Discover 12 steps to implementing hybrid work and still make your employee want to come to the office
Hybrid working describes a flexible work model that combines working from home with an office presence. Both employers and employees benefit from this new working model, as the former can reduce the size of the office and the number of employees, and the latter can increase their personal work-life balance and ideally work more productively.
But how can hybrid working be successfully integrated into a company while ensuring that employees still enjoy coming into the office?
Employers should create policies and procedures that facilitate employee assimilation with the new work model. One thing to consider is clarifying what type of hybrid working the company chooses. This can be either a blanket policy or guidance on how employees can request hybrid working and who in their position is authorized to do so. Employees should also be aware of their roles and responsibilities.
Companies have to deal with the legal implications of hybrid working. This means a formal change in working and employment conditions in the company.
In practice, this looks like this: Employment agreements must include the location of the agreement, and remote workers should list their home address as their place of work. Employees should be informed that a move may affect the structure of the agreement and any change of location should be discussed with the landlord, mortgage lender or home insurer.
Your employees need to be aware of all the formalities, including the tax benefits that remote work can bring.
Successful implementation of the hybrid work model means ensuring easy communication between teams and employees. Asynchronous communication is key here, as employees should be able to communicate and respond when it is most convenient for them. Leave employees with all the information they need to complete their work on their own in the allotted time. If there are any questions or comments, employees should be able to send questions and have a status update tool. This way, the employer does not have to be available all day. Popular tools that are suitable for this include instant messaging tools such as Slack, Microsoft Teams Chat and Click-Up.
Every implementation of a new model brings with it challenges that no one had previously anticipated. Employers should therefore be ready for continuous development and learning. This is the only way to ensure employee productivity and minimize frustration. Use tools to ensure effective communication, performance management and team building. An example of this would be LinkedIn Learning, which helps companies develop and manage employee learning and development programs.
Employees must be guaranteed a seamless work experience between home and office. This means, above all, ensuring adequate equipment for employees working from home. The transition to the office must be as simple as possible. This means taking a closer look at the structure of the office space and, for example, converting static and assigned spaces into hot desks, supported by an online booking system for office access.
Seamless working is also synonymous with providing support and training to make the transition as smooth as possible. Provide your employees with a list of recommended tools and training, and take security measures to ensure the safety of their data. Furthermore, companies should test the devices available to employees for compatibility with hybrid working - both in the office and at home.
The relationship between employer and employee should resemble a partnership of equals. For example, a decision can be made to integrate flexible paid time off so that employees can freely manage their schedules. Or the salary plan can be made transparent with an element of profit sharing, which will make the company as a whole row in the same direction at once. A company is only as good as the people it employs. That's why it should provide its teams with the most pleasant and thus flexible way of working, which in turn motivates the latter to gladly come back to the office on some days.
The first obvious consideration may well be the question: How do I manage my employees remotely? Here, however, the focus is somewhat misplaced. Rather, companies should shift the focus to recruiting team members who will take responsibility for their work. If a company shows confidence in its teams, they will be strengthened and able to do a good job both outside the office and on site.
Employers who want to successfully adopt a hybrid work model should be adaptable. This also means allowing employees to create new processes to complete their work well. Employees should be rewarded for experimentation and new ways of thinking. This also keeps the lines of communication open upwards and creates a flexible and trust-based environment that motivates employees.
A hybrid work model is only effective if the physical gathering of people serves a purpose. Employees who are allowed to work from anywhere are generally more likely to sit on their own patio than in the office. However, the physical meeting in the office is of great importance, especially with regard to idea generation and innovation. Office spaces should support physical meetings as much as possible through their design and technology.
When we talk about hybrid working, we are simultaneously talking about technologies and processes of a virtual world. How can the workplace still feel human despite all this? A first step can be prompts such as leaving the camera on during online meetings or integrating platforms like Fringe as an employee incentive program. Employees are people, and they inherently crave interpersonal contact and social interaction. If your company provides a breeding ground for these needs, employees can't help but crave office presence from time to time.
A corporate culture that focuses on true collaboration motivates employees all by itself. People and ideas are united when they are allowed to come together and help shape things. As soon as employees feel that they are being listened to and taken seriously, they are organically motivated. And what more could a company want than passionate employees?
To make a team feel like a team and work as one, companies need to implement a team-first mentality. The feeling of camaraderie motivates everyone involved. Employers should create an atmosphere that provides personal value to their employees, such as personal and professional interaction, recognition and opportunities for growth. Employees must have a voice and be allowed to have fun. Only on such a basis can good work and thus excellent results flourish.
These 12 strategies can help you integrate the hybrid work model into your business while motivating your employees. Ups and downs are normal in any team, but it's up to managers to find ways to keep employees energized and motivated.