The New Normal: Why Behaviour Change is Essential for Hybrid Workplaces

IWG, the world’s biggest provider of serviced office space, reported record revenue last year after cashing in on the popularity of hybrid working.

The COVID-19 pandemic ushered in a sweeping and unprecedented era of change. It drastically altered our lives, transforming the way we work, communicate, and interact with the world.

One significant change was the switch from office-based working to remote work. Now, as we navigate this “new normal,” businesses worldwide are exploring the concept of hybrid workplaces.

A hybrid workplace is a flexible model where employees split their time between the office and remote locations, balancing the best of both worlds. However, for this approach to succeed, behaviour change is paramount. Let’s delve into why.

The Essence of Behaviour Change in Hybrid Workplaces

The concept of hybrid working isn’t new, but it’s been significantly amplified due to the pandemic. A successful hybrid workplace is one that optimises productivity, fosters collaboration, and maintains a strong company culture. All of these elements hinge on our behaviours, both individually and collectively.

As we adapt to this flexible work environment, we must realign our work habits, communication strategies, and even our approach to team building. It involves understanding our new roles within this blended system and harnessing the power of flexibility while preserving productivity and maintaining a work-life balance.

The Power of Flexibility: Shaping the Future of Work

Flexibility is the cornerstone of the hybrid workplace. It empowers employees to work in ways that suit their personal circumstances while delivering on professional obligations. But with increased flexibility comes the necessity for new behaviours and attitudes towards work.

While we must learn to self-regulate, stay motivated, and manage our time efficiently in remote environments, we should also harness the collaborative potential of in-office experiences. These behavioural changes are the keys to unlocking the full potential of hybrid work.

Companies like, a behaviour and learning design agency, have been pioneering this flexible work model.

Communication is Key

In a traditional office environment, communication is often organic. Water cooler chats and impromptu meetings have long been the lifeblood of idea generation and team bonding. In a hybrid workplace, we must strive to cultivate these interactions in new ways, combining digital tools with face-to-face meetings.

Behaviour changes around communication are crucial. We must learn to communicate effectively across different platforms and time zones, maintaining human connection while leveraging the power of digital tools. Employees and leaders alike need to cultivate an open, inclusive communication culture that fosters trust and cooperation.

Cultivating Company Culture in a Hybrid Environment

How do we maintain a strong company culture when half the team is remote? This is one of the critical questions facing hybrid workplaces. The answer lies in embracing a behaviour change that values flexibility, inclusivity, and digital-first communication.

It’s essential to provide opportunities for employees to connect and interact, whether they’re in the office or remotely. Virtual team-building activities, online recognition and reward systems, and digital collaboration platforms are just a few ways to promote a unified company culture in a hybrid environment.

The Role of Leadership in Encouraging Behaviour Change

The role of leaders in promoting and modelling behaviour change cannot be overstated. Leaders must adapt their management style for a hybrid work environment, demonstrating trust in their employees, effective digital communication, and an unwavering commitment to preserving the company culture.

Leaders should promote a mindset that values the contribution of every team member, regardless of their physical location. They must cultivate a shared sense of purpose and belonging, fostering an environment encouraging innovation and collaboration while ensuring a healthy work-life balance for everyone.

Embracing Change and the Road Ahead

We stand at the precipice of a new era in the world of work. As we embrace the possibilities and navigate the challenges of hybrid workplaces, our capacity for behaviour change will be tested. However, by being adaptable, flexible, and open to new ways of working, we can create a productive, inclusive, and resilient environment.

In the wake of COVID-19, the hybrid workplace represents a unique opportunity to redefine our work culture, balancing the benefits of in-person collaboration with the flexibility of remote work. With intentional behaviour change, we can navigate this “new normal” with confidence and optimism, creating a future of work that is as rewarding as it is innovative.