2020 was the year when almost every business leader was talking about hybrid working aka hybrid workforce. What’s the best way to implement it? How to do it effectively? Should there be days of the week when all or some employees can work from home or in-office?
Sixteen months have since passed and today, business leaders are facing yet another question – how to get their teams accustomed to hybrid working and making sure their employees who work remotely and from office can still be productive in the year ahead and beyond, without feeling left out and unengaged?
Such is the challenge that every business leader seems to be grappling with at the moment. The hybrid workforce is a transition driven by Covid concerns, and yet, it presents an opportunity to embrace new workplace change in today’s post-Covid world. As you accustom yourself to the changes, we bring you a sneak peek at this new work model and tips on building a successful hybrid workforce for your company.
How To Build A Successful Hybrid Workforce During The Pandemic Long Haul
In the brief periods in 2020, work-from-home mandates had forced millions of people around the world to become participants of a hybrid workforce model. And the important question remains “What is a hybrid workforce model, and how do we make it work?”.
Simply put, a hybrid workforce involves a combination of working remotely and from an office, and can look very different for every company. Whatever the specifics, however, companies that choose to incorporate a hybrid workforce model are bound to consider three aspects – creating a structure, investing in technology solutions and communicating the company’s vision from time to time. Business leaders can count on this approach, or a little innovation, for that matter, to successfully build a hybrid workforce during the pandemic long haul.
Note that, there’s a lot to think about in the process. But if, as seems likely, the pandemic isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, it’s worth investing the time and training to get this approach right. Creating a structure that works is a great example of a successful hybrid workforce model.
Most companies start to build and test new team structures as they allocate which teams should come to the office and how often. It’s a structure that’s flexible enough to scale their workforce up and down with minimal disruption.
On top of that, companies are also quick enough to invest in new technologies during these brief periods. Such investment helps companies comply with security and reliability issues, as well as acquiring the tech solutions that work best for employees working from home intermittently.
How To Onboard New Employees
One downside of the hybrid workforce model, as many companies have learned this year, is that it can be hard to onboard a new employee or to come out with a set of remote onboarding procedures that makes a very good first impression. This is especially true when it comes to those first few weeks of the new hire’s onboarding journey.
So as new hires start acclimating to key functions and processes in a hybrid workforce, they’ll need an onboarding programme that clearly communicates role expectations, along with how digital workplace technologies work. Naturally, what business leaders can do here is to set expectations accordingly and make sure that HR, IT, and any other relevant departments are all up to speed on what’s needed for each and every new hire.
Additionally, they can have logins, credentials, and access to necessary job tools set up right away for their off-site or hybrid employees. If all these are taken care of seriously and thoughtfully, the process can quickly lead to a highly engaged and high producing team member within those first few weeks.
However, if there’s any disparity between a company’s on-site and remote onboarding operations, it can quickly lead to a disengaged team member, if not an early turnover. For this reason, business leaders will need to work even harder as workplaces continue to evolve with the changing conditions.
How To Prevent Burnout And Foster Connection
Being the single most popular flexible-work option during the pandemic has its other downsides. Burnout is one of them while the other one being a sense of disconnection that exists in hybrid teams.The most popular solutions in tackling these issues are then, of course, to consider re-levelling the working field.
As more employees continue to work intermittently or entirely from home, re-levelling the working field could mean making sure the opportunities to interact with their remote-based colleagues are still there, just like before the pandemic struck. Additionally, creating a work/life balance culture by ensuring employees do not answer work calls and emails outside of office hours to prevent employee exhaustion and burnout is equally important.
In summary, a business leader’s commitment to prepare for and optimise the hybrid workforce models of tomorrow is crucial to paving the way for the future of the company. Already, different companies are implementing this mix of employment and finding new ways to better recruit talent, foster connection, and create value for the workforce. By acting purposefully now, you get to define a future of work that is more flexible and digital, and on top of that, plant the seeds for your business to keep growing.
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