The initial shock and fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic took businesses by surprise. Many Americans were laid off or furloughed, while others were ushered into the world of remote work.
Moving forward, many companies continue to operate remotely while others have made the decision to bring employees back into a traditional office setting. The findings from this experience were many – some employees worked more productively in a remote work environment than others. As a result, there are a growing number of employers looking to explore different options as an off-shoot of COVID-19 workplace solutions. Remote workplace or hybrid workplace alternatives may provide more flexibility and benefits for their employees.
So, why should you consider going hybrid? Well, consider the benefits. 70% of people prefer hybrid work. The flexibility gained from implementing a hybrid workplace approach enables your company to connect with the needs of all your employees. If you or your team have been considering these options, here are a few tips on how to do it right:
Ask Your Team for Feedback
There’s no “I” in team, so getting input from everyone involved can help inspire motivation and employee satisfaction in the hybrid workplace setting. Employees can explain their needs and pain points best, but it’s up to the employer to listen, understand, and apply those findings through communication and training.
Draft a Clear Plan and Communicate it Well
Everyone needs to get on board – this isn’t a free-for-all. The parameters of the remote or hybrid work environment should be clearly planned out to ensure success. Draft the plan, review with your stakeholders, and make corrections or changes where needed. In order for this to work, the plan must include reasonable takeaways from everyone. If you fail to plan, you’re essentially creating a plan to fail.
Communicate Employee Expectations Clearly
Employees should know where they stand, and there should be written guidelines in a place where employees can refer to protocols. There should also be recurring training in place to reinforce the guidelines and expectations for employees and management. This also means defining what the workday should look like. Are employees supposed to stay tethered to their computers all day like they were in the office, or when working remotely can they attend meetings by phone, etc.?
Encourage Collaboration and Teamwork, No Matter Where Employees Are Working
One of the best things you can do as an employer is to encourage teamwork and collaboration. This helps everyone feel as if they are part of the entire team, whether working remotely or in the office. Schedule team meetings, and make sure the right technology is in place to facilitate in-person conversations, and have events where everyone is required to show up and network with each other. This helps make an uncomfortable or unusual situation get past those stages.
Incorporate Flexible Work Week Benefits
Giving employees autonomy and flexibility to coordinate their schedules for a hybrid work environment helps establish a level of trust and responsibility. This also helps ease the burden for those employees who work better remotely or have other obligations that require them to work from a distance. Rotating these schedules to accommodate those who work better in-office and those who work better remotely increases efficiency and productivity.
Finding a happy medium in a hybrid workplace for your employees can be a great next step in your business if your field or industry allows it. It’s important to keep your employees safe, comfortable, productive, and happy as we continue to navigate the ever-changing world around us. Contact our team of HR professionals today to see how we can be of assistance.