Even before the COVID-19 pandemic offered the workforce the opportunity to experience remote work on a large scale, employees with a desire for greater versatility in how they work were gradually leaning toward the concept of a hybrid work model, mixing remote and in-office work.
Companies are finding that, now that remote work is on the table after a year of trial and error, it must be part of their workforce plan moving forward to stay competitive in terms of retention and recruiting. As workplaces reopen on a wide scale, most workers expect some form of flexibility, and according to a survey 92 per cent of employees said they would prefer a hybrid arrangement.
- Managing a hybrid work model necessitates a unique strategy. Employers should provide clear guidelines for maximising this model, including clear expectations and correspondence about employees’ whereabouts on specific days, as well as the required level of flexibility.
- Employees who can be counted on to complete their assignments regardless of where they are. And also the most conscientious staff, however, can need some assistance from time to time to remain on track. Companies must set up processes to keep projects on track and ensure that deadlines are communicated and met.
- Employees must believe that they are part of a team and that they are working for a common purpose. Employees would be inspired to contribute to the team dynamic even though they are physically away from their teams. Employees that are in the workplace can need reassurance that their co-workers are contributing from home.
- Companies must ensure that training and education programmes continue to engage staff, that mentorships are nurtured, and that team members feel like they are advancing, even though their only physical destination is the home office.
- According to a study, while personal productivity increased as a result of remote work, teamwork and camaraderie suffered, affecting organisational or team productivity. When people’s social lives, as well as their in-person work relationships, dried up, mental health problems such as depression and anxiety became a problem.
- Studies show that it is more difficult to keep employees motivated when they are working from home, than working in an office. As an intentional approach, providing a hybrid work model is likely to benefit employees’ mental health, productivity, and company culture.
- Setting up a technical backbone that can meet the many unique needs of workers employed in different spaces is a crucial move toward adopting a successful hybrid strategy. This includes more than just training workers how to use video conferencing software; it also includes ensuring that employees have the appropriate resources to perform their jobs effectively at home, whether that means an extra computer or a laptop, noise-cancelling headset etc.
- Companies must ensure that their technical bandwidth and cloud applications can accommodate in-office and remote loads on a larger scale. Digital private networks should be set up well to keep files and data secure while still allowing workers to send information easily.
- Video conferencing facilities should be installed and readily available in the workplace, and workers should be educated on how to use these devices to ensure a smooth workflow between those who are in the office and those working remotely.
- In the workplace, the hybrid solution involves having a range of workspaces including coworking spaces such as dedicated desks in an open-plan space, private offices for concentrated work or confidential conversations, and areas explicitly designed for communication with others in and out of the office.
Companies will soon be transitioning to a hybrid work model, and they must be prepared for it. Not simply an expansion of a temporary work-from-home arrangement, the move should be perceived as a positive wholesale, transformative shift in the way companies function.