Remote work has reigned supreme during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. It shows no signs of slowing down any time soon, either.
Research indicates 82% of business leaders intend to let employees work remotely at least some of the time once their companies reopen during the pandemic. The number of companies embracing a hybrid work model is expected to rise in the foreseeable future, too.
What Is a Hybrid Work Model (and Why Should Your Business Implement One)?
A hybrid work model is designed to deliver the optimal balance between completing tasks from home and in a traditional office setting. Multiple hybrid work models are available to businesses, and they include:
- Office-Centric: Involves going into an office the majority of the time, with one to two days working remotely.
- Fully Flexible: Gives workers the flexibility to work in an office or remotely based on their personal requirements.
- Remote-First: Enables employees to work remotely the majority of the time.
There is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all hybrid work model that delivers exceptional results for all businesses. So, if you want to implement a hybrid work model for your office, you need to plan accordingly.
Factors to Consider When You Incorporate a Hybrid Work Model
As you determine the best course of action to integrate a hybrid work model into your office, here are five factors to consider:
- Technology: Slack, Zoom, and other remote work technologies are available to foster real-time communication and collaboration. Think about how you can implement these tools across your workforce and ensure your employees can use them to become more efficient than ever before.
- Human Resources: Your HR team can make or break your hybrid work model. If you include your HR team in the planning process, you can update your employee handbook and other materials to account for the model. Plus, the team can help you make your model a part of your efforts to recruit top talent going forward.
- Security: Phishing scams, weak passwords, and other cyber threats put your remote workers and any systems they use at risk. If any of your remote workers fall victim to a cyberattack, they could compromise your company’s sensitive data. Thus, you need to account for cyber threats relative to your hybrid work model — or could face a data breach.
- Employee Engagement: You may believe your employees will have no trouble adapting to remote work. Yet, failure to keep your workers engaged can be problematic. With the right approach, you can consistently keep your workers engaged.
- Employee Satisfaction: Most employees enjoy working remotely. But, if you do not account for your employees’ needs when you develop and execute a hybrid work model, you may inadvertently alienate your workforce.
Don’t expect to create and launch a successful hybrid work model overnight. Conversely, allocate the time, energy, and resources necessary to map out all aspects of your model. You can then use your model to ensure your employees are fully supported, regardless of whether they work in your office or remotely.
Tips to Successfully Incorporate a Hybrid Work Model
Your hybrid work model should help you drive anywhere, anytime productivity. The model allows you to foster a successful remote work team. Furthermore, it ensures team members feel comfortable performing tasks in your office.
Here are five things you can do to incorporate a hybrid work model into your office:
- Open the Lines of Communication: Give workers plenty of opportunities to share their feedback on your hybrid work model. Ultimately, your model should be designed with workers top of mind. Therefore, use their feedback to make your model a success. Continue to reach out to workers for ongoing feedback as you put your model into action, too.
- Create a Safe and Healthy Office Environment: Provide your workers with desks, monitors, and other ergonomically friendly office equipment. This equipment can help your employees work safely and comfortably in your office. Also, keep an eye out for office workers who show signs of sick building syndrome, which can cause fatigue, itchy skin, and other symptoms. If office workers show signs of sick building syndrome, now may be a good time to search for and remove potential contaminants from your office or upgrade its ventilation.
- Experiment with Your Model: It takes time to ensure your hybrid work model is hitting the mark. Therefore, it pays to try different versions of your model. Each iteration allows you to see how employees respond to myriad work options. You can use the results of each version to determine the right model for your business.
- Track Your Results: Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your hybrid work model. Monitor your results and make changes to your model as needed. Over time, you’ll be able to implement a model that delivers the optimal results.
- Stay on Course: Try not to stress if your hybrid work model does not deliver your desired results right away. Be persistent and continue to engage your employees in your efforts to implement a successful model. That way, you and your employees can work together to ensure your model meets the needs of all parties.
Take advantage of a hybrid work model — in the long run, your model could help your business and its employees achieve unparalleled success.