Building a successful hybrid workspace
The term 'hybrid workplace' refers to a business model that combines office and remote work. A core group is usually required to be present on site while everyone else is allowed to work from home or both. Sometimes, employees may be required to attend in-person meetings on a certain day of the week.
Instead of organising work around set office hours, the hybrid workplace typically gives employees the freedom to fit work around their personal schedules. For many workers and employers, it strikes the perfect mix between efficient work and less stressful living.
During the COVID-19 lockdown, employers were at a crossroads attempting to meet organisational objectives while making sure employees had access to all the necessary resources required to preserve productivity. The door for hybrid workplaces was opened as a result.
A hybrid workplace must have a system that benefits both physically present employees and remote employees to be successful.
Here are some ways to set up an effective hybrid workspace:
Consider what the employees want
On-site, remote and hybrid employees all need to be taken into consideration. It is important to consider which employees would prefer working remotely as some might still be hesitant to use public transport, experience anxiety and stress over returning to on-site work impacting their productivity or have new family responsibilities to uphold. While some employees might prefer working some days in the office and others from home, flexibility is key to ensure an effective hybrid work culture.
Ensuring your employees are doing the work on time
A major aspect of a hybrid workspace is to trust the employees. It might be worth having the same number of office hours for all three kinds of employees. This will allow remote and hybrid workers to make their own work schedule and develop a better work-life balance. Team leaders or the HR can keep tabs on employees' work progress through an online portal or by requesting them for updates from time to time.
Invest in Digitising
Having an online workspace where employees can log in their work hours, hand in their work and schedule appointments can be beneficial. This allows all workers to update their work progress and be aware of what else is going on. It is also beneficial for team leaders as they keep track of what their employees are working and set up necessary meetings.
Additionally, investing in online meeting rooms, scheduling and work management apps and so on, reduces the chances of miscommunication and mismanagement. It also will make communicating plans for upcoming projects and setting up meetings effective and easier.
Establish an even playing field
As mentioned before, some workers might now be responsible for young children or elderly parents, depend on public transit, or suffer from anxiety and do not feel secure returning to a physical workspace, and so, might not be able to go back to their physical offices. Therefore, it is critical to make sure that remote workers receive the same opportunities for advancement as those who go back to the office to maintain a healthy hybrid work culture and environment.
Prioritise Work Culture
In a hybrid workplace, it is necessary to manage three different employee experiences, which makes it difficult to maintain and develop a single workplace culture. Among the aspects of creating a successful hybrid work culture, in-person and remote teams should be able to share the same workplace values, which affects productivity. It is crucial to provide remote workers the same attention that is given to office staff. All employees can remain linked to the company's shared values and objectives by participating in virtual social hours and company organised online social events.
The pandemic has given us the ability to rethink the workplace and the possibilities for improving it. However, the hybrid workplace must be properly planned and implemented and not seen as a cutting-edge experiment if it is to be effective. Although the hybrid workplace may appear to be a solution to a short-term issue, it is actually a plan for the future of work. Finding ways to organise and balance work, safety, communication, and mental wellness is important.