Over the past few years, more businesses and corporations have begun seeing the benefits of implementing a hybrid work setup, which allows employees to choose between working at the office or remotely from their own residences or from an executive home during a work trip. Not only is this setup much more cost-efficient, but it also allows more room for productivity, as workers won’t have to deal with long commute times before they can begin working.
Perhaps you have already implemented your Hybrid Working strategy or are looking for ways to get started. No matter where you are in the process, there are some things to keep in mind to ensure that operations run smoothly, not only for the company as a whole but for each of your individual employees, as well. Here are 4 key pillars to help you think about and plan for hybrid working success.
1. Overall employee experience
One of the most crucial principles to take into account when planning a hybrid office arrangement is the experience that both in-office and remote workers go through. Although not all of your workers will be seeing each other face-to-face it’s important to make sure each team member still feels like they’re part of all the events and gatherings that take place at the office. Your remote workers should always feel as involved in the company as their in-office counterparts.
Additionally, employees who want to work in-house should not be given any more priority than those who opt to work remotely or in a hybrid workplace. This highlights the notion that employee experience encompasses more than just a person’s profession. There will be a future purpose for conventional instruments to measure consumer and employee experience. One of them is for employees to feel connected, heard, and appreciated for their work.
2. Proper tools and technology
This may seem like an obvious thing to consider when prepping your company for a hybrid setup, however, tools and technology mean more than just providing your workers with a company laptop and leaving it at that.
Apart from managing which employees need additional hardware and how to implement proper cable management at the office, it’s also important to provide all employees — both in-office and remote workers — with the necessary software to help them perform all their tasks efficiently, as well as communicate with one another in a convenient manner.
If you are a European employer, providing home office set up support and a WFH risk assessment are required by law (if you need help, here is a great resource for remote ergonomic training and risk assessments for your WFH staff)
It’s also best to invest in cloud-based operating systems that allow you and your employees to share important files and documents seamlessly. This also allows everyone to easily access files from different devices as long as they have the necessary credentials to open them. Other tools and software you may need include analytics and automation tools, as well as dedicated collaboration tools.
3. Clear policies and guidelines
There are a number of different policies you need to polish before you begin operations. Firstly, you’ll need to determine things such as which of your employees need to come into the office, who can work remotely, and how often employees have to work on-site. You’ll also have to determine proper response times and how often remote workers need to remain active during work hours.
Additionally, consider employee feedback and preference. Instead of imposing new hybrid policies on space, arrange workplace spaces to reflect them. How often are employees using desks vs. meeting rooms, are employees coming into the office to be social, or to do focus work? Understanding first how your space is being used and then drafting policy to support this, is a great way to foster company goals, in a way that resonates with employees natural working patterns. If you’re not sure how to do this, or where to begin, Capella provide simple software and easy to digest data that can help.
4. Healthy work environment
Productivity is significantly influenced by workplace culture. Your company could suffer from low employee satisfaction if the necessary culture and implementation aren’t in place. Take into account a thorough analysis of how hybrid working influences culture and behaviors, as well as any potential modifications. By doing so, you can cultivate a healthy work environment that allows both your in-office and remote workers to thrive in their own areas.
In a hybrid workplace, managers and team leaders must check on workers more frequently to establish relationships and provide them with the specific assistance they may need to succeed. Additionally, for some workers, the job develops into a friendly environment where they can begin to socialize socially. Many employees relocated for their jobs, and for some, their first chance to meet people is at work. Therefore, people may experience mental health issues when required to work in the environment. Therefore, in addition to monitoring their workers’ productivity at work, employers also need to monitor their mental health.
The bottom line
Ensuring successful hybrid working can be an intimidating process for any company, regardless of if you’re just starting out or have been hybrid working for a while. While there is no foolproof way to go about this keeping the principles above in mind can guide you in the right direction. Just make sure to remain adaptable and listen closely to what your employees and business need, and adjust your strategies based on their feedback.
Written by Katie Pierce