How to stay innovative in a hybrid work environment for better outcomes.
In today’s ever-growing economy, dominated by globalization and technological advancements, organizations have to tackle the many challenges of reinvention and constant innovation in order to keep up for survival and success. Leaders are put in the hot seat - leading by example, showing empowerment, and careful guidance in accordance with company morale.
Workplace innovation is the practices and cultures that allow employees to maximize their knowledge, competencies, and creativity. It is about understanding effectiveness and how to best utilize it in a way that leads to improvement in company performance and employee engagement. Innovation is important as it increases productivity, inspires development, and helps businesses solve problems.
So… How do you stay innovative in a hybrid environment?
Here comes the big question. It’s easy to say, “Let’s be more innovative!” and start implementing a series of activities at your workplace, crossing your fingers, hoping they turn out to be good ideas. The tricky part is figuring out what works for your team and what doesn’t, in an environment where everyone works in different locations and time zones.
When it comes to implementing a hybrid work model, innovation sits at the core of every successful team, which is why it is equally important to take into consideration the innovation risks that exist (and are often neglected).
Hybrid work can produce positive outcomes on innovation for employees through greater flexibility and empowerment. The diversity of a hybrid team encourages employees to think outside the box, explore new possibilities, and discover innovation. When ensuring successful innovation, there are three factors to consider:
A big part of innovation stems from leadership. A Harvard Business Review study found that when leaders foster a culture of innovation, it can increase employee productivity by up to 38%. Employees look to their leaders for guidance and validation. To inspire workplace innovation, leaders should keep an open mind when it comes to accepting change, welcoming new ideas, and problem-solving.
It is difficult to foster innovation without the involvement and full support of leadership. Employees can possess great ideas and solutions, but without the support of their leaders, innovation cannot happen.
Culture acts as the backbone of every organization, and the people are what makeup culture. Thus the importance of employee well-being. A study by Gallup found that higher employee engagement tends to increase the likelihood for employees to generate new ideas.
When it comes to the hybrid workforce, employees must have the right tools and proper guidance to succeed. It is crucial that they feel supported to come up with creative solutions and innovate, which is why employees and leaders should collaborate to achieve a culture that drives innovation.
The hybrid workforce would not even exist without the technology we have today. Therefore, it is only fair to take into consideration the implementation of new technology for workplace innovations. It is essential to understand how to properly manage and optimize the interplay between employees and technology. For example, supporting new communication and workflow tools. Technology has enabled us to seamlessly collaborate and track progress on common tasks and shared projects. Some of these include cloud storage, file-sharing, desk booking, office analytics, video conferencing, and more.
Leaders can take this opportunity to introduce practices and new interactions like cross-departmental collaboration which might be difficult to implement in person, but much easier in a virtual environment. Using balancing structured tools such as Zoom for a more unstructured routine like game night and happy hour chats is also way to incorporate innovation into your hybrid workforce.
Innovation in the workplace refers to organizational practices that allow employees to use and develop skills, knowledge, experience, and creativity to their fullest potential while improving business performance, engagement, and well-being.
In an economy dominated by rapid technological advances and fast-shifting demands, companies face a series of challenges and the ability to reinvent and innovate for survival. Leaders look to answer the question of how to stay innovative in a hybrid environment, which brings us to the three main factors of consideration to enable innovation for better outcomes:
Erica is a Marketing Content Analyst at Litespace with a passion to help companies foster stronger corporate culture and better employee engagement in the hybrid work environment. Specializing in marketing and communications, Erica is eager to share her knowledge and research on hybrid work.
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