How to Encourage Flexible Work Arrangements in Hybrid Workplaces?

June 19, 2024

Terry Shiundu, the Senior Director of People and Culture at Village Enterprise, discusses the importance of collective action, teamwork, and flexible work arrangements in achieving the organisation’s mission to alleviate extreme poverty in rural Africa.

In this interview, Shinudu explores how cultural backgrounds influence work style and how the organisation’s culture is shaped by its common vision and purpose. Moreover, she emphasised the significance of collaboration, support, and celebration within the organisation to foster a sense of community and belonging among their geographically dispersed team.

Village Enterprise, a non-profit empowering people in rural Africa to escape poverty through entrepreneurship, prioritises collective action. Here, Shiundu underlines the importance of teamwork between staff, donors, communities, and governments to achieve their mission.

To be able to achieve their mission, Shiundu highlights open communication and virtual collaboration tools as key to overcoming challenges that arise from working across diverse locations and time zones.

Flexible work arrangements in hybrid workplaces

Shiundu  highlighted the positive impact on employee well-being, citing reduced stress, improved mental health, and better work-life integration. This flexibility, she explains, could even lead to increased productivity as employees have the autonomy to work during their peak hours rather than depend on a schedule set by someone else.

She added that the autonomy employees sense within hybrid workplaces fosters a sense of community and belonging among their geographically dispersed team through regular all-staff calls and team meetings. A sense that helps those employees make a meaningful difference in the lives of those they serve, which she finds deeply fulfilling and purpose-driven.

Shiundu emphasised that while different cultures exist, the common vision and purpose of the organisation drive the employees’ behaviour more than cultural differences. She added that the organisation’s focus on its mission, particularly helping entrepreneurs succeed and lift them out of poverty, overrides personal preferences or cultural biases. She also highlighted the organisation’s efforts to support employees’ mental health, including open communication channels and an annual mental health week.


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