The global pandemic was quick to disrupt our way of work. It created opportunities and challenges for almost all industries. And as we settle the dust and move forward, new concepts are coming forth.
Not entirely new, but the pace has picked up significantly in recent years. Yes, we are talking about hybrid workplaces.
A hybrid workplace is a balance of working from home and on-site. Now, not all hybrid work environments are the same. There is a distinct division between the types of hybrid workplaces. These include:
- The first approach sees the employees working out of the office on certain days of the week. The rest of the days, they work remotely. While the organizations specify the number of days, the choice of days remains with the employees.
- The second approach is friendly towards remote employees. It supports remote workers and encourages employees to work from a place of their choice.
- The third approach is a little complicated. It has a set of employees who work on-site, full time. The rest of the people work in a remote setting.
The hybrid work model is complex and filled with nuances that need better understanding. However, it doesn’t discount the fact that 52% of employees in the US prefer this setting. They believe that it has a positive impact on their productivity and creativity.
Another global research shows that 72% of corporate leaders feel hybrid is the future of work. They emphasize the overall improved employee experiences. Also, offering such a setup reduces attrition rates.
Then there is the entire discussion about reduced real estate costs and optimized office spaces. There is no doubt that the hybrid work setting offers quite a few advantages.
But most facilities managers struggle with its implementation. As we said, the hybrid work model is complex, and getting it right is a challenge. Deciding who comes works on-site and who work remotely is demanding.
A wrong decision can threaten the company culture. On the contrary, get it right, and your office can become the magnet for bringing people to work together.
As 50% of the offices in the US are planning to pilot the hybrid concept as their return to the office strategy, you should be clear on how to implement the same.
This blog highlights three such strategies that will help you smoothly implement a hybrid workplace.
Merge the Digital & Physical Offices
Bridging the gap between on-site and remote employees is tough. In a hybrid setup, a few will be working remotely. Most remote employees feel disengaged from the rest of the team, and there is this frustration regarding unequal opportunities and the inability to participate.
This is especially true when trying to brainstorm. Remote employees might feel cut out from the rest of the team. Their voices unheard.
To prevent such a situation, you need to merge the digital world with the physical one. You have to ensure that there are equal opportunities for all. Ensure that they are engaged and are eased in their situation.
For instance, many conference rooms have one big table with chairs around it. While on-site employees sit around the table, remote employees are featured on one shared screen.
To create equity, you can install separate monitors for them to join in. Maybe you can have your on-site employees bring in their laptops. Separate displays show that each of the remote employees is valued. You are also essentially removing the wall that separates the two groups.
Adopt Clear and Transparent Policies
This is one of the essential steps when adopting a hybrid workplace. If you have a hybrid work model, you need to have flexible work policies.
So, what kind of policies are we talking about here? Are your employees supposed to work remotely two days a week? Are they supposed to work from 9 am to 5 pm? Do the same work hours apply to your on-site and remote employees?
It might sound inconsequential, but answering these questions is imperative. You need to roll out policies because these are the foundation of your hybrid workplace.
From the workflow to collaboration arrangements, you need to highlight everything in your new policies.
For instance, employees coming to the office need to seek prior approval from their managers, and you need to specify this to them to avoid confusion. To ensure proper management of your hybrid workplace, you need to clarify the workplace policies.
Create an Open and Safe Office Space
For decades, individual desks have become more open due to the ever-growing employee density. And meeting rooms have become equivalent to closed spaces. However, with the hybrid workplace, this old conception is changing.
Employees want a safe workplace. As per the government mandates, open spaces are the safest places. This indicates that our offices have to undergo facial reconstruction, and we have to let go of the closed spaces and create more open areas.
Meetings will be held in open spaces with movable boundaries. Desks need to be placed strategically, keeping in mind social distancing protocols.
Concepts like hot desking are, therefore, on the rise. While employees get to stay in the same vicinity as their colleagues and collaborate when required, considerable space is left between those for safety.
Designing open collaboration spaces is inherently easier because they do not need fixed features. These spaces can morph into new workspaces as and when required.
However, you will need to support your office space with technological integrations. Since video conferencing has become common, you need to provide such amenities.
Do You Have the Right Tools?
While following the steps mentioned above will help you implement a hybrid workplace, you also need to have the right tools.
A hybrid work model requires employees to work together rather than individually. Therefore, choosing the right tools is of utmost importance.
Teams working in the hybrid work setting need to collaborate and communicate with each other. Therefore, you need to invest in collaboration tools. 60% of executives worldwide have already started investing in collaboration software.
You also need to have desk booking systems or meeting room booking software in place. These ensure that employees can book their space before coming to the office.
You can also get real-time insights on office space utilization with such tools. Not only will it help maintain occupancy limits, but you can optimize the space. For instance, a few desks remain empty most of the days. You can convert this space into an open collaboration space.
Therefore, to make implementing a hybrid workplace easier, you need to get the right tools.
WorkInSync is one such software that ensures easy adoption of the hybrid workplace. From desk booking to meeting room booking, floor occupancy to sanitization workflow, WorkInSync includes a host of features aligned with easy management of a hybrid workspace. You can opt for a demo today.
A hybrid workplace is our future. So, adopt one today and provide your employees with the flexibility that they have been yearning for.