Many of us have become used to working remotely and balancing work and personal life. Companies are focused on returning employees to work and many have worked through the challenges of the remote “era.”
Some companies have taken an approach of “okay, we went easy on you during covid — but now it’s time to get back to the office.” After the epidemic, just 46% of firms would accept remote work. Others have returned to the office or embraced a hybrid paradigm that allows remote and in-office work.
Companies and employees know how to work from the office and everyone learned how to shift and work remotely during the pandemic — but may still struggle with the hybrid approach and there’s no need to worry. Just learn how to do the hybrid work better.
Obtain the best of both worlds and utilize the hybrid work option
Desire the convenience of working remotely with the benefits of visiting your coworkers for the best results.
How to explain your option of a mixed schedule
For a hybrid work model to function for your organization and workers, it must be planned and purposeful.
Begin by choosing a model that fits your business. You may not get it right at first but choose one. The cohort schedule is arguably the simplest. You can build on this schedule after you know what works for you and your company.
Don’t apply a remote and office work hybrid schedule randomly
Introduce a one-day policy or a WFH policy. You may tweak and develop your model over time. It’s also wise to test your hybrid model on a small group of individuals before rolling it out to the whole company.
Record your work habits and that of your team. You may think of it as your company’s hybrid work manifesto. For example, is it simpler to brief everyone in writing, over Slack, or in a once-a-week, face-to-face meeting over Zoom< How will you handle something like onboarding new personnel?
Finally, choose the tools you will use to manage your varied work schedule. Therefore, apart from communication platforms (like Slack), you’ll need project management and reporting tools to guarantee everyone is on the same page.
Scheduling Remote Workers, Hybrid Employees, and Office Work Best Practices
If you’re ready to start using hybrid work in your workplace, some helpful habits, tools, and strategies are everywhere for you to take advantage of. You’ll want to manage hybrid work gaps — from policies to documentation, continuing education, and the specific tools you will all use consistently.
Here are a few notable areas to check for your hybrid employees.
1. Define KPIs
KPIs are your key performance indicators and the best way to see your staff’s effectiveness. For example, sales calls, articles created, and support tickets resolved will be some of your KPIs from the past that will still be relevant.
2. Adequate tools — still a must
Using platforms like Slack or Zoom to interact with your team is easy. Starting with Google Workspace is an excellent start, but it has limits. The best technologies allow your employees to operate productively and collaboratively from home. Yes, you may have to kiss a few frogs (as they say), but ask for suggestions from your team. And maybe the communication method you’ve always used with remote issues is fine. But check it out.
3. Set up schedules (and stick to them)
If you use a cohort or staggered schedule, have everything in writing and it to your online team calendar. However, understand that your staff will know exactly when and where they will be working — so ask them. As a manager, set an example — let your team know where you are and ensure that you keep to your timetable, or let someone know.
4. Decide how and when to communicate
Many hybrid and remote businesses use asynchronous communication, where workers respond to contacts when they are available. This is only one form of communication, so ensure there is a document where everything is written down and employees can refer back to it.
Determine the appropriate and type of communication for your requirements. You can use Zoom for customer-facing conversations and Slack for internal business calls. You can also send emails or put messages in your project management application.
Avoidable errors in your remote schedules and office work requirements
Rethinking your workplace has its own set of issues. Here are some frequent pitfalls to avoid while implementing or improving a remote-hybrid model.
Schedules may boost productivity, cooperation, and teamwork even while working out the issues associated with such implementations.
1. Not everyone follows the same rules — big rule breaker
When creating a hybrid schedule, one rule must apply to everybody.
It’s disheartening to work in an office 3–5 days a week while senior management works remotely full time. Therefore, all workers must follow the same rules to maintain a fair game where everyone wins.
2. Using outdated productivity tracking techniques
Monitoring employee productivity via invasive time-tracking or screen-recording equipment is obsolete. Understand that your employees will not only feel betrayed by your invasive behavior — but over-monitoring will hamper their productivity and career advancement.
3. Forgetting it — a huge error
Your model’s effectiveness requires constant innovation in hybrid methods and procedures. Include and fairly treat all members of your team. Monitor their reactions to the new structure. Your workers should not feel unjustly treated or that you favor a particular team. Create a timetable that meets each employee’s demands.
4. Offering possibilities based on hybrid workplace presence
Depending on how your employees live, some individuals can afford to be more present at work. Others, like parents or caregivers, cannot come as frequently. Therefore, as long as everyone does their job effectively and on schedule, everyone should develop their own career path. Never penalize individuals because they cannot be in the workplace more since this defeats the objective of a hybrid model and timetable.
5. Managing schedules
Companies let managers lead the way when experimenting with flexible work options. Many of them forced their staff into the workplace for no understandable reason and the timetable disappointed these employees.
If you have just implemented a hybrid model — don’t micromanage your staff. Micromanaging from a company or employer can be so difficult that employees will resign. Make your company rules and follow them. And use scheduling apps whenever possible.
6. Breaking destructive behaviors with no information
Breaking destructive behaviors requires patience. But if you use such tools with your staff the hybrid schedules will begin to work well for you. Don’t make the mistake of just replacing workers who want to try a hybrid schedule.
You’ll have the temptation to resume office meetings if you partly enable staff to work from home. It’s crucial to include everyone, including those who still work remotely.
But seriously — squelch your fist-in-hand tendencies to keep control of everything in your company and you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much more productivity you see — along with heightened well-being in your team.
Image Credit: by Karolina Grabowska; Pexels; Thank you!
Hunter Meine is a BYU-Idaho graduate, husband, father, and writer. When he's not writing, he's playing sports or enjoying the outdoors with his wife and daughter.