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.
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.
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.