The pandemic certainly accelerated the change for businesses to adopt more flexible work arrangements. This giant world-wide experiment has led employers to see, if managed correctly, their employees can be just as productive working remotely as in the office. Employers have also found other benefits such as improved retention, attraction of talent and employees having more of a balanced work and home life.
With flexible and remote working being part of a ‘post-covid’ normal, many workplaces are putting in place a hybrid work model which allows their people to work both remotely and in the workplace on certain days. There are a range of these models emerging and being tested, especially in the technology industry such as Google, Facebook and Amazon. However, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ model and each business needs to update their policies and choose a model that fits around their employees and customer needs.
Although there are many advantages to a hybrid work model, there can be many challenges for managing teams. For some employees, they may feel disconnected, missing opportunities to understand the full picture of what is happening in the office as Managers may (not realising it) communicate with the onsite employees more often. It can also be difficult for those working remotely to build those important social relationships with their team members.
Many of these challenges can be overcome if preparation and planning is done to understand what might be the best hybrid work model and hybrid work teams are managed effectively.
It is essential for leaders to prepare their teams to work productively together in a hybrid work model and be proactively finding ways for the team to build positive working relationships ensuring fairness and equality for all employees. How can you do this? Here are some tips to consider when managing a hybrid work team:
If you are hiring new employees, you need to adjust your on-boarding program to make sure it provides a positive experience for employees onsite or working from home. For example, you may choose to have a mix of onsite and offsite training or a virtual meet and greet their first day so they can meet all team members. Information and documents such as procedures and policies may also need to be able to be accessed and shared digitally.
Many workplaces have seen culture shifts due to new flexible working arrangements, in particular, hybrid work models. Some of these shifts have been positive and others, with the sudden shift to remote work last year, have impacted even the strongest workplace cultures.
If you are planning on making flexible working arrangements permanent, leaders will need to work on strategies to build or maintain a positive workplace culture. With the right approach, a positive culture can still thrive in a hybrid work model.
It’s important to:
Maintaining culture isn’t easy. However, putting frameworks and measures in place will keep you on track to building a positive culture now and for the future.
It’s time to accept flexible working
2020 really showed businesses the possibility of offering more flexible working arrangements, where appropriate, which previously for some businesses was never going to happen.
There are so many ways businesses can make flexible work happen and there are many benefits to it. With many now facing hybrid workforces and some employees preferring to work from home, now is the time to review remote work policies with a new approach.
Are your flexible working policies up to date? At Catie Paterson HR Business Consulting, we can help you set up new flexible working policies and strategies for effectively managing hybrid work teams. Get in touch with us today!