INTERVIEW: Hybrid staff can sometimes be considered professional jugglers: running from one household errand to another while still tending to the requirements of their professional work.
That’s one of the reasons hybrid employers are often hailed as an ideal place.
The intertwined dynamics of the hybrid work setup, the Great Resignation, and the so-called Great Disconnect were highlighted in Chief of Staff Asia’s recent interview with Amy Hsuan, Global Vice-President of People and Strategy, at Mixpanel, a growing business analytics service company.
A believer in finding the proper balance between remote and onsite work, Hsuan fondly mentions her typical “very structured” day, with a schedule that is typically dictated by her two young children.
She goes to the office just once a week, or once every fortnight, because for her, “it saves me a commute, I get to see my children more. And there are other (professional) benefits to that.”
This, and more of her insights on the emerging trends at work, are all featured in the upcoming interview, to be published in four parts over the next two weeks.
COS Asia: What has been the impact of working from home on organisational culture at Mixpanel?
Hsuan: There are a lot of benefits that cultures can maximise in a work-from-home environment. In our case, we're experimenting with a hybrid setup and sorting out many cultural elements to know the best model. Now, people feel a lot more comfortable reaching out across time zones, and across our hierarchy.
People reach out directly to me. It has removed those not-so-obvious barriers. Everything has gotten flat and virtual. Our all-company meeting every two weeks is now entirely virtual, which makes it much easier to employ flex-working in a virtual environment.
COS Asia: Which setup do you prefer?
Hsuan: I'm a big advocate of finding the right balance in hybrid (working models). The key to maximising both in-person and remote is to identify what works well virtually, what works well in-person, and how you can encourage tapping into those when you need to get the most out of each experience.
My team goes into the office for planning because it is more efficient than a virtual meeting. However, some social interactions are also hard to replicate virtually. In virtual happy hours, when one person's talking at a time and everyone's listening, that's not really a happy hour! Another great example was our year-end party, our first time in two years. We flew people in from across the country because there's no substitute for a real party in person!
COS Asia: Do you have a special tool to gauge stress in working from home?
Hsuan: At Mixpanel, we now have audio learning and development programmes where you just listen while you go for a walk. We've encouraged people to do meetings on a telephone call aside from Zoom. Some of my calls every day are on my telephone so I can go for a walk. I don't need to be in front of my computer. Sometimes, changing the environment gives a different perspective.
This feature was extracted from Chief of Staff Asia's exclusive interview with Amy Hsuan, Mixpanel’s Global Vice President of People and Strategy. For further coverage please see any of the below links:
Amy Hsuan: What the Great Disconnect means for employers (April 12, 2022)
Getting to know: Amy Hsuan (April 14, 2022)