The Coronavirus pandemic led to many businesses adopting remote working. And, although this new set-up initially caused problems for some, many have found it to be a success.
Many employees have also found working at home to be a largely positive experience, citing benefits such as a better work-life balance and greater flexibility. Not only this, but many employees and employers have reported a boost in productivity.
But as restrictions ease, businesses are now able to re-open their offices and bring their teams back, if they want to.
This is leaving many people wondering if homeworking will still be an option after a return to the office.
Hybrid working could offer a solution.
What is hybrid working?
Hybrid working brings together the benefits of remote and office-based working, allowing businesses to enjoy the flexibility and independence of remote working and the social, structured aspects of office working.
As businesses consider if homeworking is still an option after a return to the office, a hybrid approach looks likely to become a popular option.
How can you make it work for your business?
If you’re thinking of adopting a hybrid approach to working, there are a number of steps you can take to help ensure it works for your business:
Create a community
One of the challenges employees face when not working fully in the office is feeling part of a community. We spend so much time with our colleagues in the office, that we build strong, positive relationships with them. But this can be difficult if they aren’t consistently in the same physical space.
So find ways to ensure your employees feel connected, even when they aren’t physically close together.
Communication is different for those employees who aren’t in the office – it’s not as easy to find out what’s happening or have a quick catch up with someone you pass in the corridor.
With this in mind, it’s important that you actively communicate all information in ways that puts office based and remote workers on a level playing field. It’s not fair if those working from home miss out on key information and opportunities, simply because they weren’t in the office on a particular day. Consider holding all meetings online, for example, so that both remote and in-office employees have the same experience
Focus on outcomes
Traditionally, performance has been monitored based on what employees are seen to be doing. But, with a remote or hybrid approach, this simply isn’t effective.
Instead, take a more holistic approach, and focus on outcomes. Setting KPIs and smart goals will be effective for both remote and office-based employees. You should also hold regular, one-to-one meetings with you employees to discuss, review, and establish objectives.
More than ever, employee wellbeing should be a top priority. It has been a challenging time for all of us and, if your teams are working partially or fully at home, it is harder to monitor their mental health and well-being. Not only this, but for some employees, striking a balance between work and home can be difficult when they’re not working from the office.
So ensure your staff are trained on managing a work life balance when adopting a hybrid working model, and give managers the tools they need to spot signs of poor wellbeing and address them.
If you’re considering adopting a hybrid approach to work to give your employees the opportunity to continue working from home, and you need advice or a policy, please contact us. We’re ready and waiting to help.