5 Steps to a Successful Hybrid Work Model

SparkitivityBusiness, Grow Your Creativity

5 Steps to a Successful Hybrid Work Model

By Kathryn P. Haydon

Business, Grow Your Creativity

How are you feeling about returning to the office or the classroom?

Apprehensive, stressed, or even a little excited?

Change begets transitions, and transitions can be hard. But they become easier when you have a plan to make your experience even better than before.

I’ve put together a quick guide to help you shift to a hybrid work model that improves upon all the good work that your team has done remotely or in-person. It will help you develop a successful hybrid work environment that is collegial, productive, and that supports agility and innovation. These steps work for professionals in any industry, including teachers!

Each point is paired with a valuable free resource that we will send throughout August and September to all of our Spark Report readers. With each email, we will focus more in-depth on each step as we provide supportive materials to help you thrive. 

5 Steps to a Successful Hybrid Work Model

1. Up your possibility leadership game. Are you a possibility leader? Does your leadership style draw out the highest and best contributions of your teammates or students? Make sure you are leading from a place of possibility and growth rather than fear and control. Take Sparkitivity’s Leading for Possibility Self-Assessment to find out where you fall on the possibility leadership spectrum, and what you need to focus on to create a true possibility ecosystem within your team or your classroom. [For teachers AND here]

2. Spark creativity with a flip book of tips. As you transition back to in-person work, it’s important to keep the inspiration flowing. Our “Non-Obvious Tips to Being More Creative” is a flip book of 32 visual tips and inspiring quotes that you can print and post daily, or send digitally to your team. All quotes are directly from The Non-Obvious Guide to Being More Creative, No Matter Where You Work by Kathryn Haydon. If you want to go the extra mile to surprise and delight and support your team to keep its thinking agile, give everyone their own copy of the full book!

3. Kick off being back in the office with a meaningful, in-person experience to remember why in-person work can be so valuable. As I wrote in a recent article, my colleague David Burkus analyzed a set of research that concluded that team-building “activities” for the sake of team-building do not work. Burkus’s conclusion from the data is that “what matters is how similar to real world work the activity is.”

Like many others, I bristle at hollow team-building exercises. That is why I designed the Ultimate Creative Thinking Workshop to give teams the opportunity to experience productive, innovative collaboration, while learning more about their own and their teammates’ thinking strengths WITHIN a gamelike structure. Think fun, productivity, and the ah-ha moments that authentically deepen connections.

4. Make meetings meaningful and worth people’s time. Or, another way of saying it: eliminate boring and useless meetings. As I wrote in this article on making virtual meetings worthwhile, 71% of professionals report losing productivity each week due to unnecessary or cancelled meetings and 73% of people report to multi-tasking even in necessary meetings. Use our Instant Meeting Engagement tool as a guide to transform your meetings into meaningful, productive, and even inspiring experiences for your team!

Further Reading:

Four Ways to Make Boring Meetings Better with the Torrance Incubation Model

How To Run Virtual Meetings That Your Team Trusts Will Be Worthwhile

5. Weave in a webinar to bring remote and in-person employees together. After you’ve completed the first four steps, spice things up with a professional development webinar that includes both remote and in-person employees without the need for travel. While there are many webinars out there, be sure to choose a topic that is universally relevant and that is designed to be interactive. Stay away from typical types of training, credentialing, or basic information delivery. Add an element of surprise.

If you’d like to have some fun with a webinar based on principles of best teaching and learning, take our How to Be More Creative at Work webinar live with your team.

As you switch from a virtual setting back to in-person work, remember that you have the opportunity to reset things that were previously broken. Perhaps the office had a bit of a toxic atmosphere. If so, an assessment and shift to possibility leadership can help. Perhaps people have been dragged down by an overload of Zoom meetings. A deliberate effort to overhaul meetings and make them worth people’s time will work wonders. Perhaps people are simply dragged down and uninspired by the craziness in the world and their lives. A focus on being more creative not only will infuse inspiration but will bring with it the satisfaction of higher productivity and flexible thinking that helps us master change. 


Kathryn Haydon helps you maximize your creative strengths so you can do your best work. Through keynotes, workshops, and consulting, she trains individuals, leaders, and teams to find the unique spark that leads to deep engagement and productivity.

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