The post-pandemic office is leaning strongly in the direction of hybrid workforce.
The way we work has changed dramatically in the past year. The days of bustling office environments feel like a distant memory. Many employees have traded cubicles for couches and in-person meetings for video calls.
Now more than ever, businesses are dealing with hybrid workforces, if not completely remote teams. Nearly all companies have had to work with hybrid workforce at some point in this pandemic, and it’s not always as easy a transition as you’d hope.
If you’ve recently transitioned to a hybrid workforce, you may be feeling overwhelmed or unsure how to proceed. When you have some people working in the office and others working from home, you need to have strong leadership skills to ensure both teams are happy and thriving.
Below are four ways businesses can maximize productivity and employee growth for the hybrid workforce:
Determine where your people work best
Use data stored away over the course of their tenure. Leaders can understand the changes in employees’ work styles and habits compared to previous insights. This will make them understand who is thriving at home versus the office, but most importantly, to identify who is struggling.
“A lot of employers are not looking at the full picture,” says Dr. Tommy Weir, founder and CEO of Enaible. “The truth is, simply looking at how collective employee behavior shifted, largely via a screen, is not a responsible approach to determining employee needs. Leaders need to look at individual employee patterns to make the best decisions for each worker.”
This will provide vital insights for leaders to make future decisions on who should work where, and how to optimize work performance in hybrid workforce.
Create and set expectations
Make sure that you’re creating and setting boundaries and expectations whether it’s for permanently remote or just remote for a small amount of time. It’s important to have group meetings with your in-office employees and your remote employees both present. They need to see that the company is a united front despite the change in working habits.
Be sure to create and set expectations during these group meetings. One of the biggest worries of those working in-office is that the remote team will be working less due to distractions at home. This can lead to your office workers feeling undervalued and less important. Demonstrate how your remote workers will have the same expectations as your office team.
Choose an easy-to-use software to communicate
Communication within a hybrid workforce is one of the top challenges. If you allow everyone to communicate over email, you’re bound to have a long turnaround time. Instead, choose software, like Slack or Asana, that allows people to easily communicate on each task. An entire group of people can be notified at the same time about an update to the project that they’re working on.
Hybrid workforce usually performs better when they have workforce software that they can communicate quickly on. Not only does this free up email space, but someone can easily catch up on what they miss when it’s all under the specific tasks.
Foster more inclusive management
Performance between in-office and remote employees is comparable. However, managers are twice as likely to give negative, corrective feedback to remote employees versus in-office workers.
Employees working from the office also typically receive more positive, affirming feedback compared to remote employees. Executives need to examine new types of technologies that can support managers in providing balanced and appropriate feedback for both in-office and remote employees. Data-driven decisions will eliminate the unconscious biases toward team members behind the screens.
How will remote work fit into the picture when you reopen your offices If you’ve had employees working remotely out of necessity during the COVID-19 pandemic? Just because organizations will have the option to bring everyone back to the office at some point doesn’t mean that they have to.
Remote work helps businesses stay flexible and productive while reducing costs, so a hybrid workforce may very well be the next step in your organization’s workplace evolution.
One thing is clear; the workforce may never entirely be the same.