Malakoff Humanis’ 2022 “Hybrid Labor and Organization” scale is worth commenting on. We learn that for the leaders interviewed, hybrid work can help renew management practices. It is interesting to note that the managers surveyed are more conservative about the benefits of hybrid working: while 54% of them were in favor of it in 2019, they were only 48% at the end of 2021. 43% believe that teleworking has a positive impact . Make their situation more complicated. Only 36% said they had reviewed their management practices.
So employees, like their managers, generally support hybrid work. So managers are the target population if we are to create the conditions for successful hybrid work. Here I express my convictions about these terms, which can be summed up in three words: trust, independence and care.
Why these results? Because managers are the “pork steak” of whom much is demanded, without always having the culture, nor the codes, nor the support required to feel comfortable with a management style geared toward more confidence and independence. Trust is precisely the key component of the “psychological contract” (a concept that emerged in the 1960s), which is largely informal, between an employee and his or her manager. However, remote work means the renewal of this contract: more than ever, the climate of trust has become a sign of a successful management relationship, as well as a relationship with the company.
Climate means reciprocity: I trust you, boss, but in return I need to feel the trust that you trust in me and to measure, in a concrete way, that the trust given is not undeserved. To play their part in creating this climate, employees must be able to provide elements of reassurance. This of course goes, first, by what they offer, in terms of quality and time. This reciprocity is above all a guarantee of increased performance, as much as I feel I owe it to the trust given, as well as the convenience brought about by working remotely. It is also a vector of a stronger appreciation: Hybrid work is already seen as a sign of consideration, because of the trust it generates.
Let us quote Caroline Diard and Virginia Haschard (https://www.annales.org/gc/2021/resumes/juin/04-gc-resum-FR-AN-juin-2021.html), both professors in the School of Management: The administrative culture is based on direct supervision and highlighting what employees do in the workplace. Because in fact, well, this present-day cult, and it is deceptively reassuring, this hybrid action comes to strike
Since they have rarely grown up in a managerial culture founded, on the contrary, on trust and independence, for their universal unwillingness to manage through trust, managers must reinvent themselves more than ever. Then the cult of rule, the reinstallation of a semblance of control, becomes a screen for the reassurance they need: unauthorized telework days (Mondays and/or Fridays!), for example, or new reports (“Please send me a report”). Weekly PPT on Friday before noon as agreed, I’ll call you in Teams if needed before the weekend!”), etc.
It is recognized that our activities and profiles are different; Of course, not all of our employees have the same behaviors, skills, and needs. But it seems to me that this new watch gallery, if reduced consumption of antidepressants, is not exactly a sign of confidence. But this constitutes an act of faith, which cannot be merited, it is an entry point: “It is a bet on the other,” says Marc Grassen, a professor at the Institut Catholique de Paris and at ESSEC, and he is absolutely right.
On the other hand, he can evaporate if the results are not with the go, if he is betrayed by inappropriate behavior. Unnecessary and time-consuming reports only legitimize the role of anxious managers (after all, you have to be aware of them, and give “feedback” to the employee, which takes time!). Managers who often do not know how to take risks for their constituents. However, if it is acceptable for a remote worker to actually be subject to some form of self-monitoring, then this is the double punishment of the monitoring he is being subjected to!
If, in spite of the mentioned difficulties, we are witnessing an evolution of management, more focused on results and less on means, a chief question arises if we doubt the following sentence: ‘Give me back what you ought to give in time, I will not ask you how you did it, or where I did that “.
In fact, are we all equal? Of course not. Behind this, the question of individual and collective competence is revealed, about which we talk very little. If a collaborator completes a major delivery Thursday night, and enjoys Friday with his family, what can we blame him for? But if someone else had to apologize that he would have to bring it back on Monday, having sacrificed part of the weekend to do so, we have a double concern.
So there will be no management in mixed mode as long as there is no dual reflection in time: management of agendas, time (home versus office, according to group and individual tasks and needs) and productivity as a matrix of individual and group well-being and performance.
Learning to perform well while consuming less time, being able to invest yourself in other tasks that are beneficial to the company and/or creating a better balance in your professional/personal life, this is a whole somewhat blind part of the hybrid work we do that you will have to explore. At least if we want to create more care and concern for others in companies.
How do ? By cultivating the following questions: How can I help my colleague, manager or collaborator, to advance in the realization of this or that task? How can I help, and therefore dare to ask for help? In a world where it is still very difficult to find some form of mutual assistance, to realize that one does not know (or does not know enough), the concept of caring at work means, just like the pursuit of efficiency, the reality of daring (really) mutual assistance.
In short, the question of hybrid work is first and foremost a question of work: a wonderful opportunity to ask ourselves questions individually and collectively about our practices, to learn how to save time. To better support each other too.
Finally, the metric specifies that managers say they are willing to reorganize workspaces (80%), which is good news for commercial real estate players. But it expresses, above all, the challenge of transforming workspaces so that they are placed more at the service of the managerial intentions of the organization. and, upstream, to be defined, which is far from always the case.
In addition, the creation of conditions for individual and group competence that I spoke of involves the adaptation of work environments. They must be able to respond better to the new signs of hybridity: cooperation, co-construction, openness to the world, coexistence… The other great revolution in hybrid work, after work itself, is space.
In the world I dream of, there are sponsorship spaces in the form of “Salons d’Entraide”, where everyone can publish a topic and receive proposals for support. These are the Genius panels (in progress) where I know I can find help, in an unrestricted way, in exchange for someone else’s help in the company. Linguistically speaking, the verb to entrust (from the Latin Confidere: cum, “with” and fidere, “proud”), from which we derive confidence, means that we give something valuable to someone, depend on it and thus give oneself to his benevolence. and goodwill. This is the bet discussed above.
If ignorance is precisely one of those things we struggle to give to others, what greater work of faith than daring to ask for help? What would be the fairest embodiment of this help room type issue where I would be able to “do the shopping” for mutual help? The embodiment of care in the walls helps instill more confidence in people’s minds and practices. Embodying care in spaces means enhancing the ability to act (or independence), which especially depends on our ability to help each other better.
Let’s close this article with this quote from Georges PEREC that I love (in Espèces d’Espaces, 1974): “To live is to move from one place to another, and to try not to bump into each other.” Not bumping into each other, with hybrid work, in its accompanying workspaces, means observing these three conditions for success: confidence, ability to act and attention.