The post-pandemic world of work is now utterly different from its former landscape not too long ago. Talent shortages, skills gap, the call for work-life balance, and other factors have led many employees to make certain demands to their employers about what they do and how they work.
One of these demands, which the pandemic brought to the fore, is hybrid work.
A New Way of Flexible Working Setup
Simply put, hybrid work refers to a flexible work model that supports employees reporting onsite and working remotely on particular days of the work week. Emerging from the “work from home” model at the height of the pandemic, hybrid work has slowly taken over many organizations and companies—and for a good reason.
The hybrid work model has passed the litmus test of productivity across many organizations and sectors, so much so that 63 percent of high-growth companies have already adopted a hybrid work model. In comparison, an additional 16 percent have adopted fully remote work.
Many organizations have adopted a hybrid model suitable for their daily operations. Your company may have gone entirely flexible, giving your employees their choice when to report onsite and when to work from home on certain days of the week. Perhaps, you may also have moved to have a fixed hybrid model where your employees’ onsite and remote working days have been pre-determined.
Regardless of the hybrid work models you adopt, you need to ensure that this model can maximize your employees’ productivity and engagement. At the same time, this should satisfy their desire to prioritize an acceptable work-life balance and to cut down on commute time and transportation expenses.
Utilizing the Hybrid Working Environment
This is no longer a question of whether or not hybrid work will be a permanent thing. Clearly, it’s here to stay. The question is, “Are you adopting a successful hybrid work model?”
You need to make your hybrid working model successful for your company and employees. You need to make it work for you.
Here are five ideas that can help employers like you make the most of your hybrid workplace.
1. Deliberately make social experiences for your employees.
One of the first challenges employers and employees face when they adopt a hybrid workplace is how to stay connected. Connections in the workplace is crucial to perpetuating company values, work culture, and camaraderie among employees.
Now that you have hybrid teams in the workplace, you need to deliberately create social activities for your organization that are also hybrid. The goal here is to disregard the physical distance among your employees yet still stay connected, allowing them to interact with each other.
Regularly schedule team calls and virtual “happy hours” online. Gather them all together online for an hour of games and competitions. Divide them into breakout rooms where they can get to know one another better. Have regular check-ins with them before or after important meetings. These simple yet purposeful activities will do wonders for your employee engagement.
2. Configure your tech stack for hybrid work.
As your company further migrates to the digital world due to the hybrid setup, you need to ensure that your company’s tech stack is capable of streamlining the work instead of complicating it.
Employers need to understand that you really need to make a considerable investment in your company tools to allow your hybrid workforce to flourish and remain productive.
A common mistake many organizations make is investing in technology that does not help improve employee performance. The first to suffer here would be your remote team. Regardless of what hybrid work models you’re using, if your tech stack fails, remote work can become very challenging, and your entire hybrid working environment will be severely affected.
3. Provide perks whenever needed.
Employees working remotely often miss out on perks and benefits because of the hybrid arrangement. Onsite employees often enjoy many benefits that remote workers can’t, such as free meals and coffee. Furthermore, those working from home usually save on gas and transportation costs, which is an added expense for those working onsite.
This brings in the importance of giving your employees more perks whenever needed. For instance, have you ever thought of providing transportation allowances for your onsite employees? How about gift cards and food vouchers for your remote teams who are missing out on free meals in the office?
You may also want to give material perks such as Bluetooth speakers or headphones. You can even request your art department to design merch like coffee mugs, jackets, or shirts so your employees feel a sense of belongingness and being valued and cared for while working hybrid.
4. Maximize your office space.
As a result of the hybrid work model, many office spaces now feel massive for the number of employees working onsite. This often creates a void in the workplace which may diminish the employee experience. As an employer, you need to mitigate this.
Enliven the company culture by transforming your extra office space into something your employees can truly appreciate.
Would you like to make your office lobby wider or receiving area to feel homier for your clients and visitors? Do you need an extra place for company gatherings, parties, or client visits? If you are in a creative company, do you need a studio, an art space, or a more inspiring boardroom for creative meetings?
As an employer, you need to understand that digital transformation in the workplace must also be matched by physical transformation.
5. Be more open to change.
One of the biggest lessons that we need to learn is that along with digital transformation comes a slew of modifications and changes that can happen to the world of work. As an employer, you need to anticipate these changes and lead your organization toward being more agile in the face of these changes.
Be ready to make tweaks to your hybrid model when the need arises. Be open to listening and trusting your employees to give you input on what works and what doesn’t. Think about constantly training and upskilling your workforce to adapt to these changes with relative ease and efficiency. Again, the keyword here is agility. Organizations need to be more agile to stay afloat.
Hybrid Model Benefits Both Employer and Employee
As your company begins to embrace a hybrid work model, bear in mind that regardless of the one you employ, the anchor here is for you to support your employees’ productivity and efficiency by giving them what they need as holistic individuals.
As they grow with your company, the mutual benefit of a hybrid work model may be directly correlated with your employees’ longevity, engagement, and professional satisfaction. This will surely make your organization a great, if not excellent, place to work at.
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1 Dale, Nikki. “Hybrid Work Statistics: What the Future of Work Looks Like” Neuroworx.io 20 October 2022 https://www.picked.ai/magazine/hybrid-work-statistics-what-the-future-of-work-looks-like/