The consensus around hybrid working has been accepted by many as a positive and forward-thinking implementation for both employees and businesses. But OE Cam says that the intermittent disconnections from the physical workplace may create more problems than they are currently solving.
Business News Wales spoke to Paolo Moscuzza, a Partner and Chartered Business Psychologist at OE Cam in Cambridge, to discuss some of the current structural and social flaws that have been discovered with hybrid working in recent studies conducted by OE Cam, and how businesses can better address them going forward:
We started by asking Paulo about what organisations have been missing so far when it comes to hybrid working:
“First of all, hybrid working is a great opportunity, there are a lot of diverse people [and] organisations who can benefit from it. However, what we are finding is that some organisations are really proactively engaging with people and thinking about “How do we make this work? What can go wrong?”, and others are just leaping in and saying “Right, this is what it looks like.”, even without talking to [their] people.”
“If you have not spoken to [your employees], you haven’t really got a grasp on the individual. You may have a good grasp on the role, but you are [dismissing the importance and needs of] the individual, and also the culture of the organisation.”
With that in mind, what has OE Cam discovered as some of the dangers with hybrid working?
“The danger is that there are unintended consequences with hybrid working, in some organisations they are not looking at them at all, some others are very much on top of them.”
“An example is something called confirmation bias, so it’s a term used by psychologists where people look for evidence to support their hypothesis. […] Now we saw a lot of that with remote working and we continue to see it, where people form views and become entrenched in their views. They actually have a lot of evidence to support it, but only because they have picked selectively the evidence for it.”
“In an organisation as a leader, you need to be challenging your views, you need to be hearing contrary views, you need to know what the problems might be if you implement your view that you are very sure about. […] The danger is that people will start forming their bubbles, or in-groups. And they form their views, becoming more detached from other views.”
An example such as confirmation bias could create poor business decisions, miscommunication and social divisions within the workplace, and thus more businesses need to take further action to promote a healthier working culture to prevent this.