There is no denying the many benefits of a remote work setup. To name three:
- It eliminates the need for employees who live far away from their workplace to commute to the office.
- For some people, remote work helps improve work-life balance by giving them more time to engage in personal activities.
- Remote workers who have not yet been inoculated against COVID-19 reduce their risk of contracting the disease by not having to leave the safety of their homes.
Understandably, some of your staff may want to keep enjoying these advantages, which wouldn’t be possible if you require everyone in your business to return to the office. You can, however, arrive at a compromise that benefits both your company and workers by adopting a hybrid work model.
What is a hybrid work model?
It is a workplace setup that permits employees to work either remotely or in the office. There are several ways of implementing a hybrid work model. Some companies require their workers to report to the office for a specific number of days in a week. Others ask their staff to return to the office only for collaborative activities, such as weekly meetings, team building activities, and conferences.
A hybrid work approach combines the benefits of both remote work and a traditional office setup. These include:
- Improved productivity – Working remotely can boost productivity, but it can also leave your staff feeling isolated and unmotivated in the long term. Allowing employees to return to the office every now and then will give them the dose of human interaction they need to stay motivated and productive.
- Enhanced satisfaction – A flexible working setup gives your staff autonomy to work where they are most productive, which can make them feel more satisfied with their job. This may encourage them to work harder and make them less likely to leave your company.
- Lower business costs – Not having all of your employees on site at once allows you to operate with a smaller office, which can reduce your rental and facility management costs. It also allows you to implement alternative smart workspace systems, such as hot desking.
A hybrid work approach combines the benefits of both remote work and a traditional office setup.
How can you implement a hybrid work model?
Follow these tips to help you successfully adopt a hybrid work model:
Learn your employees’ needs
You need a good estimate of how many among your staff are more likely to either work at home or in the office. This information will help you to better allocate resources and prepare for contingencies.
To get your estimate, you have to know the nature of each employees’ job, what they need to complete their tasks, and who they usually work with. For example, copywriters mostly need their computer and an internet connection, and may enjoy working in familiar environments. Thus, they’ll be more likely to work from home.
On the other hand, the members of your finance department may need to work close to each other and use the office printer often. Therefore, they’ll likely be more productive doing their tasks in the office.
Make sure everyone understands your goals
A hybrid work setup can easily lead to confusion if the members of your workforce do not clearly understand what you expect from them and the new arrangement. Before implementing the shift, communicate to everyone about the setup, the relevant details and rules, and what you hope to gain from a hybrid work approach.
Sending one company-wide email isn’t enough though. You must also brief managers on the necessary details so they know enough to answer their subordinates’ questions.
No matter how distant your employees are from one another, they can collaborate effectively if they can communicate properly. However, it isn’t enough that your employees are communicating with one another — it’s equally important that you communicate with them too. This is especially the case during the first few months of your hybrid work setup’s implementation, when people are still getting used to everything. Make yourself available and approachable, whether through chat or in person.
It’s nigh impossible to get everything right the first time, so urge your employees to provide feedback regularly. Their inputs will help you iron out irregularities and create a system that works seamlessly for both your employees and the company. What’s more, listening to your staff and actually considering their feedback will make them feel more invested in the endeavor, encouraging them to contribute more to its success.
You can be creative in asking for feedback. For instance, you can send out surveys through email, conduct regular town hall meetings, or even put up a suggestion box.
Back when traditional office setups were the norm, all employees experienced the same hassles: observing a dress code, traveling to and from the office, and following rigid work schedules, among others. A hybrid work model means some of your staff go through these while others don’t.
This can lead to issues in the distribution of rewards, such as promotions or even just recognition for a job well done. In particular, some of your employees may feel that they deserve more credit for working in the office than their colleagues who are working from home.
Whatever the case may be, it’s important that you never discriminate when issuing perks and praises. Make sure not to discount anyone’s efforts and always recognize achievement, whether it was accomplished inside or outside the office.
A hybrid work arrangement offers many benefits, but successfully implementing it requires both proper management and the right tools. Our experts at Quicktech can help you choose and install the tools you need so you can focus on managing your business and ensuring its success.
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