Everyone is talking about the hybrid working model, and a large number of workers are demanding it to be implemented in their workplaces in order for them to stay.
For an organization leader that has been operating under the traditional working model, this can be a daunting request, but the change is not as intimidating as one would think. Multiple studies have found that remote work has actually increased productivity in many cases.
In the other cases, remote work yielded similar production to before the pandemic. If production is not hurting due to the change, and a company has positions that can be managed from home, they should embrace the change and do what’s best for each employee.
A hybrid workplace setup, allows a company to hire better talent, as they can be flexible with their employees’ location. With a long list of pros and popular demands, the hybrid work model is worth implementing where possible. Microsoft’s final words of reassurance in their 2021 Work Trend Index are “If we embrace extreme flexibility, follow data insights, and continue listening closely to employee needs, together we can create a better future of work for everyone”.
But how can an organization successfully transition into a hybrid work model? Here are a few tips that companies should consider while planning the transition.
Consider what works for the employees and experiment
The most effective way to start planning a hybrid schedule is to ask employees what works for them. This can be via digital surveys or individual meetings. Employees will feel more comfortable with change if they feel that their experiences are being considered.
If there are positions that can be easily managed from home, allow these employees the freedom to work from home either full time or part-time. It is completely acceptable to request in-office meetings when required but see how this freedom affects morale and production.
With positions that require employees to be in-office for certain daily tasks, such as answering phones or making physical copies listen to what the employees would benefit from. Two or more people can manage that position with different people present on alternate days, or employees that would prefer to stay in-office full time can take on those tasks while others are allowed to take on tasks that can be managed remotely.
Make sure on-site workers do not have an advantage over remote workers, and vice versa. It is okay to experiment and change the schedule a few times to find what works best. “Successful organizations will embrace an experimental, agile approach,” according to Microsoft.
Invest in technology
To create a successful hybrid work model, companies need to provide their workers with the proper modes of communication and connection. Tech support should be available at all times or help manuals should be made available.
Everyone needs to be connected for this model to work, so making sure employees have broadband internet, a reliable computer, and all the devices needed to successfully manage their positions is vital to success. Companies will be saving money on building maintenance and real estate costs, so investing in technology should not pose a major issue for finances.
The production increase and ability to hire better talent will more than makeup for any minor losses from investing in technology. Make sure that employees are familiar and comfortable with the technology or are given a brief tutorial on the devices and programs by an expert if needed. Empower and prepare these workers for the flexibility remote work allows.
Put safety and comfort first
When preparing the office for on-site work, make sure the workplace follows all health and safety requirements implemented during the pandemic. There are local and national health and work safety authorities companies can contact to make sure they are following protocol.
Make sure the workplace is prepared for the maximum number of bodies allowed in the building/office. Implement more hygiene and cleaning techniques and social distancing for unvaccinated employees.
It is important for employees to understand what health and safety expectations are before returning to the office. If employees find a workplace safe to be in, they are more likely to return when needed.
Organizations must focus on a detailed plan centered on freedom, technology, and safety, while also considering employee suggestions. Looking at the successful results of remote work during the pandemic will empower employees and organizations to implement the hybrid work model.
Share some statistics and studies with your organization and point out the successful examples of the hybrid workplace model in big-name companies to ease any doubts about the change. With so many companies implementing change at employees’ demand, now is the best time to make sure your organization is staying up to date with the best work models for success.