Fatihah Ramzi | 10 January 2022
Moving to a hybrid work model has become the new normal and it will not just last through the pandemic.
In 2020, every business organization was forced to move to remote work mode without much preparation due to the pandemic. In 2021, businesses were able to open up their offices with staggering schedules among the employees meaning that some employees would work from home, while others would work in the office. This was followed by a rotation which means that the employees who worked from home would be required to come to office the next week and the employees that worked in the office would be working from home on the same week.
Although the pandemic measures have lightened, the emergence of new variants like Omicron still causes worry among employees and business leaders as they still need to take the necessary precautions to minimize the spread of the virus. This means that offices will continue to have to adopt a Hybrid Work Model and even after the pandemic has ended, many organizations will choose to stick to a hybrid model as they have found that it improves staff morale as well as work-life balance. This in turn encourages their employees to stay long-term with the company. With that said, here are the steps you implement to successfully transition to a Hybrid Work Model.
Provide The Right Structure to Your Employees
Even the most daring employees have challenges when it comes to change. As a result, whatever information you can give your staff ahead of time will only help them to make plans and adjust. To begin, you can send regular status updates on your office reopening plans to your staff. With the current state of COVID-19, it is critical to prevent the virus from spreading further or forming clusters in the workplace.
To avoid such occurrences, top-level management should have a discussion about how many individuals should be in the office at any given time. This will also be determined by the size of the office and the number of staff employed by the organization. With this in mind, management can choose to have only essential employees come into the office or offer all employees a staggered in-office/work-from-home schedule.
It’s critical to convey these possibilities months before the actual return-to-work date. Employees will be allowed to express any worries or concerns, while providing time for managers and business leaders to process the new policy and choose the alternative that best matches their preferred work style. This policy will not always work for all businesses, which is why you should create a policy that is tailored to your company’s culture and personnel, and you must do so openly.
Implement New Methods of Communication
To stay in touch, teams can employ virtual project management and communication technologies. This makes checking-in simple and efficient for all employees, particularly for managers who need to confirm that their employees are present for work while they work from home. You can and should use these technologies to develop a digital community within your workforce, rather than just using them to track job tasks and presence.
This virtual community will assist in bridging the gap between in-house and remote team members. Your remote team will not feel secluded from your in-office personnel and will feel just as much a part of the company. Furthermore, your in-office employees will not feel as though their remote colleagues are receiving preferential treatment. Employees can always communicate with one another and receive updates at the same time using such applications, which is critical when managing projects. Having an effective communication system will result in happier employees, lower turnover, and more production, which is a win-win situation for everyone.
Adjust The Frequency of Meetings Conducted
You will not have to hold daily meetings with your team to discuss project updates or work in progress (WIP) when you convert to a hybrid work style. This will save everyone’s time and a ll of these activities can be completed with the help of project management software. When you need everyone present for a brainstorming or pivot meeting, you will need to plan ahead so that everyone can be on the call at the same time. If team members are in various time zones, this may need some negotiating. Even so, having everyone on one call is preferable to scheduling separate meetings for in-house and remote teams.
You should only hold planned, targeted meetings with a specified agenda. Only hold meetings for kick-offs, mid-project check-ins, project post-mortems, and other critical occasions when everyone on the team is needed to be there to address issues. Maintain the flow of your meetings so that employees do not feel cheated out of their time. Send out an agenda ahead of time so that WFH and in-office staff can think about what to say and what questions to ask. Also, properly document meetings so that those who are unable to attend are kept informed.
Workplaces will face new issues as a result of hybrid work, and the shift will definitely not be easy. Organizations that master this new way of working, on the other hand, will achieve extraordinary flexibility, agility, autonomy, and advancement. Work may never be the same, but that is not necessarily a negative thing. With the 3 tactics listed above, you can help your company transition to a hybrid work model more effectively and quickly.