Many people have settled into the new remote work routine and have created a balance between work and personal life—especially during the pandemic. Now that 46% of US companies continue to allow remote work, companies that offer remote work options are more attractive to talent.
One type of remote work is hybrid work, and it has become more popular, as 83 percent of US employees want to work for companies with this kind of model.
With these stats in mind, employers need to consider whether a traditional 9 to 5 onsite work schedule is the best option. If you’re considering a hybrid work option, start by learning the different types, benefits, and tips/tools to apply.
Different types of hybrid workplaces
Many people enjoy social interactions and office shenanigans, and others may feel more productive in a non-office environment. Luckily, there are three types of hybrid work schedules to meet these needs:
- Employees have total freedom to choose when they come into the office or work from home.
- Employers decide what days employees can work from home or in the office. Google, for example, has employees spend three days in the office and two days wherever they work best.
- Departments or teams decide which days to be in the office.
When deciding which type of schedule to choose, consider the factors that make an option less effective, such as employees’ location, company size, technology, tasks and projects, and team size.
The benefits of hybrid work
The best part about the hybrid work model is that it benefits both the employees and the company. Imagine the increased talent you can access when there are fewer dependencies on geographical area. You’ll also find that the benefits your team experiences benefit your company! These benefits include:
Increased productivity and efficiency
A hybrid work model offers your team flexibility and autonomy, which boosts productivity. Think about employees who need peace and quiet to focus or those who thrive in the office. When you allow them to choose their preferred work setting, you give them a choice to work where they’re most productive.
This choice also increases efficiency by eliminating factors like commuting time and can provide people with extra time to spend on self-development and learning. Both are essential in strengthening their skills that can further influence productivity.
Improved employee satisfaction
Flexibility and autonomy increase productivity and are also the key to employee satisfaction. You'll see employee satisfaction skyrocket if you provide freedom and decision-making on where, how, and when people work!
Improved work-life fit
Work-life fit is a vital aspect of any healthy work environment. Allowing the flexibility to work at home or in the office (or both) enables each team member to fit their work and life together in a preferable way.
Consider this – work leaks into life. But does life leak into work? Allowing people an option to work from home will enable them to balance their work and personal life. If it’s a beautiful day out and someone wants to walk their pup, they can because they have the freedom to finish their work later. You’ll be surprised to see how little things like this can reduce stress and prevent burnout.
Mastering hybrid work
If you want to reap the benefits, you need to strategically plan and sustain a successful hybrid work model. Success is dependent on enabling employees to do their best, which includes providing them with leadership, guidance, and an appropriate toolset. To create an effective hybrid work model:
Encourage meaningful connections
Remote work of any kind can reduce human interaction, so it’s essential to create opportunities where relationships can flourish. Consider requiring team members to put check-ins on the calendar so they can continuously get to know each other better. After all, connected teams thrive!
Also, encourage people to make the most out of each trip to the office. Suggest that they ask others out for lunch or other small activities that allow people to connect face-to-face.
Trust is a must! Preach the importance of accountability, and you’ll find people fostering independence while staying conscious of deadlines. Still, it’s a challenge to track performance and impact, so employees need to remain accountable for managing, completing, and reporting their work. Consider:
- Requiring check-in calls with employees to discuss their work
- Using a software tool to track performance
- Setting KPIs or goals for employees to reach
Provide the right tools
Whether at home or in the office, a digital and physical workplace is critical for any hybrid work model. Use tools to ensure your team is effectively performing, communicating, and collaborating, including:
- Project management software – You can use project management software to bring order and accountability to your hybrid team. A tool such as Asana can help your team people track projects, assign tasks, and collaborate from anywhere.
- Scheduling and calendar tools - Scheduling tools, such as the Zoom integration, allow people to sync and schedule meetings across calendars. Have your team share their calendars with each other to make scheduling easier.
- Collaboration and communication tools - Invest in tools like Slack or Zoom to enable people to work efficiently and collaboratively no matter where they are.
- Cloud-based software - Cloud solutions let your team access and save documents on any computer. Tools like Dropbox or Google Drive let people share files, maintain, update, and change documents—and document changes sync across all devices.
- Physical tools - No matter where people work, they need a physical workplace to help them perform their best. Provide a stipend to your employees so they can purchase items like cameras, microphones, or standing desks.
Employees must consider which setting is most appropriate for productivity while being transparent, so others know how to contact them. For example, employees can set their status in Slack or add their hybrid schedule to their calendar.
Change is inevitable
Hybrid workplaces are here to stay. Take this opportunity to get ahead of the game and evaluate how to plan for this change. You can take your organization to a new level of productivity, empower employees to balance their work and personal lives, and attract new talent while sustaining employee satisfaction.
Change is constant – we all know this! The real question is will you avoid change, or are you willing to adapt to the future of work?
Content provided by Q4iNetwork and partners
Photo by andreypopov