How to Successfully Implement a Hybrid Working Model
According to PwC research, 68% of executives think that employees need to be in an office at least three days a week to have a good company culture.
While many workers still want to work remotely, a hybrid working model may be a good middle-ground option for some businesses and employees. However, after two years of working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many companies wonder how they can successfully bring employees back into the office while letting employees have flexibility.
This can be tricky, especially when so many employees are quitting to find jobs that fit their needs. Keep reading to learn how to establish hybrid workplaces successfully.
Choose a Hybrid Work Model
Before implementing a hybrid model, remember that there are different types of solutions. One size won’t fit every company, and you may have to customize other remote work models to fit your needs.
If you want to ensure that you retain as many employees as possible, you may want to let your employees choose how many days they’ll work remotely or in the office. Some employees may even want to work half of the day in the office and half remotely. This is the most flexible remote-first model out there, and many employees will appreciate the flexibility.
If you want to have more structure, you can set how many days employees will work on-site. With this model, remote and hybrid work employees might not have as much flexibility, but they will have more structure. However, you could let employees decide which days work best for them to come into the office. However, you can also schedule times or days when people need to be in the office to attend meetings, group training, or collaboration events.
Some companies also decide to let some departments work remotely 100% of the time, while some departments have to come into the office. For example, you may have your marketing team members working remotely if they don’t need to go into the office to get their job done. But if you have an operations team that needs to complete tasks in the office, you might have them come into the office multiple times a week.
Alternating between working from home one day and then working in the office the following week can be stressful for some employees. If that’s the case, you could also use a hybrid solution where employees work from home one week and then work in the office the following week. This might give employees more flexibility, and it can also help you cut your office space in half if you have alternating departments visiting the office.
Set Up Clear Policies
Once you’ve decided on one of the models that works best for your company, start working with your HR team to set up policies and procedures for working in a hybrid environment. This will help your entire team make the transition with clear guidelines.
You may have to start from the beginning when creating this policy, but if you already have a remote or flexible work policy, you could modify it. When you’re working on the policy, there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
To start, you need to tell your employees what type of hybrid model you’re implementing. Explain how it will work; including examples may also help your employees understand the new changes.
If you allow this to all employees, you may not have to provide as many instructions. But if you’re choosing a model that affects departments differently, explain to employees how they can know if they’re eligible for the hybrid work model.
You’ll also want to lay out your policies for grievances, performance, absences, discipline actions, and other structures that employees need to know about.
Once you send the policies out, your employees might be panicking about the change. They may have anxiety, and one thing that can relieve anxiety is structure. After two years of working remotely, employees won’t want to deal with change, and then switching back to the office can be difficult for even the most resilient employees. So ensure that you communicate as much as possible as soon as possible.
When you’ve set up those clear policies, communicate them to all of your employees. Encourage them to ask questions if they’re confused about something. You could even host a town hall to allow an open forum for employees to ask questions where you can address their concerns.
Ask for Employee Feedback
When you hold your town hall or open forum, this could also be a great place to ask for feedback from your employees. If you don’t want to do it with a large audience, you could even set up smaller meetings with employees. Some employees may not feel comfortable voicing their opinions, so you could send out anonymous surveys to gather feedback and employee engagement.
It would be best to ask your in-office employees and remote workers about what challenges they expect with this new model. You may even want to ask about their ideal schedule or model. Ask them where you can improve while figuring out what model will work best.
However, if you’re going to ask for employee feedback, it’s equally vital that you take whatever suggestions they offer. If employees send you feedback that you ignore, they may be less likely to trust you in the future. They will feel like their voices aren’t heard, and some employees may even start looking for a new job where they feel like their opinions will matter.
Set Up Communication Channels
Before you implement your hybrid model, you’ll need to ensure that your remote teams can communicate with your on-site teams. This is crucial to having a successful hybrid model. If your employees can’t communicate with each other, this will hinder your business’s productivity.
The best option to implement is asynchronous communication. This means that your team can send emails or messages to each other without expecting a reply immediately. This system trusts that your employees can manage their own time, complete tasks, and respond promptly. This is also great so that remote employees aren’t waiting for on-site employees to reply as they may be away from their desks working on a task. It could also work if you have many teams across different time zones.
You can include different software and tools to offer different communication styles. Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Skype are great video conferencing software that you can use to connect people from all other locations.
Your business should also use instant messaging, like Slack, Google Chat, or Microsoft Teams.
Implement a Hybrid Working Model Today
If you think hybrid work models would be the best fit for your business, you’ll need to follow these steps to have it work. However, you still may lose some employees as different workers have different needs.
If you lose employees and need to fill the roles as soon as possible, Recruiter.com is here to help you with hiring.
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Contact us today to evaluate which recruiting solution is the best fit for your business!
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