Since the pandemic began months ago, we’ve been battling disaster recovery. Even if the global crisis isn’t finished, your organization is likely to have remote solutions in place to keep things running smoothly. Now you can take a deep breath and start thinking about your new workplace. Take the time to create a strategy that will safeguard your company’s long-term viability.
Businesses were able to keep running by scrambling to adopt remote solutions, but not everyone enjoyed working in isolation every day. When compared to your on-site team members, remote workers may miss the office and feel left out. Some people may choose to return to work, even if only part-time. Others like to work as much as possible from home.
The task now is to create a flexible workplace where everyone can be happy and productive. When it comes to establishing a hybrid workplace, there are also IT and financial factors to consider. We’ve never been in this situation before. Extend beyond a standard in-office and remote schedule by having specific team members work entirely in the office or at home. Think outside the box and be open to new ideas, such as the hub and spoke concept.
The place where we used to work a year ago is no longer there. A new model has emerged, which is still being defined and evolved as it is implemented. This so-called distributed workforce model, which mixes working from home and in an office, is no longer a pipe dream. With the new acronym “Hybrid workplace,” it’s finally here, and it’s here to stay.
It is our responsibility to ensure that we have the right teams in place, and that their support, structure, and viability contribute to better engagement and, as a result, higher productivity and profitability. Since COVID-19 disrupted the traditional 9-to-5 workweek, leaders throughout the world have changed their management techniques to accommodate remote and hybrid teams. As we approach the conclusion of the second pandemic year in 2021, it’s clear that there will be no return to pre-pandemic norms: 90% of HR leaders predict remote work to continue for at least part of the year.
Employees at Microsoft can now work from home for at least half of the week. Earlier that year, Twitter became one of the first major internet companies to include remote working into its corporate culture. It stated that employees would be able to work from home or remotely indefinitely, with the option to visit the office as needed. Coinbase, a bitcoin trading firm, swiftly followed suit, adopting a “remote-first” work style that allows it to function without a central office. Facebook’s employees will be able to work from home on a permanent basis for half of their time.
In October 2020, Reddit announced a big change in its economic model. Months into the COVID-19 outbreak, Reddit decided to make a permanent move to a hybrid office style, with the bulk of the social media giant’s employees already forced to work from home. Employees can now work from home, in the office, or a mix of both. What started out as a large-scale trial of alternative working arrangements is now becoming more permanent.
Hybrid working places a premium on the employee’s experience. Employees needed to feel safe during the pandemic. As a result, working from home was essential. The office space is now available as businesses reopen. However, remote working from home or any other suitable location is still an option, putting the preferences and experience of employees first. Remote working does not imply that offices are closing and that people are working solely from home, obviating the need for real offices.
Hybrid working, as the name implies, offers for the best of both worlds: home and office flexibility for those that require it. It also fulfills the demand for belonging by giving offices in a larger sense: collaboration, social space, and learning. Hybrid working means modifying the primary form of the office to meet new demands, not simply in terms of where and when we work. Employees are looking for environments that can adapt to their changing needs.
They prefer working in less formal circumstances and in the office part that best suits the task at hand. They also want to be able to run their business effectively no matter where they are in the world. The hybrid workplace increases employee happiness, lowers costs, and provides flexibility for employees who require it, such as those who are unable to leave their homes for long periods of time.
Employee safety and well-being are top of mind as COVID-19 numbers continue to break records. Cleaning and sanitizing measures, as well as mask and social distance requirements, must all be included in your hybrid workplace. Make it simple for employees to grasp and know what is expected in the workplace. Use digital signage to keep your employees informed about your health and safety activities.
Plan on modernizing your meeting spaces with equipment that allow for touchless control or control via personal devices in order to achieve these objectives. Also, make sure your tables and chairs are far enough apart to allow for social distancing, which will put employees at peace in shared places.
Next, think about how the technological choices you make throughout your hybrid workplace design can benefit employees. Your staff is likely to compare the experience provided by personal devices and applications to the ease with which they can utilize collaboration technology in the office and at remote workstations.
Technology is critical in keeping remote workers connected to the rest of the team at home. To boost team collaboration and productivity, make sure they have access to the same collaboration tools as those in the office. Additionally, provide technologies like as noise-canceling headphones, numerous displays, and superior microphones to your work-from-home staff. You can also seek for work-from-home technology bundles that are tailored to each member of your staff.
Check out my related post: How will COVID 19 change travel for us?