Hybrid Workplace: Impact & Strategies to Mix Work from Home & Office
The pandemic has touched all facets of life, driving people to think, adapt, and come up with new solutions to move forward. Many have made drastic but practical decisions to meet the ‘new normal’. Among the big industry players, companies like Microsoft are leading the change where the tech giant recently announced they will be switching to the hybrid work policy, giving their employees the freedom to work from home when desired.
In the Microsoft hybrid work model, employees are now allowed to work from the comfort of their home for not more than 50 percent of their work week. Those who will opt for this kind of setup will give up their assigned office space, but retains the option to use available common workspaces.
Infosys is also another major company that is moving in the direction of the hybrid work model. One of the world’s largest IT service firms, they have announced that they will be giving their employees the flexibility to choose to work from home and in the office for the next few months, depending on client requirements and projects.
Hybrid working may be the future-ready way to run a company. It has a balance of focus on performance, productivity, and also the wellbeing of employees, especially during a time where health and personal time is crucial.
Running the hybrid work from home model can come with its set of challenges. To proceed, companies will have to explore the different strategies on how best to produce a positive impact to their hybrid workforce.
First off, you need to identify the potential pros and cons of the hybrid work culture will bring to your organisation and your employees. Here goes!
Pros and Cons of Hybrid Workplace Setup
Freedom and flexibility of working
Safety for your employees
Benefits employees and employers alike
Helps employer and employees prioritize family and well-being
Cost savings for both employer and employees
Makes collaborative work challenging
May affect company culture
Reduced visibility between workers may impact performance and development
Now that you are aware of the benefits and drawbacks, look into the strategies involved with implementation and making a hybrid workplace strategy work. Here are some ideas you can integrate into this setup.
Tips to implement hybrid schedule on your workforce
1. Define your hybrid workplace implementation model
Start with a policy. It should include the new work process and expectations. Prioritise solutions to the common challenges in the new work model. It should be flexible and scalable to allow your business and your people to grow in the future.
Be inclusive. You will want to consult your staff about the new work model for suggestions and ideas for the new hybrid work schedule. Consider their concerns and combine it with your business needs.
Here are some ideas you can consider as you implement this new system:
Enable employees flexibility to choose where they want to work
Schedule days for office and remote work (set up rosters)
Rotate teams for office and remote working
Set spaces for collaborative work, social events, meetings, and in-person tasks
Provide different solutions for different employees based on their tasks and functions
2. Redefine your office space
In a hybrid work setup, you can fully utilise your space. With less employees around on a daily basis, the extra space in an office can be converted into meeting spaces, or nooks for concentration. You may also consider a shift to a flexible office space for a more efficient use of your office. This will make a difference in your costs and operations and gives you the flexibility to use space on a per-need basis rather than committing to a long-term lease.
3. Take advantage of technology
Project management, file sharing, communication and collaboration software are just a few of the many technology platforms you need to improve to make the hybrid setup work. The best way to go is to invest in a highly capable tech solution that provides your company everything you need and can work as a single source, rather than getting multiple cheap platforms. Flexible office space and shared offices are a quick fix for this as they are readily-equipped with the latest IT infrastructure and technological solutions you need to simplify the transition from a work-from-home to office setup for your employees.
4. Provide your staff with the right tools
Whether at home or in an office, your workforce need the right tools to perform their duties. It is imperative that they are provided with key tools for communication and collaboration. Specific and specialised tasks may need special tools and programs, which often come with subscription fees or sold online, and it would be wise to prepare them beforehand.
5. Avoid micromanagement
The biggest advantage of hybrid work from home setup is flexibility and freedom for your employees. This leads to productivity, better performance, and a more satisfied workforce. To make this work, let your staff have autonomy over their responsibilities – empower them to work their own schedules and decide how they want to accomplish their tasks, but communicate the need for accountability and discipline. It is important to clearly define work expectations so they can stay focused with the task at hand and ensure that progress is achieved.