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The Strange Case of Dr. Local and Mr. Hybrid

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The Hybrid Workscape

Our organizations, our offices—our teams—are often made up of very diverse individuals. As delineated by the AAUW and reports from others such as the Pew Research Center, our workforce is now more diverse than ever. That diversity has broadened to encompass the fact that our immediate teams may now consist of members across the country—or even the globe.

How we lead those teams has become something of a peculiar challenge. With diversity comes differences of skills, yes, but also differences of opinions. Adding to that, leaders must now also navigate around differences in time zones—or political climates, such as the impact on distributed employees, affected by the war between Russia and Ukraine.

Neuroscientist Lynda Shaw, PhD, depicts various strategies through which we can allow our diverse teams to thrive. As always with effective team leadership, it all begins with communication—healthy communication. The mutual benefits of respecting individual walks of life are ubiquitous by now, but in today’s world of remote work, we must also learn to be mindful of the varied locations our team members might be working from.

Expecting team members who live in time zones 12 hours ahead of us to attend a meeting set at a time convenient for only us probably isn’t going to work out well. Our success then is tied to how well we communicate and coordinate with a pervading policy of compassion. CEO of Catalyst Innovation Group consultancy, Natalia Peart, PhD, asserts in her piece for Forbes that successful leadership of today’s workforce is also dependent on innovation. Our approach to new technologies can greatly shape our ability to navigate the changing professional landscape before us.

In this video by the London Speaker Bureau, Professor Lynda Gratton discusses key areas we need to address when participating in a hybrid or distributed workforce. Gratton emphasizes that in today’s professional world, it’s not so much about the workplace as it as about the work time. Indeed, we can be working right now while in Greece, collaborating with team members in India or Canada. What’s important isn’t the location—it’s how and when we interact.

Today, if interacting with remote colleagues, pursue curiosity towards their varied locations. Learning the ins and outs of our teams—wherever they are—allows us to better support them, and empowers us to reach the team’s full potential.

“Treat a man as he is and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he can and should be and he will become as he can and should be.”
– Stephen R. Covey

Do you have an idea you want to share with an empowered community of self-aware professionals? If you’d like to contribute an idea or article to ‘In The Flow of Work’ on the Evolve blog, just send us a message or submit a post to our Head of Content, Adam Schneider

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