Over the past year or so, the pandemic has compelled many companies to rethink how they do business and how they want to work in the long run.
Working from home and communicating online have replaced in-office setups as the new normal. But some companies wanted a suitable balance between the traditional and remote office setup, and so the hybrid work model was introduced.
Hybrid work setups are a great option for many organizations in this post-pandemic environment, particularly those that may require some time to return to their pre-pandemic system. Not only is this a way for business owners to ensure the survival of their company, but it may also lead to improvements in their operations if done right.
That being said, if you’re considering implementing a hybrid work setup for your business, here are some valuable tips you can apply.
It's essential to be well-prepared when transitioning to a hybrid work setup. This may be challenging, especially if you're not sure which procedures and policies would be best to implement. However, the planning process doesn’t have to be complicated. Focus on the important aspects.
It’s important to learn about the various hybrid working practices and to clearly define the responsibilities of hybrid workers. This will allow you to identify which practices would be best for the type of work your employees will be doing. You should also ensure that the right tools and infrastructure are in place to enable everyone to work effectively from wherever they choose.
With a hybrid work setup, you'll need the right resources and technologies that will enable your teams to work together seamlessly. To build a good environment for your workforce, whether they’re at home or in the office, you may need solutions that will aid with task management, cloud-based storage, project management, communication, etc. In that case, you could work with an NYC IT services provider like Power Consulting or other reputable companies, as they can offer IT solutions that will cater to your specific needs.
Before you finalize the hybrid work setup for your company, you should tell your employees about the work model you plan to use and outline the procedures and policies that come with it. If you did a complete survey of your business during your planning, you may have come up with a work model that most of your employees would agree with, thus making the transition a bit easier on their part as well.
Remember to specify who is qualified for a hybrid work arrangement, how they can request to be part of it, and how the model operates by your current business standards. Communication is key here; make sure that your staff clearly understand what the hybrid setup entails, and try not to leave any of their questions unanswered.
Instead of counting the hours worked, use milestones and deadlines to gauge your team's progress. When remote work initially gained popularity among IT firms, it seemed to be a failure, as the staff’s productivity was being measured by the hours they worked. Because they didn’t put in the expected number of hours, they looked to be slacking off.
However, it should be noted that most workers don't work for the whole eight hours they’re in the office either. A study by Vouchercloud showed that an average office worker is productive for only about three hours a day. Since time is not an accurate measure of productivity, milestones and deadlines are a far better option. You won’t be able to keep close tabs on your staff’s hours if they’re shifting between the office and home, but you’ll be able to track their progress.
Once you implement a hybrid setup, when you call for a team huddle, it could be challenging to determine which members will be at the office and which ones will be at home. You could alert people to urgent meetings via email, but some people may have their work notifications off once they’re out of shift.
It would help to encourage open communication. In particular, an asynchronous approach would be beneficial. Since your employees will no longer be working the same hours exactly, communication lines should be open, and updates should be constantly documented. Remind your staff to communicate their availability to their team through various channels, just to cover all bases. This helps ensure that everyone is up-to-date on the happenings within the business, no matter what time they clock in.
In a hybrid work model, it may become impossible to micromanage employees. Instead of doubting their workers’ ability to self-govern, managers should concentrate on providing them with the resources they need to succeed. In this way, the trust they place in the employees could motivate the employees, and that could then lead to an improvement in work operations.
Because the hybrid approach is inherently experimental, it's possible that some of your employees may be left behind without being aware of it. If a team member feels lost or doesn’t have enough information, they should know where to turn.
Giving consistent feedback is a viable solution to this. Remember that you’re not aiming to criticize; your intent should be to help improve workers’ performance by addressing specific weaknesses they may not be aware of. It’s important to be flexible. Since these are stressful times, if employees are feeling stressed or troubled, leaders should be prepared to listen and make adjustments when necessary.
Hybrid work setups provide an ideal balance between in-office and remote setups, especially as the world is still slowly recovering from the pandemic. If you’re looking to implement it, the process doesn’t have to be complicated. With the tips above, you can effectively set up a hybrid work model that can benefit you and your staff.