Top 5 Considerations For Building A Successful Hybrid Workplace
Not too long ago, the status quo for what we considered to be the traditional way of working involved having employees commute and congregate into a physical workspace, where their productivity, collaboration, and growth would have to flourish, one way or another, within the confines of this place that become, for many of us, a more familiar space than even our own homes. Then came along the COVID-19 pandemic, which completely shifted our perception of what constituted a safe and typical workplace. Because of government-mandated lockdowns, strict social distancing measures, and other restrictions, many organizations shifted their employees to a remote workplace.
Gone were the long commutes, the water cooler chatter, and employee lunches. Instead, they were replaced by a short trip to the home office, Zoom calls, and monthly virtual get-togethers. Out of necessity, remote work became the norm – however, as many organizations forecast a return to normal sometime in 2022, they’re gearing up for a future of work that’s flexible and hybrid. Large tech giants such as Microsoft, Google, Apple, and Slack have already made their intentions clear – with the volatility of COVID-19, they’re shifting towards implementing a fully hybrid work model for their employees.
The Future Of Work Is Hybrid
Hybrid work is here to stay, and part of the reason is that employees overwhelmingly want flexible working conditions. According to Microsoft’s 2021 Work Trend Index, 73% of employees want permanently flexible work options. In some instances, employees are willing to take a pay cut for either remote or hybrid work options, as evidenced by a recent study conducted by GoodHire, which found that 61% of employees would take a hit to their pay for this continued flexibility. The benefits of a flexible and hybrid work environment, which includes improved productivity, employee satisfaction, and mental health outcomes, are exactly why there’s a push for employees in demanding a more flexible model of work.
Though many businesses have experienced unprecedented growth as a result of their transition to a fully remote workforce, going fully remote may not be sustainable in the long-term since it can create a different set of issues that include a loss of community within your organization, communication gaps, and employee burnout. Hybrid work offers the flexibility that employees desire while allowing organizations the ability to adapt to a fully remote workplace, should the need arise.
Tips for Creating A Successful Hybrid Workplace
Some have thrived working remotely, whereas others prefer in-office work – hybrid work offers a best of both worlds approach, but it needs to be implemented with some careful considerations. The following tips are going to help you transition to a hybrid workplace that fosters productivity, innovation, collaboration, growth, and a healthy organizational culture.
1. Keep Your Employees In The Loop Before The Switch
Before you begin your transition to a hybrid workplace, clearly communicate your plan to your employees and get their feedback to gain a thorough understanding of their anxieties or preferences. Form a return-to-office committee to help you streamline employee feedback, communication, and implementation of your hybrid workplace transformation.
2. Give Time Spent In The Office A New Purpose
As a part of your new hybrid workplace transition, identify the tasks and activities that are going to take full advantage of an in-office work environment versus one that’s strictly remote. For instance, you can set aside a certain amount of time each week for in-person collaborative sessions or meetings to help strengthen and solidify team relationships and maximize productivity on tasks that could benefit from face-to-face communication between your employees.
3. Use Technology To Facilitate Flexibility & Inclusivity
Make sure that you have technology and tools to enable seamless communication between your remote and in-office teams. This means that if your remote workers have workstations, webcams, and other resources to help them work effectively from home, workers that opt to work in the office should have access to those same tools. Also, consider cloud-based solutions for workflows that are heavily dependent on collaboration between remote and in-office workers.
4. Rethink How Promotions Are Rewarded
In a more traditional work model, success is often measured by how many hours you commit to tasks in an office setting. With many remote workers experiencing greater levels of productivity, it only makes sense to reframe and reshape how success looks to your business in a hybrid work model versus a strictly in-office work model. Create tangible metrics that measure employee productivity based on task completion, employee accomplishments, and other key performance indicators, regardless of whether they’re in the office or are working remotely.
5. Create An Even Playing Field
If you’re finding that your employees in the office have a steep advantage over employees working remotely, ask yourself how you can level the playing field to give both remote and onsite workers an even playing field. Otherwise, you may risk causing friction between your employees by inadvertently creating division between your remote and in-office teams. For instance, if you offer a team lunch to employees that are working from the office, and aren’t offering the same incentive to your remote workers, this may cause some employees to feel unappreciated and isolated. This can lead to diminished morale and will impact employee satisfaction, productivity, and retention.
Moving Forward With A Hybrid Office Transformation
Once you’ve considered all of these bits of advice on implementing the most effective and equitable hybrid workplace, you need the tools to kickstart your hybrid office transformation. Though there are many hybrid workplace solutions on the market, billie offers organizations the most intuitive and user-friendly experience across its Locate Space and My Workplace modules.
With Locate Space, billie provides a robust space scheduling and room booking system for your hybrid workplace. Your employees will be able to locate, book, and schedule desks, conference rooms, and other workspaces with as few clicks possible – it’s easy and seamless, which allows you to create a workplace that’s flexible for your employees and your organization. With the addition of Neighbourhoods, billie gives you the ability to customize your hybrid office’s floor plan by creating dedicated office neighbourhoods for different departments, teams, and more.
As we touched on earlier, it’s critical to keep your employees involved as you transition to a hybrid work model. With billie’s My Workplace module, you’ll be able to empower your employees to provide critical feedback on their hybrid workplace through a simplified and streamlined workplace ticketing system. They can easily pick a service category, fill out a ticket, and submit their request without a delay – you’ll receive this information in real-time so that you can quickly act upon their feedback. This will allow you to create a hybrid workplace that’s conducive to maximizing employee productivity, satisfaction, and morale.
Put Your Employees First
Overall, these suggestions are meant to give you an overall understanding of the things that you can do right from the get-go when you’re planning your transition from a fully remote to a more flexible hybrid work model. Regardless of the type of hybrid workplace that you’re envisioning, these ideas will help you avoid some of the pitfalls of poor workplace planning by taking into account the needs of your employees. After all, they’re going to be integral in helping your organization transition to a successful hybrid workplace.
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