What your employees need to master hybrid workCain Chen
Work has come a long way since the days of farming fields and working 14-hour days in a factory. This past year, we’ve seen the most drastic set of workplace changes since the beginning of the industrial revolution. Starting with the office.
Now, companies all over the world are canceling the cubicle and embracing hybrid work. According to Forbes, “a majority of high-revenue-growth companies, 63%, have already enabled productivity anywhere workforce models, where employees have the option of working remotely or on-site.”
Hybrid models are popular among employees too, with 83% of survey respondents citing them as “optimal”.
Embracing the morale and productivity benefits of remote work while having a dedicated workspace for those who want it can be a smart business move. To ensure your hybrid office is successful, start with these foundational to-dos.
Talk to your employees first
A hybrid model works best when communication is encouraged. Before you make any sweeping decisions, have your employees weigh in. Don’t simply assume you know what they need in order to get the most out of hybrid work—ask them.
Employees are one of your greatest assets, and involving them in the process will help decision-makers support them in doing their best work. Short, qualitative interviews and anonymous surveys are an effective way to catalog useful feedback and create effectual change. If you’re worried about participation, consider offering a small incentive.
It’s also a good idea to make these questionnaires department-specific. That way, you can get both a collective and more granular sense of what each division needs.
In addition to asking general questions about an employee’s commute, interest in returning to work and concerns about what that return might look like, ask pointed questions that encourage them to open up a bit. Asking the right questions can unearth hidden potential issues and highlight where to focus company resources.
Lighthouse, a blog about leadership and management advice, suggests these 31 questions about remote lifestyles, info dissemination and connection to help employers better support their remote workforce.
Keep an eye on tech trends
Hybrid work technology has had an impressive evolution over the past year. With the persistence of remote work extending beyond COVID-19, the updates are likely to keep coming. Knowing what might benefit your team both now and in the future can help them operate at full tilt.
While each office will have different needs, at minimum companies must prioritize modern, secure end-user devices. These are the vehicles for the necessary collaboration tools, video conferencing solutions, virtual meeting room tech and cloud-based applications and services that are so essential in a modern workplace.
As Mark Pattie, senior solution architect at Data#3 recently explained to CIO Magazine, “[Companies] can no longer rely on being on the corporate network; they can’t just directly connect using old technologies, so organisations have to consider moving to a new way of managing these machines, employing cloud-based technologies.
Employers should also be prepared to meet the need for more basic equipment and tech accessories, including laptop stands, standing desks, ergonomic chairs, etc.
Find the type of hybrid office that works best for your team
There’s no one right way to make hybrid work work. Deciding who comes in and who stays home will ultimately depend on the needs of your team.
Some workplaces only require core staff to clock in at a central office location. Others save in-office work for newer employees who are still undergoing training, and let only the more senior staff work offsite. Still others go hybrid a few days out of the week and let employees choose their own adventure, so long as they communicate in advance with their manager. Hybrid team rotation is another popular choice, allowing teams to trade off working from home and on-site.
Want to cut down on the amount of office space you need? Reserve the central office for bigger-picture tasks like client meetings, networking events, trainings and innovation sessions.
Done right, a hybrid model offers employers the opportunity to create a more purpose-driven workplace that supports their most valuable resource: their employees.
Content created and provided by ONEAFFINITI.