as efficiently as possible — from memory and processing to storage and task coordination.

In the same way, hybrid work acts as the brain of a business. Tools for hybrid work manage the whole catalog of resources overseen by a company — from its employees and their work Kadences to its physical workplace and office neighborhoods. Hybrid ensures a company is optimized across all of its processes.

Modern computers run smoothly only because of the work put in by their operating systems in the background. The same applies to hybrid work.

Hybrid work is like the operating system of a computer: it’s the adaptable framework that ensures a business can run smoothly and efficiently

3. They both adapt to the needs of their environment

Operating systems are built to adapt to changing conditions, such as software updates, hardware upgrades, or the installation of new applications.

See the parallel? Hybrid work is implemented precisely to adapt to an ever-changing workforce and professional environment.

Its intrinsic flexibility allows companies to cater to the unique needs of each individual — whether that be in specific circumstances necessitated by a new hire, or the evolving needs of existing employees or teams. (Or indeed external conditions like, dare we say, a global pandemic!)

Every company is composed of unique individuals. The more your operating system understands them and molds to them, the higher your chances of individual and collective success.

4. Coordination and communication run in their DNA

An operating system is designed to facilitate communication between hardware and software components within a computer. It even lays down the language for these different components to speak to one another, learn from one another, and develop together.

A well-implemented hybrid policy does exactly this. With the right software in your employees’ hands, you’ll find team coordination and communication reach an entirely new level.

Meeting management; desk booking; office attendance; and equipment usage: hybrid work synchronizes the key communication lines of a company and ensures everyone is speaking the same language. This openness is crucial to building a healthy and efficient business.

5. They provide an actionable user interface

An operating system’s user interface affects how users interact with the computer. It enables each user to make a concrete decision regarding their next move — and allows them to plan several steps.

Hybrid work tools offer similar benefits. In giving employees an actual dashboard for their company and colleagues’s work processes and schedules — they can take concrete steps towards organizing their own time and work schedules more effectively.

Seeing starred colleagues and their planned attendance, or where relevant meetings are scheduled to happen, lets each team member know when it’s worth them coming into the office — so they never have to waste another commute. An operating system provides the whole interface and dialogue for important day-to-day decision-making to happen.

A Kadence screen shot of the homepage dashboard within the Kadence Web app

If you are interested in how exactly to upgrade your company’s operating system, and how best to implement hybrid work policies, we’d love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to get in touch!

Your Business Needs a Hybrid Working Policy – Here’s what your need to consider

Hybrid working is one of the most important conversations in business currently. Whether your team has been hybrid from day one or you have transitioned to a more hybrid setup, your business needs a proper policy.  The word “policy” may sound scary, but it doesn’t have to be. Getting it right and a clear policy can create higher employee satisfaction and lower your costs, too. 

Here, we’re sharing everything you need to know and consider to nail hybrid working. 

Update your hybrid working policy on the regular

First things first, remote working is an ever-changing thing. Every business should make a habit of auditing how all employees are wanting to work (specifically new employees) and update their policy on the regular. It is important that everyone feels like they have a say in hybrid working. You can do this via employee surveys or by gathering team-by-team feedback. It’s also key to be clear and concise in your hybrid working policy to prevent any confusion. Clear is kind.

Ultimately, creating a policy is about giving your team opportunities to work from an office, home and in flexible workspaces near them – and how exactly they can do so. As a high proportion of teams get a full time office ones again, it is important to be clear with your employees how often they are expected to come in and when. No one wants to come into the office, only to be on zoom call all day. 

Be sure to cover all aspects of hybrid work

That includes working locations (including international), working hours, booking systems, expensing workspace and travel.  If it sounds challenging, don’t fret. We’ve got you.

Here’s a list of questions every business should ask themselves when creating a hybrid working policy:

  • Who does your hybrid working policy apply to – is it all staff, full-time staff only or otherwise? 
  • How often are staff expected to come into the office and how will you determine what days employees to come in?
  • How will employees book desks or meeting rooms at the office?
  • Are staff able to work overseas?
  • Do we want to support our employees with local, on-demand workspace passes as part of our hybrid working policy? And if so, how will they book the space?
  • What data security measures do we need to mention to keep sensitive information safe when working remotely?
  • Do we want to offer core working hours or fixed working hours?
  • What is our remote working approval policy? 

Bring together your People and Ops teams to answer these questions and you’ll be ready to create your hybrid working policy.

Get your hybrid working policy checklist here to ensure everything is covered as you transition your business model to a hybrid work model.

Give your team a workspace they want to go to

Over the past six months there has been a large uptick in demand for offices. Companies as part of their hybrid policy are expecting and/or offering employees to work from their company office. 

It is important to recognise that in order to be persuaded to come to the office, employee are demanding higher quality office, with a range of amenities. At Tally Market, we are seeing companies downsize their office but upgrading the quality of their office in order to galvanise their employees to come in and collaborate. 

Things to consider when choosing an office:

  • Location (it is important to consider commenting times and local bars/events for socials)
  • Size (most companies are getting an office approx 60% of their total workforce)
  • Access meeting rooms 
  • Amenities – bike racks, showers and coffee machine are a must. Nice to haves include roof terraces, gyms, on-site cafes, barista made drinks, events.  

Read more: Transforming the Destination Workplace

Access to on-demand coworking and meeting rooms

During the pandemic, remote working for many businesses was straightforward: everyone worked from home until further notice. Simple. However, as the world has opened back up, you have the opportunity to be more creative with how your team works remotely. Enter flexible workspaces, meeting rooms and venues.

When thinking about hybrid working, working from home and working from the office aren’t your only options. For some people, working from home doesn’t work well. Whatever the case, giving your people access to on-demand coworking and meeting rooms help teams stay local, switch up their environment and spark new ideas. Giving your teams access to flexible workspaces closer to where they live is a new way of supporting them.

If you’re looking for help in approaching hybrid working, look no further. Tally Market’s team can help your team find a new full time office to call home and/or give them access to thousands of on-demand spaces across the globe.