Is your team ready for the hybrid work? The pandemic has dramatically changed the way we work. From temporarily stopping operations to transitioning to remote work, businesses have come so far in terms of ensuring that they get stuff done. As the world slowly returns to “normal”, more and more startups are embracing the hybrid workplace. But like any other work model, it comes with challenges too. To succeed in this setup, we’ve outlined the best strategies for building a hybrid workplace that many successful entrepreneurs and startups swear by.
What Is a Hybrid Workplace?
A hybrid workplace is a new and innovative approach to working that is centered around productivity rather than attendance. In this setup, employees are given some freedom to work from their homes or report to the office as long as they accomplish their tasks. This blended workplace model is becoming a trend during this pandemic. Statistics show that one in five companies is already implementing a hybrid workplace. It can be challenging at first but the following tips and strategies should help get things going smoothly:
Listen to Your Employees
Your employees are your company’s biggest resource. Understanding how they work is essential to creating a supportive hybrid environment. Involve your team with the transition by conducting surveys and interviews. This won’t only make your task easier, but will also ensure that you’re creating a setup that works best for your startup.
Align Policies with the New Setup
A hybrid workplace is a bit complex as it involves part of the team working remotely and another working on-site. To promote flexibility while ensuring that the company goals are achieved, you must align your company policies to support this work model. At the core, company policies must address the following aspects:
Will you require your employees to be at the office on certain days? Will those days vary by the team? Implementing a clock-in clock-out system makes tracking time and attendance easier for remote and hybrid workforces.
Your policies should not only include who gets the job done but also how work gets done. Working from home may sound cool but it isn’t always the best option for some people. While working from home is viewed as a “luxury” and associated with work-life balance, new research reports that people who worked from home during the COVID-19 pandemic had increased levels of loneliness and mental distress. The major benefit of a hybrid workforce is that employees can choose to work at home or in the office. Some startups set up satellite offices within the city or metro where employees can work. Others provide stipends for coworking memberships. Ensuring that your employees have a conducive work environment is vital to ensuring productivity and work quality.
The future of work is remote, according to many experts. Companies that can’t incorporate a remote work model are missing a lot of benefits that it provides, including improved productivity. Make sure to create clear policies on remote working to avoid confusion among employees.
Create a Supportive Work Environment
There are many ways to maximize the benefits of a hybrid workplace and minimize its toll on collaboration and other face-to-face activities.
Since only a small percentage (or half at most) will utilize the office, it makes more sense to downsize your space. Set up dedicated desks for employees to promote efficiency, productivity, and health safety.
Apart from the dedicated desks, you also want to have a space where in-person collaboration can take place. Make sure it is equipped with tools and technology that allows remote workers to connect during hybrid meetings.
Hybrid offices can have different layouts, depending on the company’s needs. However, it’s best to incorporate private spaces that certain employees can use for deep work. If you have an open floor plan, a few private rooms or conference rooms are very useful for activities that require a high-level focus.
Equip Your Hybrid Workforce
A hybrid workforce depends largely on technology. There are many tools you can use to create a healthy organization in terms of communication, collaboration, project management, and day-to-day activities. Some of the most important tools used by hybrid teams today are:
This technology enables in-office and remote workers to connect, such as during hybrid meetings. Vendors are working on features specifically meant for hybrid workplaces, such as auto-framing, real-time face detection, and more.
Performance Management Tools
Receiving timely feedback is critical to helping employees succeed in their roles. In addition, HR teams and managers should focus on creating a comprehensive cloud-based onboarding process that eases new employees into the company culture.
Some applications help support collaboration in hybrid teams. Slack and Microsoft Teams are well-known examples of these.
Empower Your Team
The best thing about a hybrid workforce is it is geared toward empowering employees. However, the major challenge is ensuring efficiency and productivity. Allowing your employees to decide the setup where they are most productive is a great way to empower them, but policies involving productivity should be established so your company is not hindered from reaching its goals. Transitioning to a hybrid workplace requires full commitment from managers and leaders.
A hybrid workplace promotes a positive employee experience and productivity gains when done right. For a smooth and successful transition, employers should develop and implement a living plan that supports a hybrid workforce. These include listening to their teams, aligning policies with the new setup, equipping employees with the right tools, and supporting them. The said strategies can greatly enable your team to thrive, grow, and succeed using the hybrid work model.