As organizations move toward a hybrid workplace, employers might be asking: How can I effectively implement a hybrid work policy in my office? While employees understand the benefits of remote work as well as in-office environments, it’s important that employers are aware of the challenges involved in hybrid work and how to address them.
As you consider how to make a return to the office, here’s a few elements to think about as you implement a hybrid workplace policy:
Continue to be flexible
Throughout the last year, employees have learned a lot about how they work and the environment that is most productive for them. As you reopen the office, understand that each employee is different.
For some employees, a hybrid schedule may mean working from the office two to three days per week, while others may prefer to work from the office more often. Even with a hybrid schedule, some professionals may still feel more productive working from home. For example, a working parent may feel that they focus better at the office every day. Meanwhile, an employee with health issues may feel less stressed and healthier at home.
While you may want to have a general set of rules in your hybrid workplace policy, understanding the needs of your employees and being flexible to support their needs is important.
If employees will be in and out of the office on different days, be sure that there is effective communication about scheduling and expectations. In a hybrid workplace model, each department or team should understand your communication guidelines, the proper channels for communication, and their entire team’s schedule.
On the scheduling note, encourage employees to have a regular schedule that other team members can rely on. While it’s still important to remain flexible and open to employees making adjustments, consistency can help your entire team stay on the same page when it comes to meetings, deadlines, and opportunities for collaboration.
To ensure effective communication across the company, be sure that leadership sets clear expectations with managers and staff. Additionally, consider a scheduling solution to effectively track how each employee is utilizing the hybrid work option.
Provide the necessary technology
For employees who will work from home as well as the office, having two primary work locations can pose a new challenge for workplace productivity. With staff working in different work spaces, it’s important to facilitate a seamless and efficient experience between the two by providing the necessary technology.
For example, you may want to provide one laptop that each employee can use both at home and at work. Or, you may want to set up a shared drive that employees can access from both locations. While you work on setting up staff with the proper infrastructure and tools, you should also consider tightening your security. With employees working out of more (less secure) locations, it’s important to ensure your data remains safe.
With hybrid work staying around, you’ll also want to be sure that your employees are equipped to take video calls in the office. Whether that means providing headphones, making more rooms available for calls, or investing in more video conferencing technology, these efforts can help keep employees engaged during meetings. Remember, the way we work has fundamentally changed. Be sure that your office environment supports that shift.
In addition to providing the necessary technology for employees, providing training and resources is critical to a successful operation. This includes training on:
- Cybersecurity and phishing
- Technology and equipment
- Softwares used by the organization
- Productivity at home and at the office
To provide this kind of training, ensure that you have dedicated resources and instructions, as well as training and development staff ready to train employees on your organizations protocols and tools.