The people-first hybrid workplace is the future of work. It’s where high levels of productivity and employee happiness are prioritized.
According to the Statista study, 73% of employees have spoken towards flexible remote and hybrid work options in the post-pandemic era.
Now, whether you like it or not, adapting to the needs and wants of employees that allow them to sustain their high levels of productivity is in your best interest.
Therefore, in this post, we’ll discuss how you can create your own people-centric space in a few easy steps to help benefit not only your company but also its employees!
Identify How Your Employees Wish to Work
Not everybody wants to work in the office. The same thing goes for people who enjoy working in the comforts of their own home.
While organizations can enforce a strict work policy where employees can only work in the office, this decision could backfire. It could stifle the creativity of people who prefer working in the comfort of their own homes.
Therefore, instead of drawing a fine line between both schools of thought, it’s time that companies embrace them as the norm.
If you’re letting some of the most talented individuals walk out your door because they don’t want to travel from home to work and back every day, you’re missing the point. What’s more important than having a team you can manage in a single place is a group of people who get the job done at all costs, on time, and with no hand-holding!
So if you prioritize building a hybrid team that shares this goal, sit down with your employees and ask them the reasons why they want to work in an office or at home. Some may provide insights behind the reasoning that could improve your processes and help shape your business for the better.
Championing employee experience this way primes them for success. And, by allowing them to do their work, your business wins as well.
Reimagine Your Office Space
Since not everybody will be working in the office simultaneously, you can spruce up the place using the space left by people working at home.
From the same Statista study above, 66% of leaders are considering revamping the physical office space for hybrid work.
One thing you can do is by setting up things that are generally not available in the office but are available at home.
For example, since the bedroom is just a few steps away for people working at home, you can use the freed-up space to build sleeping quarters for employees working in the office. So, if they want to rest for a few minutes, they can just hit the sack to feel refreshed afterward, just like most WFH employees do!
Other ideas include setting up a recreational area where people can release stress by playing video games, billiards, or just relaxing on the couch.
These little details allow you to put the space to good use. Make employees who chose to go to the office at home even though they’re not.
Set Up the Right Tools
One of the biggest misconceptions of WFM is the difficulty of managing remote workers simply because they’re not in the same office space as everyone else. And while we’re all in an unfortunate situation nowadays due to the pandemic, it nonetheless sheds light on remote work as a legitimate way to produce results for your company.
The success of having a hybrid team hinges on the tools you’ll use.
For instance, since you can’t physically track your WFH employees, use a time tracking tool instead. It allows you to track the time they spend on specific tasks and take screenshots of their computer screen so you could see if they were working during those times.
If you prefer a less aggressive approach to managing your remote team, a project management tool should suffice. For example, you can assign employees to suitable projects and delegate tasks they must complete before the deadline. You can then leave comments on the functions for feedback for ideas to help them speed with work.
You can implement the use of a project management tool to centralize your workforce. For example, you can make announcements, assign projects and tasks to your employees, and communicate from it without sending emails or using messengers. This way, everybody can access the information and receive tasks in a single place.
Finally, using productivity suites like Google Docs allows multiple people to work on the same files simultaneously, if necessary, wherever they may be.
At the very least, the ones above should establish what your hybrid team needs to function correctly.
But there are many other hybrid team tools specific to your job types, like sales or marketing.
Advanced tools like Pitchbox allow you to reach out to prospects and target influencers more effectively in an online setting
Manage your campaigns and leads and assign tasks for your team to follow up in a single dashboard.
Another one is by using a data recovery software to help restore files that were corrupted in a hard disk failure using a network-attached storage (NAS) device. This is useful not only for your employees but also for clients who are sharing files with you securely through your network.
Champion Hybrid Workplace Culture
Building a company culture is much easier when everybody’s in the exact location. However, there’s no replacing human touch and interaction to help foster a sense of kinship among employees, which remote working tools won’t replicate anytime soon.
But despite the inherent disadvantages of the hybrid model, you should at least strive for a culture that works on a company and employee level.
First, you must establish a company culture that everybody in your team must buy into. You can do this by defining your goals, objectives, mission, and vision.
By having a clear sense of what your company represents, they will be able to apply themselves towards achieving the goals shared by the company.
But for them to achieve this, they need to put these concepts into practice with the work they put out.
Providing better communication amongst employees is an excellent first step towards promoting the company culture. Meet with your team members individually for a quick 10-15 minutes, regularly discussing work and non-work-related topics to keep in touch with them in any way you can.
Also, allow for the creation of Slack groups where your team can casually converse about anything. This lays the foundation of camaraderie and teamwork among your members as they get to know each other better.
You can help strengthen the bond formed by your team by launching or hosting virtual parties. For example, assign a date and time where your employees have to go online and host an event for all.
All these things should help your employees understand the value they bring to the table. By taking time to communicate and make them feel like an integral part of the company, you can retain them longer in your company.
Prioritize Safety and Wellness
Part of company culture is taking care of the well-being of hybrid employees. After all, without their hard work, the company won’t be where it is now.
And they can only grow and move forward if you can continue to ensure their wellness and health as a priority.
As mentioned, by talking to your team members one by one about things about work, you can address their concerns by making the necessary changes to accommodate their needs if applicable.
Also, the fact that you give them a choice to work at the office or home should show your intent of putting a value on their ability to make decisions for themselves.
Another way to show them that you care about their wellness is by providing them resources to treat their mental health.
The world nowadays throws unnecessary conflict and obstacles along the way that could put the minds of your employees at unease.
Therefore, instead of telling them to shrug it off and just do their work, provide concrete solutions by enrolling them in programs for managing stress, anxiety, and other disorders much better.
Some will take you up on your offer, while others don’t. Nonetheless, your effort should speak volumes of how you want to ensure the best for your employees, not just as part of your organization but also as human beings.
Analyze Employee Performance Based on Setup
Most people say that having a choice to decide how they should work, whether in a cubicle or on a desk at home, is what’s best for business.
But is it the case?
Over time, you need to review the effectiveness of the hybrid work setup. And the best way to check this is by reviewing your performance over a period.
Are your employees doing more than good work and meeting their goals before the deadline?
Is productivity up or down since moving to a hybrid workplace model?
Are your KPIs like lead generation up or down since instituting this setup?
There are more questions you need to ask yourself. But the most important thing to track here is performance.
If people are more motivated and driven to succeed from their current work setup, consider the hybrid workplace a win for now.
However, you need to keep getting the most out of your team to increase productivity and grow your bottom line.
Many factors deal with this, but make it a point that your employee makes a positive impact on it.
Despite the changing times, the demand for work remains the same.
So instead of waiting to weather out the storm before things go back to normal, you need to make the most out of the situation by mobilizing your workforce.
At the same time, giving your employees opportunities to succeed should be at the top of every manager or business owner’s list.
In this case, a hybrid workplace is the best business advice you’ll get at the moment. By allowing a more flexible arrangement where employees can choose to work, you can continue to operate your business at a high level.
And by following the tips above to help you set up your hybrid team, you should be able to get the most out of your employees.