Hybrid working is here to stay. Here’s how to make the most of it.
It’s safe to say the last 2 years has been a challenge for many businesses. Remote working used to be uncharted territory for most of us, however with many organisations forced to work remotely at short notice from the start of COVID, we’ve all learned that it’s not so bad – and that employees can enjoy a range of benefits created through more flexible work arrangements.
We’ve adapted to this new way of life and work, but now with our countries opening back up, we’re raised with another obstacle: how to get employees back to the office, while maintaining the same perks of working from home. The answer is hybrid working.
What exactly is hybrid working?
For a growing number of businesses, hybrid working is the new normal. This hybrid model allows employees the flexibility to work both in the office and remotely, as it suits them. There is no one size fits all approach to this, making it entirely up to you to decide what works best based on the needs of your company and employees.
This new way of working looks like it’s here to stay so here’s why and how to implement a hybrid workforce if you haven’t already.
Let’s start with four reasons to implement hybrid working into your business.
Improved work-life balance
Flexibility to create a better work-life balance is known to be a key reason employees are attracted to the hybrid working model and an increasingly critical factor for employers to consider to retain their best employees. As hybrid working provides both employers and employees with more freedom and autonomy, it allows for a better work-life balance while allowing employees to operate with the same productivity.
Not only this, but this added flexibility enables employees to take care of things that surface in their personal lives, such as changes in childcare needs and arrangements, and using reduced commuting time to take up additional creative, sporting, or musical hobbies. This is a vital aspect of any healthy working environment as it helps to reduce fatigue, minimize stress, and improve mental health.
Historically, there has been fear that allowing employees to work from home would mean lower productivity. Well, in fact, this couldn’t be further from the truth. One study found that 66% of employees working hybrid reported being more productive or very productive. If remote workers can work from any location at any time, they can balance their workloads easier, and in return, be more productive. In saying this, it is important to provide a contrast for in-office setups that provide individual spaces equipped with collaborative tools.
Improved trust between the employer and employee
Trust between employers and employees is one of the most important ingredients of a successful and healthy working environment. The hybrid way of operating gives employees the opportunity to show their employers they can be just as productive working remotely as they can when working in the office. Therefore, employees are most likely to stay with the company longer. Not only this, but hybrid work arrangements often result in staff having a greater respect for the organization which benefits the employer as they don’t have to micromanage their employees.
Reduced business costs
The above-mentioned benefits lead to another reason to implement the hybrid model into your business: reduced business costs. With overall turnover rates such as sourcing, recruiting, hiring, onboarding, and training costs lower, the need for office space decreases, resulting in real estate costs to drop. The employer can reinvest these savings into a smaller co-working space, and consider bonuses, incentives or more competitive salaries as a means to retain their highest achievers.
But… How can I make the transition to a hybrid workplace?
Now that you understand the key benefits of hybrid working, here are some ways to adopt a hybrid work model into your business.
It is vital that organizations have the right tools, technologies, and processes in place to ensure employees can make a smooth transition into this new way of working, while maintaining high productivity. The following are some key factors to consider.
Ensure employees have the right equipment to succeed
Providing the right technology and equipment will allow employees to work seamlessly between their home and the office. This includes communications tools such as messaging, and video conference software such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, Zoom and on-site video conferencing equipment. This will assist in smooth communication and collaboration between all staff members working remotely. Other equipment may include new or upgraded physical hardware such as a computer or laptop, which will give employees access to tools needed to complete their job efficiently.
Create clear policies and procedures
Policies are helpful as they outline the approach your business is taking to hybrid working while detailing exactly what is expected from your employees. These can also cover the safeguards put in place to protect company information when a staff member is working from home.
Invest in company culture
It’s more important than ever to be intentional about reinforcing company culture when you are using a hybrid work model, as it’s not as easy to just swing by someone’s desk and have a quick chat. Make sure to invest in opportunities that bring joy to your employees, like implementing an employee recognition system. Perhaps you could call out an employee’s work you want to recognise once a week.
Implement the right systems
Lastly, consider whether you have the right software in place to support a hybrid workforce. Make the switch to hybrid work seamlessly with complete software to assist with the communications and productivity aspects of your company. Not sure where to start? Get in touch.