The Top Five Hybrid Work Mistakes
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Hybrid work has become the new normal.
Although some advisors and teams have mastered hybrid work, many advisors are making common mistakes.
What are some strategies to enable you to accomplish vital tasks and achieve results in this new environment?
How can you set yourself up for a seamless and successful transition from office to home to remote work and back to office again?
Improve your own and your firm’s productivity by sidestepping these top five hybrid work mistakes:
- Not setting boundaries when in the office
Many advisors are consumed with long and/or unproductive meetings and distracted by interruptions while in the office.
Revisit best practices for effective meetings.
Create new boundaries in the office.
The office door closed (don’t interrupt) and office door open (okay to knock) strategy is one many advisors adopt.
Maintain your online calendar at the office much as you do when remote or at the home office.
Use scheduled meetings in the office to get ahead of questions so there is time for ad hoc conversations or individual work.
- Failing to maintain your dedicated workspace at home
You don’t want to interrupt your work to decamp from the dining room table when the kids come home from school.
Have a dedicated workspace – ideally a room with a door you can close so that your family and pets recognize when you can’t be disturbed.
Stairs help you gain separation from your home and work time. Consider a basement or top-floor space.
An uncluttered work surface, dedicated office chair, and proper lighting for virtual meetings and presentations creates a positive “vibe.”
If CNBC or Bloomberg are on the TV in your office, plan for the same setup at home.
If quiet is your thing, get decent, noise-cancelling headphones.
- Not taking advantage of your home office or remote time to work on your practice
Many advisors use the office time to work in their business and set aside important, but not urgent, work for the home office or remote time.
In short, remote time can be dedicated to work on your business and accomplish medium and long-term initiatives.
See my article, The Top Five Work at Home Mistakes.
For example, one of my advisors created “follow-up Fridays,” a dedicated time in the home office to build important relationships of all types.
She connects with prospects and potential influencers, interviews potential employees, and writes personal notes and emails to clients.
Her rule is to avoid checking on the markets, client matters and messages from 9am until 4pm.
It is no coincidence that she has a great support team, a loyal client book, and a waiting list to become one of her personal advisory clients.
- Thinking there is only one model for hybrid work
There is no single model for hybrid work. Its strength is in its flexibility.
Some employees may have school-age children which drives their schedule. They may not want to be in the office during the same hours as the rest of the team.
A rock-star candidate for a key role may be remote so three days in the office may be out. The right, remote candidate may be worth hiring.
Some clients may not want to meet virtually, while others may have sworn-off in-person meetings altogether.
Maintain your flexibility to work with clients and employees in the way hybrid works for them.
- Failing to capitalize on the advantages of virtual meetings and webinars
One successful advisor schedules all of his virtual client meetings a few days per month.
The Zoom or phone meetings start and end on time.
He stacks the meetings from 8am to 6pm with little down time save for snack and bio breaks.
There is an agenda and action items from each meeting.
Clients value his time and are trained to bring planning and investing questions to him while contacting the client service team for account issues.
He chooses to conduct these virtual meetings from his home office.
Another advisor was considering dumping client webinars altogether and returning to in-person events only.
See my previous article, Five Essential Advisor Webinars for the COVID Crisis.
I encouraged him to re-consider, so he surveyed his clients and found that 80% would prefer virtual events only or a mix of virtual and in-person meetings.
He acted on the data to adjust to a hybrid event mix and reports his practice has never been stronger.
Another advisor continues the marketing webinar series he started during the pandemic and has a dedicated room at the office for webinars, video recordings, and virtual meetings.
Many of your peer firms are making these common hybrid work mistakes.
Get a leg up on the competition and increase productivity with successful hybrid strategies for you and your team.
Bob Hanson is a funnel marketer and author of Marketing Power for Financial Advisors. To get his checklist, Seven Secrets of Winning Financial Advisor Marketing Funnels, click here.
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