Essential Tips for fostering a successful hybrid work environment

Essential Tips for fostering a successful hybrid work environment
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by Sanjeev Kapoor 23 Jun 2022

In the aftermath of the COVID19 pandemic outbreak, many companies have reconsidered their work models and environments. Specifically, many have thrown flexible work models into the mix and got novel work environments in the scope of hybrid workspaces. This trend has gained popularity and has become a new way of thinking when it comes to labor force management. If a hybrid work model sounds similar to a flex-work model, it is because they are both based on mobility and flexibility. However, the scope of hybrid work environments is broader, as hybrid work can be based on job shares, part-time employment, virtual teams and telecommuting arrangements. Modern enterprises are already setting up or implementing hybrid work experiments using one or more of the above options.

Hybrid work environments are an innovative way of managing modern workplaces and have become increasingly popular in recent years. A hybrid work environment is one in which employees can choose where they want to work and when. This could be from home or from an office, but it’s up to them. It’s also up to them if they want to work in a collaborative space or on their own. Nevertheless, no matter the model, the idea of flexible work models and hybrid work environments is something that every business management needs to understand. In particular, it is important to be aware of the various work styles and the ways they can benefit an enterprise. These benefits can take different forms including cost-savings, higher employee satisfaction and the fostering of a more inclusive culture. Happier employees lead to higher productivity and more creativity as well. However, to fully leverage these benefits, enterprises must establish the proper infrastructures and processes for a hybrid work environment that really works.

 

Eight Tips for Successful Hybrid Work

Hybrid work environments have been around for several years, which has led companies to develop several best practices for successful hybrid work. Nevertheless, it is probably the first time their implementation takes place at massive scale from a wide range of different companies. The latter must adopt and implement the practices that best suit their corporate culture and business strategy. In this context, here are some essential tips to consider:

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  • Tip #1 – Create hybrid work awareness: Senior managers won’t take the right decisions unless they really understand the different flexible working models and hybrid work options. It is therefore essential for companies to create awareness about hybrid work models. In this direction, enterprises should consider internal training and awareness raising sessions.
  • Tip #2 – Hear the voice of your employees: The right models must work for the employees first. In this direction it is important to hear the voice of your employees in order to understand how different teams and individuals work best. For instance, it is important to collect information about where they focus their attention, how they prefer to collaborate and what tools they use most often. Paying attention to employees’ preferences and needs is a key to creating a successful hybrid work model that boosts workers’ satisfaction and enterprise productivity alike.
  • Tip #3 – Measure productivity: One of the best ways to ensure that your hybrid work model set up is effective is to benchmark its productivity. This will help you identify opportunities for improvement and make better use of time and resources. You can also compare productivity across teams or departments and see where improvements can be made. Productivity measurements can take different forms depending on the nature of tasks that the enterprise carries out. For example, software development enterprises are likely to measure the number of implemented use cases in a specific timeframe, while marketing companies can track the amount of marketing content developed and the number of executed campaigns.
  • Tip #4 – Deploy the right technology at the right time: Technology can help manage productivity by providing tools that allow employees to work from anywhere, on any device at any time. However, it is important to deploy technology only when it makes sense for your organization’s goals and processes, rather than simply because it’s available or affordable. Enterprises had better focus on the tools that can support the selected hybrid work model such as remote communication and cloud collaboration tools.
  • Tip #5- Optimize Collaboration: In principle, hybrid work can have some adverse impact on the effectiveness of employees’ collaboration. With everyone in one place at all times it’s easier for teams to collaborate together in real time on projects than if they were spread across multiple locations around the world with different time zones and cultures involved. Collaboration effectiveness should be seriously considered in the definition of your hybrid work model. Make sure that you understand the processes that require face to face collaboration and use remote collaboration suites to appropriately complement physical meetings for distributed teams.
  • Tip #6- Engage the senior management in the implementation of hybrid work environments: This is important because senior managers are usually the ones who set company policies and procedures. Therefore, they will have an idea of what works best for them and their teams. You can use this information to determine what type of hybrid workspace suits your organization best. Most importantly, senior management commitment will ensure that middle managers buy the hybrid work idea and engage in its successful implementation.
  • Tip #7- Try to be agile and adapt to changing environments and needs: Hybrid workspaces allow employees to work from anywhere at any time; however, it may not always be possible for them to do so due to various reasons such as limited internet connections or poor working conditions at home. Therefore, you should try out different options before settling on one that works best for everyone involved. Moreover, one of the biggest challenges in adopting a hybrid model is getting everyone on board with the transition period where they might have to use multiple devices and apps at once while still doing their job as usual. It is therefore key to be flexible and the communicate clearly with employees, so they know what you expect from them during this period. Furthermore, as various conditions might change over time, be ready to adapt accordingly.
  • Tip #8 - Choose between different types of workspaces based on your requirements: Workspaces play a significant role in setting up hybrid work environments that work. There are many types of hybrid workspaces available in today’s market such as corporate buildings, co-working spaces, and home offices. Considering the needs of the enterprise and of the employees, you must choose the workspaces that support the defined work model at the best value for money. In this direction, you might have to consider access to meeting rooms, office spaces and conference rooms, as the availability of such facilities varies across the different workspaces’ options.

 

Overall, to create a truly successful hybrid environment, you must be willing to decouple work tasks from regular office hours and embrace a new way of conducting business. When done right, employees will feel less stressed, more engaged, and more loyal to your company. At the same time, you will benefit from greater flexibility and productivity. In a hybrid work model, employees enjoy greater flexibility and better communication, while employers benefit from happier, more productive employees. Happy employees mean happy customers and an increased bottom line. In the medium and long term, it’s clear that flexible and hybrid work models will only continue to grow in popularity. Hence, if you have yet to invest in your own hybrid work environment, consider implementing one soon. The future of work is hybrid and it’s here to stay.

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