There are no two thoughts that the world as we know it has changed dramatically over the last couple of years. After a long period of working from home, corporates are now slowly opening their doors back for employees. In March 2022, Google asked its employees in the Bay Area to return to the office. Employees were asked to rejoin from April, and the news was shared with them by Google’s VP of Global Benefits, John Casey.
However, what’s more interesting is that Google is adopting a hybrid work model. In such a model, employees are asked to come to the office for a certain number of days in a week (3 in Google’s case) and work from home for the remaining week. Notably, Google is one of the largest companies exploring the hybrid model and remote work. But Google is not alone, as reports suggest 63% of high-growth businesses now use a hybrid work model.
If you are looking to transition to a hybrid work model for your business, it also requires a tremendous overhaul of operations and processes. Remote operations require advanced tech like cloud computing to IoT solutions. That means you’ll need to hire a professional managed IT services provider. They will be able to cater to your company’s technology needs efficiently.
Once you make the transition, there will be several roadblocks along the way. Here are the best practices for adapting to a hybrid model.
Keep Employee Needs in Mind
One of the best aspects of adapting to new work culture is that each employee can figure out their preference for work setup. Some realize they are the most productive while working from home because they can save on commuting time and schedule their work hours as per their convenience. In contrast, some prefer in-person collaboration more than remote collaboration and whiteboarding.
The biggest learning from the work from home culture was that not all work is completely suited entirely to be done from home or office. Companies making a move to the hybrid model have the opportunity to tap this learning and enable their employees to figure out where and how they are most productive. There’s truly an opportunity to design work models that cater to each employee and get the most out of them with a hybrid model.
Retain Company Culture
Many believe it’s impossible to maintain company culture when working remotely or in a hybrid working model. Their justification being without personal interaction, how can there be a culture in the first place. However, experts believe that culture is defined as shared moments, no matter how they are shared.
With the hybrid work model, it’s easy to maintain or build an office culture. To illustrate, for the onboarding event of new members, you can have an in-person event at the office with other team members. It would get them to get onboard faster and help them ramp up faster. On the other hand, all-hands meetings should be virtual since the intimacy shared on a ZOOM screen while looking at everyone cannot be achieved in an oversized conference room.
Use Technology To Build Connections
Zoom burnout is real, and the chances are high that your employees might be missing out on new connections at work or maintaining old relations. It would be helpful to seek technology and consider new-age collaboration tools that enable team members to focus on the actual work instead of a drab meeting.
Today, various whiteboard tools are designed to stimulate the feeling of sitting in the same room as your team. There are tools designed to replicate chance encounters in the office or even water cooler conversations. Investing in such platforms would help quicker adoption of the hybrid model.
Continuously Evolve to Meet Employee Needs
Businesses need to understand that the needs of employees have and will continue to evolve constantly. The company’s goal should be how to innovate and evolve simultaneously to meet those needs. Just like customer surveys, it’s important to organize employee surveys from time to time. It will help businesses understand the expectations and issues of the employees.
While it’s not possible to address every single issue and need of every employee, the survey will give you enough data to figure out important metrics, like improving engagement. It’s crucial to find out employees’ needs in a hybrid setup since the company will not get as many opportunities to interact with employees directly.
Keep Employees Motivated
Reports have revealed that offering more flexibility, freedom, and work ownership results in greater engagement. Engaged employees are less likely to take unnecessary leaves and thus reduce the turnover cost. And since they feel more accountable to the company, they are also very productive. However, companies must decide the extent of flexibility and freedom to be given depending on their workplace culture.
There you have it! These are the best ways to adapt to the fast trending hybrid work model. All you have to keep in mind is taking care of your employees’ needs, providing the latest collaboration tools, developing and sticking to great workplace culture, and keeping employees motivated.
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