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increasing job

satisfaction in hybrid

organisations

AUTHOR

Leonie Arkesteijn

DATE

21/01/2024

length

min read

Working at the office was once the norm, but now we’re ‘Out of Office,’ perhaps forever. In our weekly webinar series ‘Out of Office Forever: Unusual Perspectives on Hybrid Working,’ we invite inspiring people to share their unique perspective on hybrid organisations and remote work.

We spoke with Ap Dijksterhuis, a professor of social psychology at Radboud University Nijmegen and author of the book ‘Towards happiness’. We’ve summarised the most valuable insights of our conversation on elevating job satisfaction within hybrid organisations.

Why is job satisfaction important for organisations?

“When an organisation invests in happiness, it has numerous positive consequences. Employees become more productive, have increased energy, collaborate better, experience fewer conflicts, and exhibit lower rates of absenteeism and turnover. Job satisfaction acts as a buffer against burnout and stress symptoms. Additionally, in today’s context, especially among younger generations, job satisfaction plays a more significant role in overall happiness. Two generations ago, work was primarily seen as a means to put food on the table. Nowadays, people seek more happiness and fulfilment from their work.”

What Factors Determine People’s Happiness?

“Roughly, four factors can be distinguished. First is purpose: individuals prefer work where they can help others, see and feel the clear results of their efforts. People want to feel useful and believe they are doing meaningful work. Autonomy is also crucial: having more freedom has proven to enhance job satisfaction. This is why hybrid working is such a good idea; it gives people more freedom to structure their work, leading to increased job satisfaction. Thirdly, a sense of competence is essential for job satisfaction. People want to feel that they are doing well. For example, receiving compliments from your boss or gaining insight into your contribution to performance helps. Lastly, connectedness plays a vital role in job satisfaction, the social aspect. Can you trust your boss? Are you not bullied at work? Do you have enough interactions with colleagues? When managed effectively by the organisation, hybrid working will have a predominantly positive impact on the job satisfaction of the employees.”

”Nowadays, people seek more happiness and fulfilment from their work.”

What can organisations do to increase job satisfaction in working hybrid? 

“Organisations have the responsibility to create conditions where everyone can be happy, including hybrid working. For organisations, it is crucial to grant people as much freedom as possible and provide sufficient autonomy. However, this immediately poses a challenge as people’s needs differ. Some are currently struggling and miss direct contact. Others perform much better when they only go to the office 1 or 2 days a week. As an organisation, you must provide tailored solutions to accommodate these differences and find a form that works best for the organisation as a whole. Moreover, leaders play a crucial role in job satisfaction in hybrid working, such as instilling trust and involving employees. It’s important to conduct virtual check-ins with your employees and initiate activities to keep people connected. When measuring happiness, leaders exhibit the most significant variance.”

What can you do as an individual to increase job satisfaction in hybrid working?

“Seek out work where you genuinely feel you’re making a positive contribution to the world. Particularly among younger generations, there’s a noticeable emphasis on this aspect of purpose. Sometimes, I find it  even a bit too much. Furthermore, in hybrid working, it’s crucial to develop self-awareness. Reflect on things that energise you and those that drain your energy. What is the environment in which you function well? Are you someone who needs to be alone most of the time, or do you gain energy from being around people? Increased self-awareness about what gives you energy is vital because you have to make more choices in the context of hybrid working.”

What would you advice CEO’s considering hybrid working arrangements? 

“I notice that young people consciously compare organisations based on the conditions they create for fostering job satisfaction. The time has passed when we stood en masse in factories, where work purely was a means to earn a living. This says something about the future of work. Besides ensuring the organisational business model aligns, CEOs should pay more attention to job satisfaction.”

Hybride working in your organisation

Do you want to know more about hybrid working and its effects on people’s behaviour? &samhoud can support your organization in addressing these challenges. For more information, please contact Leonie Arkesteijn or Roosmaryn Spliet.