5 Strategies to Make Hybrid Work a Successful Practice in Your Business
The hybrid work model is not without its challenges. With such a flexible environment came different dynamics and added responsibilities for managers to handle. So how can companies make hybrid work a success?
5 Strategies to Make Hybrid Work a Successful Practice in Your Business
Remote work has become a requirement in most companies in the world. The global pandemic forced it that way.
However, as the restrictions ease in most countries, flexible work is here to stay. The hybrid workforce is a growing trend. Companies are embracing flexible working policies and turning them into the new normal -- this gives them an edge when recruiting new employees and retaining current ones.
With hybrid working, employees are given the option to work remotely and come into the office for a set number of days each week.
In this hybrid way of working, most organizations have successfully retained skilled workers who want flexible hours but still need a sense of belongingness with colleagues. They are also able to promote diversity in the workplace.
In addition, companies can save significantly by reducing real estate costs and infrastructure expenses. It is also easy for these businesses to access new markets worldwide without opening up more branches or offices that will eat into company profits.
The hybrid work model is not without its challenges, however. With such a flexible environment came different dynamics and added responsibilities for managers to handle.
So how can companies make hybrid work a success? Here are five strategies:
#1: Ensure Managers and Employees Discuss their Expectations for Hybrid Roles
It is of significant importance to discuss hybrid work policy guidelines with employees. When hybrid work is communicated correctly from top-level executives to line managers, it will become a success for everyone involved with this working practice regardless of their individual preferences.
For example, hybrid employees should know what is expected of them when they are in the office (i.e., hours of work, communication with managers/colleagues) and how their hybrid status will be communicated to clients or customers who need to get in touch.
Companies can ask employees to work from home for a few days each week and come into the office on other days. Or they may allow them to pick their schedule so long as they meet their deadlines.
Managers must coach hybrid workers by providing feedback on performance issues during regular check-ins while encouraging team members' personal development.
At all costs, micromanaging hybrid employees should be avoided. This can lead to resentment among staff who feel like they have too little autonomy at work, which may negatively impact job satisfaction and overall quality of working life.
#2: Help Employees see the Business Case for Hybrid Working Policies
It's crucial to make sure employees know why hybrid work is beneficial for them and their employers. Companies should explain what they stand to gain from flexible schedules, such as better work-life balance or increased productivity, while also making it clear that there are no downsides involved in hybrid working arrangements and that everyone should be excited about the change.
When hybrid workers understand how their flexible working arrangements support their bottom line, they will be more motivated to continue these practices. Companies that allow flexible working practices often have better business results than those that do not implement them into daily operations.
#3: Adjust Company Practices to Fit the Nature of Hybrid Work.
Hybrid workers have different needs than regular employees. For hybrid work to be successful in a business, organizations must consider these differences when modifying their company's policy so that hybrid workers are not disadvantaged by the changes made.
If possible, providing hybrid employees with a membership in a co-working space or alternative workspaces like a home office where they can stay connected and ready for work.
In terms of training opportunities, hybrid employees should know if there are courses/training sessions offered and whether they can be streamed online. This way, hybrid workers know where they stand with regard to skill planning and can make informed decisions about potential courses of action moving forward.
In addition, companies need to adjust how they recruit talent and treat them on an ongoing basis if they want this hybrid way of working to succeed in their business operations.
Reminding employees of policies might be necessary while giving them plenty of autonomy. As part of a hybrid workforce, remote staff can sometimes feel disadvantaged by policy changes if they're announced suddenly or without an opportunity for feedback before implementation.
#4: Give Clear Direction on how Performance should be Measured within Flexible Hours
This might include shifting some of the onus to hybrid employees by asking them how they prefer their progress and performance at work to be judged.
A business might have established guidelines for working hours or require specific tasks to be completed within set timeframes. Still, it's important to remember that these same restrictions do not bind flexible workers.
If hybrid employees are expected to be available at all times, they should have a guaranteed window during which this is possible so that flexibility isn't compromised.
Suppose flexible workers need an uninterrupted block of time every day to work away from their desks. In that case, it's crucial to make sure everyone involved understands it before setting up hybrid working arrangements. Managers should be mindful of people's different needs when communicating changes.
Finally, successful hybrid policies could vary from organization to organization depending on industry type, workforce needs, and flexibility preferences among staff members. What is considered a best practice at one firm may not always work at another.
#5: Don't Expect the Transition to Hybrid to be Immediate
Hybrid work is a significant shift for employees and employers and will require some time to become something done seamlessly on both ends of the spectrum.
Some hybrid employees may need a little time to get used to the different ways they can work. Giving hybrid workers time to adjust before hitting performance-related targets or demanding that all team members adhere strictly to an office schedule is an important step to be taken.
Not everyone will be comfortable with this type of arrangement, so companies should give clear guidelines on what benefits hybrid work offers both parties and how these arrangements should operate within the business' parameters.
It's essential not to try and change everything at once, as this can lead to frustration within teams or individuals. Slowly rolling out flexible policies one step at a time until it becomes more comfortable for everyone involved.
Hybrid Work is the new future.
Once hybrid work is a successful practice, it will allow companies to attract and retain top talent. This arrangement allows both parties to benefit from a happier workforce that excels at their job while also offering an improved work-life balance.
The hybrid model is very dynamic, but what makes it such an effective alternative to traditional working models is its variety of benefits across multiple stakeholders, including workers who want flexible work arrangements and managers who can manage their teams from a remote location.
In fact, according to research conducted by Deloitte (2021), employee engagement is at its highest with employees working remotely 60-80% of the time.
It is essential to understand that flexible work comes with its challenges. However, hybrid arrangements offer creative solutions and can be adapted in different ways depending on the needs of each organization. By following these strategies, companies can make hybrid work a success.
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