Hybrid work has been called a mess, headache, and disaster. Here's how managers can make it work.

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Hybrid work has been called a mess, headache, and disaster. Here's how managers can make it work.
Alyssa Powell/Insider

Welcome back to Insider Weekly! I'm Matt Turner, editor in chief of business at Insider.

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Maybe the future of work isn't all that complicated.

That's the message at the heart of Rebecca Knight and Shana Lebowitz's latest story encouraging managers to stop catastrophizing.

Yes, we're two years into a pandemic, and much still seems to be up in the air. This latest Omicron wave has emphasized the state of uncertainty we've been living through. Much has been written about the challenges of retention, of mentorship, and of evolving a company's culture when many of us are communicating via video calls.

But as Rebecca and Shana report, to build a successful hybrid workplace, you need trust, boundaries, flexibility — and not much else. Read on for a Q&A with them both.

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Also in this week's newsletter:

Let me know what you think of all our stories at mturner@insider.com.


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How to make hybrid work … actually work

Rebecca Knight and Shana Lebowitz share how employees are feeling about hybrid work — and what companies should do to make the model viable.

Why are knowledge workers so interested in a hybrid-work format?

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Shana: In many cases, a hybrid model allows employees to be more productive and effective at their jobs. That's because they can choose the work environment that makes sense for the type of tasks they're doing. For example, they might opt to stay home on days when they're doing focused work and want to minimize distractions. But on days when they have a bunch of internal meetings, they might choose to come into the office to capitalize on opportunities for team bonding.

Why are so many companies really struggling when it comes to executing a viable hybrid model?

Shana: Many employers are approaching hybrid work as a free-for-all, giving people full discretion over where, when, and how they work. The problem here is that employees who come into the office regularly may benefit from "face time" with their managers and may therefore have an advantage over groups like caregivers and disabled workers, who are more likely to work from home. So the hybrid model winds up threatening inclusion, as opposed to increasing employee autonomy.

What's the most interesting piece of advice for managers that you heard when working on this piece?

Rebecca: The managers who are having the most success with hybrid, based on our reporting, are the ones who exhibit trust — full stop. They trust their employees' intentions, trust them to get their jobs done, and trust that they're committed to their organizations.

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What should employees expect next in the world of hybrid work?

Rebecca: Expect messiness. Lots of companies are still trying to figure out how to make hybrid work work. There are going to be some false starts. Be willing to experiment and be patient. But don't be bashful about stating your preferences, too. Workers have more leverage today. Use it.

Read the full analysis here: Managers, stop catastrophizing. To build a successful hybrid workplace, you need trust, boundaries, flexibility — and not much else.


Google Cloud changed how salespeople are compensated

Hybrid work has been called a mess, headache, and disaster. Here's how managers can make it work.
Google

Google Cloud is walking back a key part of its sales-compensation structure, which used to compensate salespeople equally for selling its own products and those from partners.

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Now, the company has introduced a 30% cap on how much selling a partner's product via the company's marketplace will count toward a salesperson's quota.

Here's what insiders told us about the changes.


How to start an Airbnb

Hybrid work has been called a mess, headache, and disaster. Here's how managers can make it work.
Genesis Hinckley

Genesis Hinckley, a policy product specialist at Google, runs an Airbnb with her husband in Colorado. Between cleaning and answering messages, they put in about 10 hours of work a month — and bring home about $4,000 a month, or $35,000 a year, in passive income.

Hinckley shared her advice for starting an Airbnb, from choosing the right property to "Airbnb-ifying" the home.

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Read the rest of her advice.


An entrepreneur says she cofounded Petal

Hybrid work has been called a mess, headache, and disaster. Here's how managers can make it work.
Cassandra Shih, an entrepreneur who claims to have co-created the fintech start-up Petal in 2015.Cassandra Shih

The entrepreneur Cassandra Shih said she cofounded Petal, an $800 million fintech backed by Peter Thiel's Valar Ventures. Shih said she had written evidence to prove her case — including an email in which one cofounder called her "this chick I banged a few months ago who came up with the idea."

If the company had been split 50-50, as she claims it should have been, her claim could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

Inside her lawsuit against Petal.

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More of this week's top reads:


Event invite: Join us on January 25 at 12 p.m. ET for "Multi-Cloud Powers the Future of IT," sponsored by Dell Technologies, to learn how innovative businesses are leveraging multicloud technology. Register here.


Compiled with help from Jordan Parker Erb and Phil Rosen.

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