Search Icon


< Back

5 Minute GAP - Clair & Lauren talk about Hybrid working


We've all had to adapt to new ways of working of the last few years. Lauren, our HR and People Manager who joined Global Action Plan while we were all working remotely, and Clair, our Head of Operations, talk about the positives of hybrid working, and some of the things that can make it more successful.



"We Share Freely". The change we want to see in the world is bigger than we are. So, we're sharing our knowledge, resources and ideas to help more people and organisations take steps forward towards our vision of a green and thriving planet, where everyone can enjoy happy and healthy lives within the Earth's limits.


As part of this, we're launching our new "5 Minute GAP" series, a collection of five minute conversations that will share how we work and what we're working on. We'll talk about what we're trying to achieve and why, how we function as an organisation, and the thinking behind our plans and strategy.


We'll be regularly sharing these conversations, which will feature different members of our team and trustee board, as well as external experts.


We hope you enjoy listening in to our chats, getting to know our team and finding out what makes us who we are. 



Audio only version:


If you prefer to read rather than watch, the transcription is here: 


Lauren: I think I am looking forward to being able to get back in the office a little bit more. Even...because I think some of the remote conversations will be easier having met people face to face, I think having that balance makes it easier. 

I don't know if you find that because you've worked with some people face to face and other people, you would have just met remotely.


Clair: Yeah, and obviously we've grown quite a lot over the past two years, which is really strange. So there's some staff that I know very well and some that I have met once, physically in person. Obviously we spent, like again, the past 18 months working together, but I've only actually met them once when we did our away day last year. And yeah, that's it is a really strange relationship.


And I think when you know. When you get to know people a little bit more in person than you do understand a little bit more about the nuance of how they talk, what their body language means, some of those things that are, that can be easier to pick up on in person. Means... doesn't mean you can't do it remotely, but it can be easier to learn it in person to then be able to apply that remotely. So, yeah, as we go, I think. Definitely, as we start going back into the office, things start going back to normal, whatever "normal" looks like. We're never going to go back to being an organisation that's like 90% in the office like we used to be. We're going to go. It's always going to be this mixture of hybrid working because we just got a more physically spread out workforce now we've got covering a much larger country. We've got projects going on in different places. Everyone is that bit more spread out. Coming into the office four or five days a week just doesn't make sense for the majority of people anymore. But. Yes, so there is always going to be a mixture of hybrid working,


And I think finding what that balance is for different people is going to be really interesting going forward, but having those opportunities to come together as a group, to meet in person, facilitates the rest of it, for it facilitates that remote working and that ongoing hybrid working.


And again, there's going to be... I can really see that we're going to be going into a position where we're going to be having, so for example, team meetings, 
and there'll be half the team in the office and half the team are on remote. And in the past, that was a really difficult experience when you were the one person who needed to work from home that day because of life, stuff or whatever. And you were like on the little phone. Yeah, when you were that, yes, when you were that person that was like on the phone that was in the corner of the table and you were trying to hear what everyone was saying, which was really hard. And everyone kind of forgot that you were there because having that mixture of present and not present was still weird. That was really hard.


But now everyone's got a) used to just looking at a screen and looking at people on the screen more. We've had some experience of people coming back in and having these meetings, which are split real, in-person and remote, and we've got the tech set up better now. So it's not just a phone perched on the corner of the desk, it's a projector with the proper voice conferencing system and the screens so that people can actually hear you and see you and you feel like you're a part of the room. So making sure that that setup is there makes it, makes it work. Again, the more that you know the people, the better it works. It's... the tech on its own isn't going to fix the problems. The tech... the tech is a supporter to make the people interactions work better, but you need both bits.


Lauren: It's that kind of two sides of participation, isn't it? You need the technology to allow everyone to participate regardless of where they are. And just that little bit of know how about the individuals involved in there, how they best participate and how you can best engage them, whether they're in-person or remote. And I know historically when we've come back to the office, it was about having those team days in the office. And I think it would be good as well if we could think about hybrid working where we get different groups of people together. So whether that's everyone across all teams who works at program officer level or head of level or just even if we do mix it up randomly like we do with our weekly one to one chats where you were assigned a random person, you could even have that where it's this random collection of people if they can get in the office on this day. And, you know, obviously flexing that as you need to for people's individual needs. But just making sure that you know, this person who hardly ever works with Person B gets that opportunity to see them.