Schools adjusted quickly to the dramatic shifts mandated by pandemic lockdowns—and businesses can look to them for clues and cues about communication styles in the workplace in a hybrid environment.
Institutions from elementary schools to graduate schools confronted a digital divide that separated students, staff and communities. Business leaders guiding their organizations through the early stages of migrating to the hybrid environment will need to ensure that their employees have access to a network with near real-time connectivity to support their work and the tools they need to be productive.
Business leaders should prioritize flexibility—whether that means normalizing movement away from the rigid nine-to-five workday, understanding that employees might need to take a call from the road or receiving a meeting agenda over a text message.
Leaders might also need to shift their focus from outcomes to process—for example, benchmark tasks completed instead of hours worked—and support their employees' health and well-being.