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How To Create A Successful Hybrid Work Environment

How To Create A Successful Hybrid Work Environment

As companies scramble to establish a “new normal” after being thrust into remote work during 2020, many are establishing hybrid work environments. But what exactly are they, and how can you make one work for your team? We’re breaking it all down so you, too, can create a successful hybrid work environment for management and employees alike.

What is a Hybrid Work Environment?

According to a recent survey from Glassdoor, nearly 9 out of 10 employees say that they prefer to continue working from home at least part-time after their offices have reopened. However, the pandemic uncovered challenges with fully remote teams such as disjointed teams, decreased creativity, and lower morale. Thus, the hybrid work environment was born. It is a fluid system that provides a happy medium between in-office stability and WFH freedom.

How Can We Make A Hybrid Work Environment Successful?

Empower Employees To Choose

One of the most beneficial aspects of a hybrid work environment is that employees can choose what works best for them. Provide structure if necessary (everyone must be in the office on Mondays for an all-hands meeting), but leave flexibility. This will allow your employees to set themselves up for success and give them a sense of autonomy over their careers. You will be amazed at the shift in attitude and productivity.

Provide Tools

As acknowledged previously, remote work comes with challenges. To combat this, provide your employees with the right arsenal of tools. Investing in messaging software such as Microsoft Teams or Slack will allow your team to stay connected, whether in the same building or not. Encourage video calls over phone calls so people can still get some “face-to-face” time. When encouraging a hybrid work environment, help your employees create a productive work-from-home space. Provide an additional monitor, phone, keyboard, and mouse to keep them from having to lug materials back and forth.

Check-In Regularly

Hybrid work environments aren’t just “set it and forget it.” You need to check in with employees regularly to ensure their success and the overall success of your team. Are they staying on track and achieving regular milestones? Do they require additional support? Is the hybrid model working for them?

One of the best things about a hybrid work environment is that it is an adaptive working model. You can (and should) make adjustments as time goes on. Be sure to establish success metrics and implement regular assessments. In the end, your goal is to foster a flexible environment that promotes creativity and productivity.

The Easy 5-Step Strategy To Hire Remote Employees

The Easy 5-Step Strategy To Hire Remote Employees

Implementing a great hiring process is difficult enough, let alone a process to hire remote employees while your whole team is working remotely! Our best advice is to keep it simple. Focus on what matters, and let the rest fall away. For guidance, follow our easy 5-step strategy to hire remote employees.

Write A Great Job Description

It all starts with a great description. If there isn’t enough information in the job description, you will get an influx of unqualified resumes. On the other hand, if your job description includes a laundry list of complicated qualifications, you could deter talented candidates who don’t meet every single unnecessary qualification. For a remote position, be sure to detail the remote-work situation throughout, even if it’s just temporarily remote. You want that to pique the interest of the right candidates!

Additionally, use the job description to entice candidates. Share insight into your company culture, a glimpse into the day-to-day tasks, and information about benefits and perks. If it’s a permanent remote position, explain the support you provide to remote employees.

Define Your “Must-Haves”

In an incredibly competitive job market, you might receive hundreds of applications for one opening. Thus, it’s essential that you define your absolute must-have non-negotiables. Limit these to one or two of the most important qualities. That way, you can prioritize candidates that meet your most critical needs. For a remote position, this should include common remote work skills and experience.

Ask The Right Interview Questions

Now, more than ever, behavioral questions are instrumental to the hiring process. In the current job market, don’t be afraid to dig deep with candidates! Have them explain how they react to common remote work situations like frustrating Zoom calls, technology struggles, or unclear lines of communication. How they answer will be a great indicator of how they work remotely. Additionally, ask questions specific to your team or company culture to really cover all of your bases.

Check Their References

When you hire remote employees, it is entirely appropriate to request references that worked with them in a remote capacity. Making this specific request will grant you the opportunity to get a first-hand account of the candidate’s true ability to work remotely.

Extend An Offer Promptly

There are some incredible candidates on the market today; however, they won’t last long! Talent with remote work experience is in high demand, and your competition could sweep them out from under your feet. Make sure your interviews are effective so you can extend an offer and hire remote employees quickly.

Looking for more hiring advice? Explore our hiring resources here.

3 Ways To Sell Yourself For A Remote Position

3 Ways To Sell Yourself For A Remote Position

With more and more companies extending their work from home policies every day, we expect to see a massive increase in hiring for remote positions. The coronavirus pandemic has opened managers’ eyes to streamlining their teams while allowing for a greater work-life balance. In March alone, job postings for remote positions were up over 42% on LinkedIn. If you are hoping to take advantage of this workplace evolution, try using these three tactics to sell yourself for a remote position.

Set the stage by nailing a remote interview

Spoiler alert: if you flub a virtual interview, you will not be hired for a remote position. This includes everything from scheduling and set up to following up with a thoughtful thank you note. Be sure to brush up on your video interview skills – including testing your equipment, assessing your surroundings, and putting together a professional outfit.

Throughout the interview, it’s essential to remain fully engaged in the interviewer(s). Close all other windows and limit outside distractions. Ask questions that explicitly reference the remote nature of the position. As soon as you hang up, craft a thoughtful thank you note and fire it off to all people involved. Executing these practices flawlessly will cue the Hiring Manager into your efficiency, excellent communication skills, and self-motivation to accomplish tasks when left to your own devices.

Do your research

Yes, we recommend this for every job search. But when you’re in the running for a remote position, you need to take it up a notch! If the hiring process is 100% remote (which many are for remote positions), you won’t have the advantage of seeing the company in person. You won’t get a feel for the company culture by checking out what employees are wearing or how they interact with one another.

However, you can still gain these insights; you’ll just have to work a little harder! Do a deep dive into the company’s social media, keeping an eye out for any team pictures or posts specifically referencing the company culture. Scour their Glassdoor profile to read first-hand accounts for current and ex-employees. (But remember to take reviews with a grain of salt!)

Highlight your soft skills

While, of course, your qualifications are important for snagging an interview, soft skills will seal the deal and get you an offer in hand for a remote position. Hiring Managers prioritize those who will be self-sufficient, communicate effectively, and crush it in the time-management department. Be sure to utilize the STAR method to answer interview questions and demonstrate your soft skills. This will give your interviewer an in-depth understanding of your skills and how you put them to work.

Next Step: Brush Up On Common Interview Questions

Don’t worry; at JSG, we have an arsenal of interview prep advice to help you nail your upcoming job interview. Good luck!