A lot has been said and written by the great and the good about the pros and cons of hybrid versus office-based working.
So after two years of rapid growth, during a global pandemic which shut down huge swathes of society and industry, I can reflect with some certainty about what a hybrid approach has achieved for Omnisis.
For me, it has always been central to our culture. Whilst I never set out to create a utopian, flexible ‘workplace’, I was always clear that I wanted to foster a culture of trust and respect in which my team can do the work they enjoy, at a time and place that fits best into their lives.
That meant embracing home-working a long time ago, but leaving the door open for people to get together at our HQ in Manchester if they felt it would be beneficial.
With my hand on my heart, it has been our saviour, especially during Covid as it meant we could carry on delivering for our clients without missing a beat and we could nimbly adapt to the fast-changing environment and industry we work in.
I’m not sure it would have been possible, or successful, without a flexible and remote working team empowered to do their best work at the best time and place for them.
Investing in the right things
To make it work, you have to invest in quality hardware so that people can just get on with the stuff they’re good at, without having to worry about any technical snags caused by a dodgy laptop or inadequate software.
We also make sure that people are focusing on the things that add most value, so we don’t expect people to be a ‘jack of all trades’, instead relying on someone’s expertise in their area.
And we invest in personal development, so our team know they can access the training and opportunities they need to stay on top of latest trends, technology and techniques.
Finally, it is vital to me that people know how their role fits into the bigger picture of what we’re trying to achieve.
I’m absolutely clear with my team that time off for things like hospital appointments, kids’ school assemblies, family events is just a given. No-one needs to book it or owe it back to the company. I’m very much of the view that life happens and family comes first. I also know that during a working day, the dogs might need walking or you need to put the washing on – that’s all OK as well.
We are focused on outcomes which can be broadly broken down into three key measures of success - are people enjoying their work? Is Omnisis growing? Does Omnisis have a good reputation?
Of course, what works for us may not work for everyone. But experience has taught us that with the right mission, technology and trust, we can achieve and even surpass our goals.
Image credit: Photo by Ivan Samkov: https://www.pexels.com/photo/a-person-using-a-laptop-while-on-the-carpentry-workbench-4491918/