New ways of organising work: Hybrid working, a means of transforming human relationships and how work is organised

12 janvier 2022 | ACTUALITÉS, Cigref in english, Communiqués, Publications du Cigref

Cigref publishes a report on the work of its working group in collaboration with Numeum on the theme of « New work organisations ».

The work was led by Corinne Dajon, Member of the Group Management Board in charge of the organisation and information systems of AG2R LA MONDIALE, Vice-President of Cigref, Cyril Malargé, CEO France Sopra Steria, Administrator Numeum, Marie-Sylvia Acito, HR and Managerial Transformation Director at Sopra Steria, Loïc River, former Managing Director of Tech In France, and Francoise Farag, President of Salvia Développement and Treasurer of Tech In France.

Cigref has partnered with Syntec Numérique and Tech In France (now Numeum) to support organisations in their transformation into hybrid working methods aimed at ensuring better coordination between forms of remote, mobile, and on-site working.

The health crisis has led to the emergence of these many challenges, which most organisations have brilliantly overcome. But are the adaptations implied by the crisis doomed to be converted into structural transformations of organisational models or will they fade away as the threat of other crises recedes?

Thus, using the observations made by the digital players represented by the two associations, this report attempts to describe the meaning, the value, the benefits as well as the points of attention related to organisations’ shifts to hybrid ways of working.

This report is also available in French. Click here to view it.

Remote working during the first lockdown was generally a good experience for companies whose sector of activity was not directly affected by the crisis. It allowed everyone to reinvent how they organised their work, how they led meetings, how they used collaborative tools and how they projected themselves into the future. This period was an important cultural revolution but which, to be sustainable, must be able to anchor itself in a framework that, while certainly more flexible, is well orchestrated.

Towards a hybridisation of working methods?

The productivity gains of remote working teams and the continuation of the majority of projects organisations were carrying out during lockdown periods tend to reinforce the idea of organisations possibly moving towards a hybridisation of working methods between on-site presence, mobility and working from home over the long term. However, the limits of remote working are not inconsiderable, such as the lack of face-to-face meetings that impacts working groups, innovation and attachment to the company. But these findings stem from a particular situation, the health crisis linked to Sars-Cov-2, which admittedly allowed for a full-scale test but in a restrictive, brutal and long context. A balance remains to be found to make the most of this unique experience and make working methods more flexible.

Today, the findings are quite interesting: the social collective, essential to work, has found new value, the massive take-up of digital tools has generated a rapid and unique increase in skills, workspaces have been redesigned so as to be more suited to a variety of work situations and, finally, the concepts of autonomy, confidence and meaning at work are more than ever key indicators of organisations’ attractiveness, ensuring that employees remain committed and motivated. However, two main pitfalls should not be underestimated: the natural, increasing weariness of teams working remotely, on the one hand, and the sometimes silent loss of a sense of belonging to the group or company, on the other. These two risks underscore the importance of collectively defining organisations’ meaning and values and the necessary symmetry of attentions between customers and employees.

Capitalising on the lessons of the crisis and launching a real transformation

The conviction shared by the participants of the Cigref-Numeum working group is that it is necessary to learn the lessons and benefits of this exceptional period to initiate a sustainable transformation towards large-scale hybrid working methods by integrating all the challenges that still arise.

This report is accompanied by a best practices guide which, while far from exhaustive, aims to give information to better respond to the challenges posed by hybrid working methods, organised around six structural aspects: organisation of teams , managerial practices, workspaces, collaborative tools, security and cybersecurity, and quality of life at work.

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