The power of internships
Transitioning from academia to the corporate world isn’t easy, so internships are an important platform for graduates to step into their careers, hone their skills and expand their networks.
They bring real, tangible benefits for businesses too – they aren’t simply a charitable endeavour. By opening their doors to interns, companies tap into a pool of emerging talent. These younger workers bring fresh perspectives shaped by the latest academic insights, injecting new ideas into the business and sparking innovation.
Tips on managing internships in a hybrid world
The beauty of hybrid work lies in its alignment with what the new wave of talent values as they embark on their careers. It strikes the right chord with their drive for balance, their inclination towards health-conscious choices, and their respect for environmental sustainability.
More than just a fad, when executed thoughtfully, hybrid work can create enriching experiences for both interns and their employers. So, how can business leaders ensure they’re managing internships effectively in this flexible work environment? Let’s delve into some key strategies.
1. More office days for younger team members
Interns learn a lot from the everyday buzz of an office. The chance to soak up knowledge from seasoned professionals, get instant feedback, and see business processes in action is a unique aspect of in-person work. Working entirely remotely doesn’t offer the same experience.
Consider the law firm Linklaters. They ask trainees to be in the office one extra day compared to other employees. As partner Mark Drury told the Financial Times: “A lot of learning happens around actual work, watching senior lawyers, highlighting the vital role of in-person collaboration.
Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor and hybrid expert, supports this idea, suggesting that companies require new team members to spend an extra day in the office for mentoring and networking, helping them better absorb the company culture.
While in-person collaboration remains critical in a hybrid world, quieter moments spent away from the central office – be it at home or in a local flexspace – offer interns the necessary environment for focused concentration. Paul Johnson, an economics professor at University College London, highlighted this advantage in The Times. This aspect of hybrid work can be leveraged to give interns focused training sessions or self-paced online courses, allowing them to digest information at their own pace and apply what they’ve learned when they’re back in the office.
2. Introduce a ‘buddy’ system
A buddy system can make the intern experience much smoother and more rewarding. By pairing interns with experienced mentors, companies like Linklaters and HSBC have ensured new recruits have a go-to person for guidance and support.
3. Extend induction periods
Social interactions are an important part of the fabric of office life. Particularly for interns who have been starved of social interactions during the Covid years. Companies like KPMG have responded to this by increasing induction periods from four days to five days and including a ‘social mixer’ to ease feelings of apprehension or social anxiety.
4. Invest in additional skills development
In today’s evolving work landscape, soft skills are increasingly recognised as critical. While lockdowns might have limited some opportunities for younger individuals to naturally develop these skills, targeted training in public speaking, conflict resolution, and professional etiquette can help bridge the gap, empowering interns to thrive in their roles.
5. Building your hybrid model around a network of local flexspaces
Local flexspaces strike the right balance for young workers, combining flexibility, convenience, and a professional environment, all without the lengthy commute. An IWG survey revealed a substantial preference among Gen Z employees for this setup – 85% favoured an office close to home.
Beyond convenience, flexspaces are purpose-built to encourage professional and social interactions that make internships not just insightful, but also engaging and enjoyable.
Unlock your business’s future with hybrid
Hybrid’s flexibility caters to the diverse needs of everyone, from top executives to enthusiastic interns. Younger workers in particular have much to gain from the balance that hybrid models offer. By using flexspaces, such as those provided by Regus, businesses can create an environment where interns and graduates adapt effectively to their roles, enhancing the overall productivity and innovation of the organisation.
With over 4,000 locations across over 120 countries, your team is never far from a Regus space. Get in touch to see how we can help enrich your interns’ experience and benefit all your staff.
This article was originally published on regus.com.
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