Should Your Company Adopt A Hybrid Work Arrangement?

Hybrid Work Arrangement

When pandemic restrictions began lifting, some companies embraced brave new changes such as hybrid work arrangements. Increasing numbers of employees now have the flexibility to work at the office or from their homes – or even a combination of both. One of the many benefits to employers is that social distancing protocols are more easily observed as fewer workers are required to report on-site.

It seems the hybrid workplace will continue to be the standard for many progressive businesses moving forward. And nobody can be blamed for preferring this type of set-up. It certainly yields many distinct advantages that would not be possible otherwise.

As Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development president Prof Cary Cooper told The Guardian:

“The evidence, globally, is clear: if employers and employees agree to flexible working you have higher job satisfaction, less sickness absence days and higher productivity where you can measure it.”

Whether you’re an owner of a startup or an established business who’s still skeptical about the hybrid work model, you need to read this blog. We’ll share with you several pointers on how to do it right.

Tip #1: Communication is key

key on top of a keyboard

When your team members are working from home (or from far-flung locations), it’s obviously imperative to establish what communication channels will be used. It is important that everyone understands how to get in touch with each other, should they have questions and concerns or when they need to report on a project’s progress.   

As the employer, you’ll also want to check in on and connect with your employees on a regular basis. It doesn’t always have to be about work-related matters. Occasionally engaging with your people on a more personal level can ultimately pay big dividends in terms of motivation and loyalty. You’ll be surprised how much openness can be generated by simply ‘shooting the breeze’ with team members from time to time.   

Tip #2. Use the right online tools

A large part of what makes hybrid work effective for companies is that they are using the right tools.

Having the right communication apps in place can make the difference between calm and chaos. Some examples for this would be popular business chat messaging app Slack and video conferencing software Zoom.

Additionally, you will need tools for collaboration and productivity. Among the top options you can consider include Asana, Basecamp, and Trello, among others.

Check out reviews to know which tools are ideal for your business. You can also read our comprehensive article on the subject entitled “50 Apps You Can Use When Working With Remote Employees.”

Tip #3: Set clear work expectations

woman taking notes while on a video call

Since you will rarely see your workers in person, you want to be as specific as possible when it comes to your expectations. Inform them well about their tasks and deadlines. Go into great detail about projects and be ready to respond to any questions if necessary.

Sometimes employers use time-tracking apps such as DeskTime, Hubstaff, or Time Doctor to determine if team members are meeting their required work hours. These tools are meant to help you monitor your workers while providing them with encouragement to focus, even from a home setting.   

Tip #4: Learn to trust your workers

Sure, tools can be helpful but at the end of the day, trusting people is really important. Micromanaging your team is never a good idea. It’s always best to let people perform their responsibilities. Provide motivation and lend them support along the way. Establishing a positive, professional relationship is really crucial to making the hybrid model work.

 As Gartner VP George Penn puts it:

“Success in a hybrid work environment requires employers to move beyond viewing remote or hybrid environments as a temporary or short-term strategy and to treat it as an opportunity.”

Tip #5: Ask for honest feedback

woman giving a thumbs up

You and your workers may have agreed on the details of their flexible work schedule such as how many days per week they are expected to work on-site or from home. That said, it's definitely advised to ask for their feedback about the arrangement every now and then. Encourage them to be honest. That way, you are fully aware of their situations.  

As a Harvard Business Review article points out, managers should “facilitate periodic team discussions.” The purpose? You want to know ”what aspects of the schedule are working and not working.”

This will help you understand if you should just keep going or if any adjustments are needed. For example, some may be struggling to deal with distractions at home. If they’re feeling stressed and burnt out, try to see if working from a coworking space might be a better alternative for them.

Tip #6: Don’t forget to have some fun

The distance should not be a hindrance. You can still have fun with everyone through online team building activities such as quiz nights, book clubs, virtual drinks, and others.

Doing this can help keep team members feeling engaged. Plus it can be a good way to help everyone relax from all the stresses of work.  

Some benefits of hybrid work arrangement

man and woman looking at laptop

Another advantage of adapting hybrid work is that you will no longer be limited to the local talent pool. You can hire remote workers from different countries. This can help you boost productivity while growing your startup all at the same time.

Also, your business will enjoy higher employee retention rates. Reports tell us that employees today are more likely to stay in a company that embraces flexible working arrangements.

What’s more, you get to reduce overheads with less employees working on-site. You can scale down and go for less office space or just move to a coworking office. This can be cost-effective on your end. You won’t have to spend so much on rent, furnishings, equipment, utility bills, cleaning and insurance among other related expenses.

Final word

When you know how to make the most of hybrid work, then you can experience all the benefits mentioned here and more.

So if you and your team members are based in New York and are looking for team offices in NYC, go check out local providers. Compare packages and perks to see which offers are best for your needs. Should you need them, it's also a great idea to go with private office providers that have on-site event venues.

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