Hybrid working is widely considered to be the future of how businesses manage their workforces. Below are some tips about how businesses can implement this new model for work.
The last few years have been a crash course on how work needs to be more flexible to accommodate change. It started with businesses adapting to remote working, but as the data came in, the concept of hybrid working emerged, along with the idea that integrating technology and data can empower managers and employees to achieve greater levels of productivity, whilst making space for a healthy work-life balance. We discussed this with TechQuarters – a London-based managed IT service provider that helped many of their clients first adapt to remote work, and then adapt to hybrid working. According to them, adapting to hybrid working requires a lot of major restructuring, not only physically, but mentally. Below are some examples of how businesses should undertake the shift in paradigm necessary for accommodating hybrid work.
- Employee Engagement
Hybrid working is all about engagement. When businesses worked solely in the office, it was easier to misattribute presence with engagement. However, when some workers are remote, a more active approach to engaging them is necessary.
Firstly, employees need to be connected to their workplace. We asked TechQuarters about this. From their experience providing IT support financial services companies, and various other companies have depended on, they recommended unified communications as a good first step. Ensuring that all communications are easily accessible for users makes engaging with the office from afar easier.
- Tailored Hybrid Arrangements
Some employers might be tempted to try to enforce a single rule for how hybrid schedules are arranged, for the entire company to follow – e.g. 2 days at home, 3 days in the office, etc. This goes against the benefits of hybrid working, however. According to TechQuarters, the IT support Croydon businesses received from them gave them the opportunity to explore the various different ways hybrid working can be implemented. The bottom line is there is no single solution that will fit every single situation.
A hybrid businesses should have the tools and resources to keep users connected no matter where they are working at any given time. This allows organisations to comfortably work with variable schedules to how and where their workforce is operating.
- Organise by Productivity
We discussed how hybrid working can be organised with TechQuarters – as their experience providing small business IT support London businesses have been using over the last 3 years has given them insights into what works, and what does not. It may be tempting for employees to decided where they are going to work based on whims and wants.
It is true that one of the benefits of hybrid working is that it gives employees the flexibility to arrange their work around their life (something that all employers should be considerate of). However, hybrid schedules should really be organised based on productivity – i.e. where is each employee most productive; or even, which days do employees get the most out of working in the office, versus working from home.
- Remodelling Workspaces
Trying to fit a hybrid work model into an office that was designed for fully on-premise work may not seem like a notable problem. However, the entire point of hybrid working is to leverage flexible, data driven practices to make sure that the workforce is operating with optimal productivity. Furthermore, not remodelling workspaces could actually cost businesses money. Consider, for example, how much of an office space won’t be utilized each day due to some employees working from home. Some businesses may wish to downsize their office, and restructure the office based on the face that users will be hot-desking.