A modern work environment is a hybrid work environment. Different regions are reopening at different rates, but all businesses are devoting time to doing so safely. As a result, many have turned to a hybrid structure where part of the team punches the clock from a central office while others WFH.
For some, it’s a vast departure from the more traditional 9-5 setting. For digital natives, hybrid work allows them to utilise the technology available to help them do their best work no matter where or when they clock in.
Creating this new work environment is essential for everyone’s safety. But its success? That depends on how your hybrid workplace is managed.
Follow these guideposts to help your hybrid office work.
Types of hybrid work models
At present, only 45% of Salesforce survey respondents believe their employers are ready to reopen their workplaces. Since getting back to the office all at once is proving to be a slower than anticipated process, more and more workplaces are becoming increasingly “hybrid”.
Though reduced in-office capacity is the hallmark of the modern hybrid workplace, there’s no uniform way to create a hybrid environment.
Some companies have been successful designating certain days of the week as in-office or WFH shifts or limiting in-person work to two or three days per week. Others find it’s a better fit to have rotating schedules that clearly identify when certain employees are to come in or stay home.
The choice is ultimately yours; however, it’s good to get buy-in from your team during the decision-making process. Be sure to remain flexible and open to change if you discover a certain system isn’t working. This is a learning process for everyone.
• Equipping your hybrid team
For hybrid teams to work well, they need certain technology and equipment. Laptops, tablets, docking stations and extra monitors top the list of WFH hardware, but each individual team is different.
When deciding on the right devices for your business, it’s important to think about deployment. By choosing devices which your IT team can deploy seamlessly through the cloud, you’re saving resources and getting your staff up and running sooner.
Creating a company device policy for your hybrid team ensures employees always have access to the tools and tech they need to do their best work, regardless of where that takes place. It also acts as a tracking system that can help employers understand what’s in high demand, so they can budget for additional equipment accordingly.
• Security first
While there are a wealth of devices on the market, not all are created equal. It’s important to choose devices with built-in security controls which make it easy to deploy and manage devices remotely.
Remote device management means you can monitor and control devices from a centralised location, enabling you to troubleshoot IT problems, protect important data and prevent unauthorised access.
• Budgeting for your hybrid team
And speaking of budgets, you can spend responsibly for the items your hybrid team most needs by splitting your costs between equipping employees in the office and at home.
Need to keep your hybrid equipment budget lean? Look for line items that correspond to your communal areas. For safety reasons, they’re off limits (at least for now), so see if you can save on snacks and use that money elsewhere.
Instead of coffee for the break room, can you invest in virtual happy hours for your hybrid team? Or better equip employees’ home offices with ergonomic solutions?
• Scheduling your hybrid team
Maintaining your company culture in a hybrid office environment is critical. The best way to do so is by keeping your coworkers connected. When scheduling your in-office team, make sure employees are getting face time with a variety of their coworkers.
Remember, that includes upper management, too!
According to Owl Labs, Studies have shown that organisations that allow flexible work actually have better relationships between management and direct reports. Boundaries from previous office environments where the C-suite is in a closed-off fancy office are dissolved, allowing employees of all levels to bond, connect, and grow together.”
If the hybrid workplace teaches us anything, it’s that work is about output, not location. So long as companies respect the autonomy of their employees, and manage them accordingly, going hybrid is likely to remain a long-term solution that keeps us productive and safe for the foreseeable future.