2020 penned the most challenging excerpts of our personal as well as professional lives. From the nine to five work routine to the laptop on the couch no routine, life painted a major shift for everyone. The hard times did pass but left an imprint like a storm.
As businesses get back to work after an unfortunate 2020, they’re using a hybrid work model to conduct their business activities. The hybrid work model utilizes remote work and in-office work collectively and aims to make the most out of both. It intends to incorporate the facility and comfort of work from home amalgamated with the efficiency of in-office work.
The massive surge in the popularity of remote work has left people with a taste of it. Companies can no longer say remote work isn’t a viable option of conducting business — because it is. However, with the pandemic still around, it’s still not possible for companies to summon employees in the office full-time. This led to the birth of the hybrid model.
In circumstances like these when the world awaits a third wave of the deadly pandemic, most companies are unfolding into their process of recovery, filling the crevices. The work from home culture did save them from the brunt of failure and therefore companies wish not to lose their benefits rather incorporate them in the upcoming strategy.
However, with this new work model comes a new set of challenges and problems. Here are a few ways you can overcome those challenges and make the hybrid model easy for your organization.
Understand the variations of the hybrid model
The model to be adapted is generalized as well as individualistic. Every company functions with a different strategy and therefore faces different hurdles and obstacles. Therefore, the measures adopted to overcome these challenges cannot be generalized for everyone and must rather be customized with a personalized approach.
Every organization must wisely choose a variation of the hybrid model for its needs. For example, some organizations might keep going with the remote-first variation, where they conduct their business activities remotely, with a few exceptions here and there.
Some companies might benefit better from office-occasional variation, where most of their business activities are conducted remotely, but some important ones are conducted in-office.
Office-first variation with allowed remote work is also a popular variation. In this one, the company uses in-office work as its primary way of conducting business; however, it also offers the option of remote work to its employees.
Analyzing the functioning of the company should be the foremost step to consider prior to choosing the right variation of the hybrid model that floats the boats. A working model might serve different sectors differently and therefore the version chosen for the company should be handmade for it rather than fitting into one.
It’s important that you pick your variation based on your needs and wants.
Choose how your leadership works
Alongside choosing a hybrid work model variation for employees, it’s crucial to choose a suitable one for the leadership as well. If the leadership and workforce perform separately, there will be potential problems.
Communication has been a primary issue and countless businesses have faced the brunt of it. Distances have failed or at least managed to reduce the efficiency of communication between leaders and team members. Any further lag is unaffordable and therefore it should be made sure that the working strategy doesn't deepen the crevices between team leaders and team members.
For example, suppose your leadership team works from the office. Let’s say half of your employees are working from home, while the other half are in-office. The in-office employees are naturally going to get more engagements from the leadership team. Their work will be more visible to the leaders — leading them to potential benefits — while the remote workers would be at a loss.
Depending on the type of hybrid variation you choose, and the number of employees you have on each side of the spectrum, pick a suitable working medium for your leadership team. It must be made sure that both sides of the spectrum receive a justified amount of visibility and none has to settle for a loss.
Also, team leaders must try to assign every individual with a calculated amount of projects that are distributed in an unbiased way. They must make it a point to maintain communication with all their employees independent of the work routine and exchange updates in the targeted projects. It must be noted that good communication always translates into better results that account for the company's reputation. On the other hand, mismanaged communication is nothing less than biting a bullet
Strive to give equal recognition to each employee
Inconsistent recognition could be a potentially huge pitfall of the hybrid model. Where some workers join you at the office every day and the others work from home, it’s easy for the latter to be left behind in communication.
Individualistic appreciation always translates into better outcomes and increased motivation while a lack of appreciation gradually decreases the quality of outcomes and can affect a company brutally. Employees are the most vital pillar of a company's success and existence, to start with. A motivated employee is like the dark horse of a race and the most well-armed warrior in an army. Depriving an employee of its deserved share of appreciation is like cutting off a leg.
Let’s say you’re conducting a business meeting in an office space. Half of your employees are present in person, while the other half has joined online through video conferencing software. The in-person employees are naturally going to feel more confident expressing their views and actively participating in the meeting; while the online employees might shy away due to communication gaps.
To deal with such cases, you must strive to keep remote workers in mind. Design and implement a system that will give equal exposure to each of your employees. Make extra efforts to recognize the work of your employees who are working from home.
Provide basic tech tools to your workforce
The hybrid model also requires you to pay close attention to the tech tools you’re using in your organization. You want to make sure both of your employee groups, i.e., in-office and remote workers are on the same page in terms of communication and file sharing.
Technology not only eases the work process but also makes one more efficient and it indeed improves the quality of work done.
Make sure you have the right set of tools to promote reliable communication and large file sharing capabilities.
Consider co-working spaces
When your employees get divided into two groups, i.e., remote and in-office, you’ll need smaller office space to accommodate your workforce. In such cases, coworking spaces might come in handy for smaller organizations.
Learn about the pros and cons of coworking spaces and see if they are a reliable option for your workflow.
As we return to our regular work routine after the pandemic, the hybrid work model is getting popular among organizations to accommodate employees who still want to work from home. However, there are potential challenges associated with the hybrid work model.
Using the tips mentioned above, you can make sure you’re doing your hybrid work model right.