Best Of 2021: Hybrid Work


This was the year when the reality of hybrid work set in. We moved from the initial excitement of getting to work from home in our pajamas last year to missing our daily rituals of stopping for a cup of coffee on the way to the office or calling an impromptu conference room huddle. Leaders had to constantly recalibrate priorities and business strategies amid varying levels of will-we-or-won’t-we-go-back-to-the-office, while trying to balance employee discontent in a tight labor market.

We’ve known for some time that autonomy is one of the most important drivers of human behavior. But that trait took on a greater importance this year as workers grasped for any chance to regain control during a time of severely restricted choices. Below, we’ve compiled our best advice on ways leaders can embrace hybrid work, and provide employees the autonomy they want to lead them to more productive and engaged outcomes.

Blogs on Hybrid Work

4 Big Debates About Hybrid Work, and Why They’re Overhyped
Dr. Joy VerPlanck, D.E.T.
The current narrative of hybrid work gives leaders little to work with. Really, all arguments against hybrid work boils down to these four main myths.

platform-upsidesZoom Fatigue Is Real. But There Are Upsides to Platforms, Too.
Ted BauerMuch is made about “Zoom fatigue” and the loss of innovation in a platform workplace. But there are upsides, too—like increased connectivity.

The Power of Choice
Sherilyn George-ClintonA sense of control is a key human need. Here are several ways leaders can increase autonomy to maximize employee engagement and performance.

flex-experienceEveryone Has a Theory on Hybrid Work Effectiveness. We Have Experience.
Mika LissFLEX: The Neuroscience of Hybrid Leadership, like all of NLI’s solutions, is rooted in science. But it’s also deeply rooted in our internal experiences.

What Did We Learn About Workplace Culture in 2021? Q&A with Christy Pruitt-Haynes



When it comes to workplace culture, what was the biggest insight or lesson from this year?

Many people assume that workplace culture is influenced by what happens when people gather together, and that culture wouldn’t or couldn’t translate beyond the four walls of an organization. But we’ve learned that workplace culture transcends the building and is more about how we treat each other, and what the collective organization determines are the rules of engagement. Culture can often be defined as behaviors that are encouraged or rewarded, and ones that aren’t in alignment.

What’s one top trend you’re seeing that will impact organizations in 2022?

The top trend we’re seeing is the fact that so many organizations are choosing to remain virtual or at a minimum, hybrid.  When I started my career, face time was crucial. People equated seeing you in the office to productivity. The one thing the pandemic blessed us with was the reality that many people can be just as effective working in pajama pants on their sofa as they are in a business suit in an office. The task organizations now face is making sure people are able to maintain the relatedness we all need to fully understand and work towards the mission and values of an organization.

What’s one habit you’re planning on implementing or changing next year?

I’m a believer that if you didn’t like the way you lived your life at 8:15 am, then you should change at 8:16 am.  In the past, I’ve put off change because I was waiting for the next “fresh start.”  I’ve said things like, “I’ll start Monday,” or “I should do this on the first of the month or the first of the year.”  If I’m honest, I still do that sometimes, so the one habit I will be implementing immediately is to not put off improving.  If I notice something I can or should do better, I will work on it in the moment.

For more from Christy, visit her LinkedIn Profile.

Videos on Hybrid Work