Telling your employees that they can split their work week between at-home and in-office days will create chaos in your company. There is a need for structure, a need for a systematic transition to make a hybrid workplace work. Developing a hybrid culture will allow employees to easily transition from their home to the office, and increase productivity when in the office. Creating a hybrid culture consists of many steps and challenges outlined within the next few paragraphs:
The first step includes making sure managers, HR, and employees understand the risks related to a workforce that is split between those who go to the hybrid office and those who work remotely. These risks can be anything from fairness, of who gets to work remotely, to inequality, where employees may not have the needs to work remotely. Taking steps to avoid these risks related to hybrid remote work will set your company up for success.
The second step incorporates leaders of the company displaying themselves as a positive example of hybrid working. This includes having in-office days as well as days spent remotely. These days should be spent productively and leaders should understand that they are role models. Understanding that higher ups in the company can successfully do hybrid work, allows employees to feel more encouraged to do it themselves.
The next step covers managers of the company making group-based decisions based on who works remotely where, when, and how. These decisions will be challenging to make and are probably one of the most important steps in creating a hybrid workplace. Making sure all employees understand the company standards when it comes to hybrid working is crucial.
Virtual and in person communication training should occur to ensure the capabilities of each employee. Knowing how to communicate and with what tools allows the company to function smoothly in the transitional period. Courses that deal with client interactions done from home can be beneficial for remote workers.
Reworking the structure of the company, such as onboarding, training, and performance management is key to continuing the cycle of hybrid working. With an employee shortage, many companies are looking to hire new members of their team. Having a system in place to hire and train new employees is of the essence in a hybrid workplace.
Lastly, making sure employees are given the support they are needed in order to work remotely and in-office is key to inequality challenges. Not all employees have access to high speed internet at home which will create obstacles. Putting a system in place that gives employees the means to work from home will not only increase employee satisfaction but will allow the hybrid work transition to appear smooth.
As previously mentioned, there are things that can be done to make the transition from remote or in-office work, to hybrid work straightforward. No matter what is done, there will still be hiccups in the transitional period. Hybrid working is a completely new idea for many companies and understanding how to go through with it will be difficult. The best thing a company can do is keep an open conversation going with employees, allowing them to vocalize the challenges that they feel.
There is certainly a lot to think about, but it seems that hybrid working, or remote working is the wave of the future. With millennials making up a majority of the workforce, work-life balance is essential and there is no better way than with a hybrid work model. While the challenges unquestionably present themselves, the benefits outweigh any of the doubts surrounding hybrid working.