Hybrid working. Finding the balance.
It’s been one of the toughest years in business and now that we’ve made it through the other side, we’re faced with the next challenge.
“To work from home, or not to work from home?” That indeed, is the question for many businesses.
The shift to hybrid working has become a hot topic in the world of business. So many of us have become used to the flexibility it brings, allowing us to achieve the ultimate goal of work life balance.
The pandemic caused a radical change in the way in which we work, and it meant that those initial tech challenges and juggling family/work life, that once seemed impossible, were achieved. Many small businesses and even larger organisations are considering the shift to help with saving costs, the environment and creating a happier workforce.
So, now that the government has begun to open our cities and towns, there’s a growing demand for hybrid working arrangements to stay in place but as an employer, how do we manage this shift most effectively?
We’ve put together some tips to help you to prepare and to keep your workforce motivated and happy at home and in the office.
- Prepare your office environment. You may have been running at less than half of your office capacity to ensure social distancing and to make sure that you’re staying within government guidelines, so as more people return to your office restructuring your office layout, the way in which you manage hot desking and re-thinking what the office is going to be used for, needs to be first on your list of priorities. Think about a system to allow employees to book a desk and time in the office, as well as break out spaces for teams to collaborate.
- Establish a workplace policy. As with any changes to the way of working, it’s incredibly important to revisit your employee paperwork. Working from home may not be easily achieved for all staff, so it’s incredibly important to assess their personal life and working from home conditions and to be clear about your expectations regarding working locations.
- Assess positions. Some positions can be easily achieved working remotely, but this isn’t the case for all roles and all businesses. It’s really important to assess whether or not a position could be adapted to suit the new hybrid working and consider it on a case by case basis.
- Some people work best with structure. Working from home isn’t for everyone and some find it challenging to find motivation and to switch off from family life when working from home. Set goals and regular team meetings with your employees to ensure they’re staying on track and that they are happy with any new working arrangements.
- Employee wellbeing is a hot topic right now. It’s really important to speak with your employees to understand their challenges and whether they are finding any new way of working suitable for their individual needs. Offering flexibility for your employees to choose if they will be based full time in the office space, continue to WFH full time or allow a mixture of the two will really help you to create the most effective hybrid plan.
- Implement feedback meetings. Keep the connection. Hold regular one to one meetings, as well as those team meetings to truly understand the impact of change. Think about measuring outputs rather than time spent in the working environment,
Ultimately, hybrid working done right can offer your business more flexibility, potentially save costs, help you to attract top talent and allow your employees to achieve greater flexibility and a better home life balance. As this new way of working evolves, we have the opportunity to change the ways of working to everyone’s benefit and really begin to embrace this change to create a thriving workplace.
If you need any help in creating new policies, or managing this new way of working, we can work with you as an extension of your team to provide HR support to your business.
Our HR Manager support package provides support to your business in the same way you would expect if you employed an HR Manager.