To be, or not to be, that is the question… at least when it comes to being at the office. The discussion of where to work from has become a hot topic lately. And needless to say, the winds are blowing in the direction of people wanting to be able to work more from home or remote, rather than being fulltime in the office.
In an interview with McKinsey, Bryan Hancock, a McKinsey partner, says the following:
“One reason I think hybrid is here to stay is that it’s what employees want. In a survey we did, 30 percent of employees said they’d be likely to switch jobs if they were required to be fully on-site. And more than 50 percent of respondents said they’d like to work at least partially remotely.”
But there are more benefits of a hybrid workplace, other than just pleasing your workforce. Flexibility is one of them. A hybrid workplace gives employees more flexibility, obviously, but it also creates more flexibility for the employer. When not having to think about things such as proximity, entrepreneurs get a wider range of talents to choose from.
Also, your company’s environmental footprint becomes smaller, when having a remote workforce. Both regarding the travel aspect, the journey to and from work your employees makes, but also when it comes to needing smaller premises, using less electricity and so on.
According to information released by Microsoft, having the ability of working from home can lead to a better mental health for your staff. This is due to the fact that it’s easier to manage your personal life when working parttime or full time from home.
Clearly, there are great benefits of having a hybrid workplace. But of course, there are some dangers as well, especially regarding efficiency and cultural aspects. That is why it is important to have a framework in place when enabling a new way of working.
How do you create an optimized hybrid workplace?
1 Give your employees clear goals
Having clear goals will help your work force to keep productivity up. What is expected, from the individual and the group to achieve. Ans also, have clear time aspects in place. What is supposed to be finished by the end of the day, the end of the week or the end of the month? Have continuous follow-up-meetings, to make sure that the efforts meet the goals.
2 Trust is a must
Getting a clear visual overview of what’s going on can be much harder for team leaders and managers when the work force is scattered. That quick chat you would otherwise get by the coffee machine is not as easily replicated via communication platforms. But it is important to trust your employees. A lot of managers tend to want to micromanage their staff when they work from home, something that usually ends up with lost efficiency and a less motivated colleague. If the goals are clear, you do not need to have a detailed view of what your employees are doing, all the time.
3 Focus on productivity, not on activity
This goes hand in hand with trust. A hybrid workplace will give your employees a more flexible workday, which is one of the great benefits of that kind of arrangement. But a lot of employers fear not getting their money’s worth when it comes to number of hours worked. Instead of focusing on activity, put your focus on productivity. Does your employees meet the goals on time, rather than what time your employee opened the computer?
4 Make managers and team leaders accessible
To make a hybrid workplace as efficient and productive as possible, it needs to be easy for the employees to reach the people in charge. I think we have all had that manager that is always busy in a phone call or a meeting. But to make a hybrid workplace proficient as possible, having reachable managers need to be a part of the culture. If that is via telephone, email, chat, or something else, that is for the individual group to decide. Of course, this also applies amongst the colleagues.
5 Make sure you have the right technology in place
Working remotely puts extra pressure on the theology that the company uses. When collaborating with colleagues that are situated at a different place you need tools to promote that. Both when it comes to formal use such as video meetings, conference calls and so on, but also when it comes to informal contact such as chats or quick calls. Make sure to invest in systems that can facilitate different needs in different groups.
6 Social initiatives are important
Something that often worries entrepreneurs, when talking about a hybrid workplace, is that the cultural benefits will be lost when your staff seldom meets in real life. Therefore, it is important to encourage different social activities. Everything from planning after works to invest in a chat tool, to help staff having informal contact during the day.
If you focus on the right things, a hybrid workplace can be beneficial, both to the employee and the employer. If you want to read more about what services Soluno can facilitate to help you along to a hybrid workplace, you can do so here.