Hybrid working: a board challenge and opportunity
- Globally, we are in phase one of the post-pandemic era and seeing what the impact is of hybrid working.
- In a poll taken, 40% said their company had introduced a hybrid model of 2 days at home, 3 days in the office, with 48% of respondents saying they were in a trial period of hybrid working.
- The current energy crisis is contributing to an increase in people returning to the office but this might change in the northern hemisphere as the weather gets warmer.
- It’s important that leaders set an example of hybrid working if that’s what the organisation has decided on.
- There are differences in the approach to hybrid working across the globe and within organisation. For example, in Asia there is a high percentage of employees returning to the office full time. This can be due to varying cultural reasons.
- The experience of boards is that overall during the pandemic attendance went up with online, meetings were more frequent, travel decreased which impacted costs, and there was a greater number of people attending meetings which gave greater exposure to experts.
- On the downside for boards, engagement decreased, connection was harder, conversations were restricted and onboarding was more difficult for new members.
- On the future of work:
- Flexibility is here to stay with hotelification a new term to describe creating a good experience for employees when they’re in the office
- Communications will be key to ensure employees at home feel as included as employees in the office
- Boards will need to determine whether hybrid is impacting the organisation culture and is hybrid impacting the culture, and whether the
- On the future of boards:
- The mix of hybrid and face to face meetings will stay
- It will be essential to build connection into the way they operate
- Onboarding will need to be personalised not generic
- Hybrid is still in its infancy so boards will need to monitor how it is impacting turnover and retention of employees
In this (almost) post-pandemic world, how is the ‘return to office’ working out for organisations? What does it look like in reality and how is this conversation playing out in the boardroom? Lorraine Wrafter, a board director with extensive experience of human resource roles on the global stage, as well as multiple advisory roles, will be discussing what we are learning about new work patterns, such as hybrid working. She will also explore what can be done to make this a workable model that appeals to employees, teams and the board. She will also share her experiences of the boardroom; what she has seen work well and what hasn’t.
Lorraine Wrafter is Global Human Resource Director who has worked in large multinational organisations, including Cargill Inc., one the largest privately owned companies in the world with a turnover of $120 bn, 140,000 employees in 65 countries, Holcim (now LafargeHolcim), a Swiss building materials company with a turnover of 30 bn CHF, 90,000 employees in 50 countries.
She is currently member of the Supervisory of Ignitis Group an international energy/renewables company, one of the largest energy groups in the Baltic region and chair of the Remuneration and Compensation Committee. She is also on the Advisory Board of a German start up HACK CMP a collaborative platform offering innovative tools for managing crisis situations.
She has had a broad range of global Human Resource roles, including Director of Human Resources for the first global acquisition in Cargill; Communications & Change Director for the reorganisation of multi business units; Internal Consultant working across 88 diverse Business Units from Agriculture to Financial Markets, and Talent & Leadership Development in the Food and Building Materials sector.
Her area of expertise is Organisation Effectiveness, particularly in the areas of Organisation Culture, Organisation Structure, Workforce and Succession Planning. She has her own business ‘The Problem’ and has been advising organisations in the last two years on new work patterns due to Covid and returning to the office.
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