The future is hybrid! No I don’t mean your car. Companies across the globe are moving to a new hybrid model but with anything new there are still a lot of questions. Here are 10 tips to help you make foray into the hybrid workplace a success!
Be flexible, but consistent
Employees are attracted to the hybrid model because of the flexibility in their hybrid work schedule. But you must have a plan for what work time should look like and you have to share this with your employees. How many hours do they need to work? Is there a requirement for onsite hours? Which projects have hard deadlines and which are still in progress? Always have a plan, but make sure you roll with the punches.
Set clear expectations
Expectations go hand in hand with consistency. Every employee must meet the same standards. They should know exactly what you expect and have opportunities to fix any problems. Be firm but understanding.
Working from home, especially during the shutdown meant there were a lot of distractions. Spouses and children were also stuck at home, pets don’t understand ‘work time’ and being around all your favorite things can just be distracting! Talk with employees about the importance of separate spaces for work and play. Having a clean workspace in a different room from anyone else is important to productivity.
Respect your time and the time of your coworkers
When you’re at home it’s easy to say “I will answer this email after I make my sandwich” or “I just need to let the dog out!” but it’s important to respect your time and the time of your coworkers. Answer questions in a timely manner. Meet important deadlines. Also respect your home time. If the workday is over, close your office door and enjoy your home time. Ensure a good balance of your time!
One-on-one time with employees is vital
Employers should make an effort to reach out to every employee on a regular basis. This ensures they feel supported and you know about any challenges they are facing at work. When you invest time in your employees they will feel engaged in their work.
Make sure your IT system is ready
Tech problems happen. If you are in an office you can just call down to IT and someone can come help. When working from it can be a little more challenging. Make sure your IT team is trained for helping people over the phone, but also train your employees to handle common problems on their own.
Have a good system to share work and projects
Communication is the root of success in any job. When you have a team that are all in separate locations this can be difficult. Find a good project webtool for your company’s needs and train your people to use it effectively. Zoom is a great way to see employees face to face, but Zoom fatigue is real. Explore other ways to stay connected.
Most project webtools have built in chat features, start a thread to discuss issues you would otherwise have a meeting for. Utilize a basic email. Record a video of yourself, this feels more personal to employees but helps alleviate Zoom Fatigue.
Redesign your office space
Your office space should be functional and inviting. It should inspire collaborative work feel worth the commute to the office. Ditch old cubicle style floor plans and go for open spaces with large tables to encourage teamwork.
Prioritize physical and mental health
Encourage employees to look after the physical and mental health. Working from home can be sedentary and lonely. Highlight programs available through their health insurance. Create a check in program, encouraging employees to check in with their body and make healthy choices.
Maintain a healthy balance of home life and work life
When working from home the line is easily blurred between home life and work life. Encourage employees to unplug when the work day is over. Only discuss work on work time. A healthy balance creates a safer mental health space.