A hybrid work model blends together elements of an office and remote work in order to achieve an optimal balance for employees and managers within an organization. A truly effective hybrid work model encourages and achieves more autonomy and flexibility for companies and individuals than a traditional work model, which typically required employees to commute to a single office site Monday through Friday. A hybrid work future must balance the in-person benefits of one-on-one communication, team culture and innovation with the convenience and flexibility that remote work offers. Variations exist within hybrid work models, ranging from on-site workplace frequency to geographical differences. As a result, it’s important for organizations to understand challenges and risks posed for each variations.
Basics of implementing a hybrid model
Deciding on a hybrid model is one thing, but ensuring that the organization continues to achieve success is another. Drawing from the above organizational examples, here are five ways to continue ensuring a hybrid work model is working for your company.
- Collect feedback from employees. How are they adapting to hybrid work? Do they have technology solutions that enable good team communication for both in-office and remote workers? Is scheduling working well for them? Asking questions about employees’ day-to-day can help you iterate on a chosen work model. Determine a frequency in which to send surveys to your workforce in order to better understand their changing requirements and concerns.
- Provide comprehensive leadership development training to managers. Ensure your managers are able to effectively lead in hybrid work conditions by conducting training on leadership skills in a virtual environment. Sample training topics might include how to communicate effectively, as well as training on soft skills, like emotional intelligence and authenticity. Investing in your leaders will continue to increase equity for all, regardless of work location or arrangement.
- Continuously assess costs of your hybrid model. Many organizations have found that they do not require the same amount of physical office space for their employees as they did pre-pandemic. By tracking in-office utilization rates, you can make any updates to how space is used and what kind of resources are available to employees. Assess how your company provides any benefits for employees to configure their work-from-home or remote work setup. Determine a frequency for how often employees require a benefit.
- Clearly communicate about your hybrid work model. Whether you’re an organization like Microsoft, using a phase-based approach, or an organization adhering to a specific return-to-work start date, clearly communicate the plan to your managers and employees. Establish methods and channels for disseminating information about hybrid work and any changes that may result. Define how different technologies can be used to communicate different types of information and with cascading urgency. For example, use email to communicate large-scale hybrid work plans, and use a rapid communication tool like Slack to communicate pertinent workplace and safety information. Reserve phone calls and text for urgent inter-team matters.
- Define your technology requirements. After choosing your hybrid work model, it’s time to evaluate and implement a technology solution to support your return-to-work. Which type of solution you choose will be based on your organization’s budget, implementation timeline, administrative capacity and overall need and variability in your return-to-work plan. To optimize your employee’s hybrid work experience, we, in West Quay Offices offer the technology solutions that offer seven major areas of software and hardware capabilities: building access, on-site check-in, network access, space planning and floor plans, desk reservations, meeting room reservations and guest and delivery notifications.