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How To Fully Embrace The Hybrid Work Model

25 Apr. 2022

If you haven’t heard the phrase “hybrid work model” being thrown around over the past 2 years, where have you been? While this concept was around pre-pandemic, the current global crisis has pushed hybrid working to the forefront.

As suggested by the name, a hybrid work model allows employees to flexibly combine home working with on-site office working. This can help employees to achieve a work-life balance that works for them and their families. Some employees may wish to work a few days a week in the office and the rest at home, while others may choose to come into the office for important meetings, for example. Hybrid working, or blended working, is all about focussing on work productivity and employee wellbeing, as opposed to the actual place of work.

So, with many businesses and organizations transitioning to a hybrid work model, how can you fully embrace this concept so that it works to your benefit? In this article, we will discuss how to successfully blend remote and in-office working.

1. Arm Yourself With The Right Technology

Implementing a hybrid working model for your business is all well and good, but this will only be successful if your employees are equipped with the right technology. This may mean that you need to invest in some new equipment to keep your employees connected as they transition between the home and office. Desk spaces within your office may be turned into “hot desks”, allowing employees to share working areas on either an ad-hoc basis or using a booking and reservation system.

Now might be the time to conduct an audit of your current technology, assessing whether it can effectively support a new hybrid working model.

2. Set Up an Effective Home Office

If expected to work from home, all employees should have an effective and well-equipped home working environment. The important things to consider when setting up a home office space are an ergonomic and supportive desk and chair, effective storage solutions and plenty of natural lighting. Take your time and make this area as comfortable and relaxing as you can, a well-designed home office space can massively boost work productivity.  

3. Reinforce Security Measures

As remote working becomes the norm, we must pay close attention to the security of our data. You should implement the necessary security measures needed to keep all of your private data and devices safe. Don’t overlook the importance of employee training. Employees should be aware that they have a responsibility to protect the security of work-related data, and they must adhere to the company’s data security policy at all times, whether working at home or in the office.

4. Embrace Flexibility

The key advantage of a hybrid work model is the flexibility that it offers employees, allowing them to prioritise their health and wellbeing, alongside their successful career. Support your staff to find the right work-life balance for them. All employees should be treated fairly, so those choosing to adopt a remote-first style of working should not be overlooked for job promotions, bonuses, advanced training or other opportunities.

5. Output Rather Than Hours

For hybrid working to be successful, confidence and trust must be established between an employee and their employer. Remote working means that employees must spend large parts of their working life unsupervised and with little direct guidance. Employers must trust their staff to employ their time wisely and productively, prioritising key goals. Line managers and employees should agree on key deliverables each day, and their progress can be monitored on these, rather than specific hours worked. By focussing on employee output rather than hours worked, the flexibility of the hybrid working model remains.

6. Plan For Collaborative Days

Blended working means limited days in the office. So these days must be carefully planned in order to make the most of them. A key focus on office days should be on collaboration, so it is important to make sure that the appropriate members of staff coordinate their days in the office. These collaborative working days can be used to host face-to-face meetings, presentations and brainstorming sessions. Employees can then schedule individual tasks for their remote working days. There may be some days when you require the whole workforce to attend the office or an entire department. These should be scheduled well in advance so that all staff are aware that they must attend the office on this day.

Final Thoughts

These tips should give you some starting points to consider, as you look to adopt a hybrid style of working for your business. One final thought before closing, don’t overlook the importance of team bonding. Blended working means that our staff spend much of their working time apart from each other. Arrange plenty of team activities and social events to make sure your workforce feels engaged and part of a team.

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