As we all know, the COVID-19 pandemic made a drastic change in the way companies and employees work. Hybrid work is a concept that became popular after the pandemic. In fact, a recent research study by CNBC reports that 45% of US businesses are planning to implement hybrid work policies. Hybrid work promises lots of benefits, including flexible work schedules and increased productivity. But if not implemented properly, it can lead to a decline in employee productivity and retention. This is why it’s important to use the best practices for hybrid work and create a flexible hybrid model and a work culture that employees love.
Hiring employees irrespective of their location, consistent and open communication, treating all employees equally, creating the right workspace for in-office employees, and gathering regular feedback from employees are the best practices for hybrid work everyone should follow.
What are the Best Practices for Hybrid Work?
Focus on Employee Skills, Not Location
Both remote work and hybrid work give employers the chance to recruit the most skilled employees from all over the world without having to worry about long commutes, relocation costs, or any other location-related problems. This is a great competitive and economic advantage for companies that follow hybrid work models. Remote employees can easily communicate with other staff using virtual meetings. Hiring people from varied locations also makes the workplace more diverse, bringing in people with different experiences and cultural backgrounds.
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Keep a Clear Line of Communication
When employees and employers work from different locations, they may face different problems due to miscommunications. Therefore, clear and timely communication is one of the best practices for hybrid work. Employers should always clearly communicate their hybrid work policy and let everyone know what’s going on in the company. It’s also important to let hybrid teams clearly know what is expected from them. This way, employees will have a good idea about what communicates to use ins communication, how often they will receive updates, etc. The more employers communicate with the employees, the more engaged the employees will be in their work and company. Communication strategy and communication tools you use in a business are also important for effective communication.
In addition, it’s helpful to have a space where employees can have informal discussions, a space where they can talk about non-work-related topics. For example, a WhatsApp group or a Telegram group. This will make a split work team feel more united and promote effective communication.
Treat All Employees Equally
In a hybrid work model, there will be both remote workers and workers who prefer to work in the office. It’s very important to treat both these types of workers equally. Sometimes, employers will see one type of worker as more beneficial. In fact, in-office workers were traditionally seen as better performers, and they were given better salaries and more frequent promotions. If this happens in a hybrid workplace, remote workers will feel pressurized to come to the office more often or grow dissatisfied with the company and resign from the position. Employers and those in managerial positions in hybrid workplaces should make sure not to encourage in-office working mode in subtle or unintentional ways. For example, if the manager always works at the office, the employees may also get the idea that working from office is the best way to work.
Similarly, in-office employers may also feel that they are at a disadvantage when compared to remote workers. The best way to deal with this is to instill a sense of belonging and connection among employees and make sure that they love working at the office. Making the work schedule flexible, adding drink and snack stations, creating an informal work environment, etc., are some methods employers can use to make employees more motivated and satisfied.
Employers can also create unity and harmony between remote workers and in-office workers by organizing workplace activities like inviting external guest speakers, casual happy hours, virtual karaoke contests, and online contests like quizzes and photo challenges.
Create a Good Workspace for In-office Employees
A poorly managed office space can lead to a decline in efficiency and productivity. A too crowded space or an empty space can also demotivate employees. Therefore, creating the right office space is a hybrid work best practice. These practices can include creating suitable workstations and proper space planning. For example, employers can create informal work areas where employees can take breaks and meet casually, or they can introduce hot desk areas where employees can book desks for the day instead of working on one desk permanently.
Employee safety is another major factor to consider in best practices for hybrid work environments. Most employees still have concerns about returning to work after the pandemic. Therefore, health checks and vaccination verification are good ways to ensure health safety in post-pandemic work environments.
Gather Employee Feedback Regularly
Hybrid work is a new concept for everyone, so it’s important to take in feedback from employees to create hybrid work a success. If employers openly communicate with employees about the planned changes to the workplace and listen to employee feedback on them, it will be a win-win situation for all. In fact, a hybrid work model should be built on employees’ perspectives on how and where they work, ideally deciding on productive hybrid work schedules. This promotes a great employee experience.
Conclusion: Hybrid Work Best Practices
A hybrid work model will only be successful as long as the employees remain happy, productive, and efficient. Hiring employees based on their skill (and not location), keeping a clear line of communication, treating all employees equally, creating a great workspace for in-office employees, and gathering regular feedback from employees are some of the best practices for hybrid work that every employer should follow.
Read more about different types of hybrid work models