Some employers are ready to get back to significant in-person presence. Other employees aren’t.
As we navigate the post-pandemic workplace, there are three options for work: remote, hybrid, or in-office. Most employees report preferring a more flexible working mode, and the majority of organizations claim they are planning to redesign office space for hybrid workforce.
There is no one-size-fits-all version of hybrid. It will largely be defined by an organization’s industry, talent pool, culture and customer relations – some hybrid workplaces skew toward mostly remote work, while others may lean more toward in-office work.
As companies decide what their hybrid workforce will look like, leaders should be asking and answering the right questions before any decisions is made. We list three key questions below.
1) Is hybrid right for your organization?
Leaders should be considering the value of office space and whether their employees want to return to the office. Organizations should be receiving employees’ perspectives, (e.g., through pulse surveys) on returning to the office or remaining remote. Surveys can prompt the right conversation between managers and their employees to help make a decision that can work for both parties. Of course, organizations will not satisfy everyone, but leaders risk disengaging employees if they implement something that the vast majority of people do not want.
2) How will work get done?
While many employees finally got used to working from home, logistics of a hybrid workplace may be challenging. However, techniques such as hoteling— reserving a desk or workstation space in advance of use—or hot desking—where workspaces are available on a first-come, first served basis – have been implemented in many organizations. In fact, 30% of multinational firms already uses hot desking.
In addition to setting up in-office logistics, a clear communication plan should also be implemented. Working hours can be ambiguous when working with a remote team, especially if they work across many time zones. Leaders are responsible for setting clear protocols, such as:
- What are the overlapping hours of all team members?
- What are the core hours that they should be available at?
- How should team members denote availability?
- Are there times when team members should not be disturbed?
- What is the best way to connect with a team member?
- What is the expected response time?
Setting up clear hybrid work policies will help keep team members aligned and productive.
3) How will we evaluate the success of our hybrid work strategy?
Employee engagement is highly correlated with a variety of business outcomes, including profitability, retention, and performance. It can be a good metric to track what is working and what isn’t working with the current hybrid work strategy. Having a robust performance management solution can help managers document their 1-on-1 conversations and understand their employees work preferences and motivation. Pulse surveys can also be a good way to track employees satisfaction with the current processes.
Each organization’s approach to hybrid will be different. Listening to employees and collecting feedback can help ensure that your hybrid strategy works with your company culture.
For more information, download our latest guidebook about hybrid work. We outline some common hybrid work problems and identify solutions to help your organization optimize their people strategy and workflow for the hybrid workplace.