It's been a challenging year for businesses of all sizes, with many companies having to transition from centralized to decentralized work environments quickly. With metrics for COVID-19 improving, many companies are starting to consider returning to work in person. But most employees and employers agree it will not look like it did before.
Research shows a significant number of companies today are projected to decrease their physical office space, as more people work from home all the time or part of the week. And hybrid offices, arrangements where team members are in two or three days a week and work the rest of the time remotely, seem to be the wave of the future.
While the quick flip to remote work was necessary in early 2020, companies need to ensure their go-forward plans are structured to serve their new normal best. This starts with developing a comprehensive strategy, considering company and employee needs, and aligning these to best deliver on long-term business goals.
There are some recommendations tips to make a move to a hybrid workforce successful.
Creating Structure to Maximize Goals
One of the most significant benefits for employees in a hybrid workforce is flexibility. However, it's essential to balance what will work best for the organization, what allows employees flexibility, and what ensures an effective working structure. Do all or specific teams need to meet regularly? How does projection collaboration occur? Are there some meetings that are best held in person? Do most of your employees work on independent projects?
Working through these types of questions will allow you to establish parameters around how your hybrid workforce will be most effective.
Encourage Collaboration through a Connected Culture
Team collaboration should be happening, not just when individuals are in the office but all the time. Throughout the past year, collaborating digitally with co-workers has become the norm. While a hybrid office provides the opportunity for face-to-face collaboration, leaders should continue to encourage collaboration through a connected culture, allowing innovation to flourish whether teams are in-person or online. This leads to the next point.
Invest in Technology
Once it is determined your office will have a long-term strategy to be hybrid, it's time to take stock of your technology. While companies rushed to fill gaps when forced to go remote, re-evaluating your tools and technologies will be critical for success. This includes any upgrades that should occur to ensure employee's data and privacy are safe and secure and any reporting tools to manage productivity align with company needs.
Remote work is here to stay, and now is a great time to hit the reset button to ensure you are structured for the long term.