One of the control measures of the COVID-19 pandemic was working from home. Since the concept was new at the start, most organizations divided their workforce. One team was allowed to work from home while the others remained at the office. The objective was to help curb the spread of coronavirus. However, this work arrangement has since brought an era of hybrid work.
As the global economy begins to recover, people are slowly returning to their pre-pandemic way of life. Employees are going back to the office.
However, some companies are still sticking with remote work, particularly the hybrid setup, as it has proven to be more efficient.
What Is Hybrid Work?
Hybrid work is a working style that includes employees who work remotely and others at the office. There are different types of hybrid work you can implement in your organization. They include:
- Split-week model – This is where workers work at the office on some days of the week and work remotely on the remaining days.
- Week-by-week model – It involves shifting between working at the office and remotely weekly.
- At-will model – It doesn’t require any schedule. Workers go to the office when they want to or when they need to attend on-site meetings.
- Office-first, remote allowed – In this setup, employees mainly work at the office. However, there are employers permitted to work remotely.
As a result of the hybrid work model, there’s an increase in the use of software that encourages productivity, such as digital adopting platforms. So, what is a digital adoption platform? It’s a software that allows users to learn the application through integration with other applications. It offers in-app guidance, like smart tips, task lists, self-help menus, and walkthroughs, to teach users every aspect of an application. Using tools like this helps companies manage workflows well.
Keep reading to learn how else you can create smooth workflows in a hybrid setup.
- Establish Clear Expectations And Goals
Hybrid workflow means you’ll not see other employees daily. Since employees work in different locations, there’s a chance you may not be on the same page as the others. Therefore, it’s important to set clear goals and expectations.
Having goals and expectations will allow everyone to know what they’re working towards and what their responsibilities are.
Additionally, outlining expectations highlights essential matters, such as:
- The quality of work expected from you
- The amount of time you’re given to complete work
- The people you can contact if there’s any issue
Employees will plan their time to meet expectations whereas management will have an easy time following up on the progress of projects being worked on. As a result, there’ll be no difference between working remotely and going to the office in terms of performance.
Moreover, you can categorize your goals for better scheduling. For instance, you can have the following categories:
- Weekly goals
- Monthly goals
- Annual goals
- Ensure That You Have Open And Frequent Communication
Communication is essential when working with others, whether in the same or another location. It enhances the spirit of collaboration and cooperation.
Through communication, you learn about others’ opinions and suggestions, which are essential in an organization. Opinions and suggestions inform you of what requires changes and also let you find solutions.
When it comes to hybrid work, communication is critical because of the following reasons:
- It prevents employees working remotely from feeling left out and disconnected.
- It facilitates brainstorming among staff members, whether they work at the office or somewhere else.
- It enhances the functionality of a shared group calendar where you indicate which days you’ll be working at the office and when you’ll be working remotely. Thus, visibility is improved.
- Workers can work on the same projects despite being in separate locations.
- Provide Workers With The Necessary Tools
Employees must have access to some tools to perform as expected in a hybrid setup, including:
- Wi-Fi for connectivity with those in different locations
- Computers (It’ll be challenging working with just a smartphone or a tablet.)
- Webcams for meetings (You can have two webcams if you have a meeting that requires presentations on a whiteboard. One shows your face, and the other shows the whiteboard.)
Apart from email, you need a platform where employees can easily communicate. Such a platform will create a room where solutions can be discussed and strategies can be used to help your organization grow. For this to be achieved, your communication app should have the following features:
- Text chats
- Audio calls
- Video calls
- Chat rooms
- Document sharing and others
With these tools, it’ll be simpler to keep track of performance no matter where employees are.
- Promote Inclusivity Among Team Members
At times, working in different locations may cause division. This is because employees at the office may presume that they do more work than those working remotely. In consequence, they might consider themselves more important. On the other hand, those working remotely will feel devalued and demotivated, which is likely to affect their productivity and company’s production at large.
To avoid these problems, you need to promote inclusivity. Here are some ways you can do that:
- You can opt to have your meetings via online platforms, such as Zoom.
- If you’re the manager, check in with your team members from time to time to prevent a ‘them and us’ culture.
- Have shifts for working remotely and at the office simultaneously.
- Plan Events That’ll Bring Everyone Together
Due to the difference in work locations, some employees may not know each other, which makes it hard to promote coordination at work. To address this issue, organize events where all staff members can come together.
For instance, you can plan team-building events like charades or virtual trivia, where team members can interact and get to know each other. Allowing everyone to socialize will lead to unity, harmony, and increased morale, promote collaboration, and improve productivity.
Aside from encouraging them to interact, you can reward employees who’ve made significant contributions or shown great improvement.
The COVID-19 pandemic brought major changes. Among them was hybrid work. It’s a work model that has turned out to be not only effective in boosting productivity but also popular among employees who value a work-life balance.
However, for this setup to work, you must know how to manage workflows. After all, it’s only with smooth workflows that you can strengthen communication and achieve higher efficiency.