Fast Company: Hybrid work isn’t working: Here’s a better approach

07 Aug 2022
Management professors share a detailed example of adopting ‘both/and thinking’ to move beyond a simple yet often destructive formula and develop more creative and productive solutions.

Originally found at Fast Company

While we want the best of home and work, too often we end up with the worst of both. Employees show up at the office for a scheduled number of days only to find a ghost town. They commute long distances to spend their time alone and on Zoom calls. Likewise, work-from-home days can feel robotic and blur the lines between work and life. Without clear boundaries, work takes over home, and high-performing employees can burn out.

Leaders think they are implementing a hybrid approach that values both sides. Instead, middle-of-the-road options are just splitting time between locations, and rarely doing it well....

Embrace the Tensions

In our research, (published in Academy of Management Journal) we find that companies come up with better solutions when they name the tensions they face and value their tensions as opportunities for growth. Viewing tensions as paradoxes—persistent interdependent contractions—they can then lean into the yin-yang of opposing forces, recognizing that the organization has to engage with both rather than choose between....

Be Willing to Experiment and Change

Situations change. That means that the way we work also continues to change.

Our research (published in Academy of Management Journal) shows that both/and thinking depends on experimentation and agility. As Lemay stressed, “Being experimental is core to the business and the culture.”

Continue reading the original article at Fast Company.

Read the original research in:

Academy of Management Journal: Microfoundations of Organizational Paradox: The Problem Is How We Think about the Problem

Read the Academy of Management Insights summary: Contradictions at Work? Adopt a “Paradox Mindset”

Learn more about the AOM Scholars and explore their work:

Academy of Management Journal: Dynamic Decision Making: A Model of Senior Leaders Managing Strategic Paradoxes

Learn more about the AOM Scholars and explore their work: