The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult period for HR leaders and employers. While they quickly adapted to the changes by shifting to remote working, it has still had its share of challenges. As governments ease the restriction of movements, many offices will reopen. Some companies are using the opportunity to launch a hybrid working model. Unfortunately, this can backfire and make hybrid working employees feel isolated if the right infrastructure and policies are not put in place. Read on for details on preparing your workplace for hybrid employees and how Advance Systems can make the transition seamless.
Who Are Hybrid Working Employees?
For years, companies have been seeking ways to increase employee flexibility and provide better working environments. While remote working allows greater flexibility, some roles require working from an office. That is why many companies prefer a hybrid working model that gives employees autonomy to choose when to work at home and when to come to the office. As a result, hybrid working employees are more productive and engaged compared to workers in homogeneous teams.
Companies can enjoy the positive outcomes of hybrid working models when they invest in the right resources and adjust the office environment to suit the employees. How can you prepare your office for hybrid workers?
Tips for Setting up Your Workplace for a Hybrid Working Model
Introduce Policies that Support Hybrid Working
Employers create policies that support the flexibility of hybrid workers. You can customise the policies to individual departments or apply them at organisational levels. For instance, the policies should guide office attendance. Are hybrid workers expected at the office on specific days? Are the office days mandatory or optional, and will they vary depending on the team? Can supervisors decide if in-person days are necessary for their teams?
Employers should also have policies to facilitate local workplaces. For example, an employee shouldn’t have to drive for an hour to the office if they can work from a satellite office or a co-working space. When your hybrid workers are working from home, will they be required to be online at specific hours of the day? If your workers are from different time zones, you should set favourable meeting hours.
Change the Office Design and Layout
When you shift to a hybrid model, you need to change the office layout to ensure it is optimal for all employees. While a complete overhaul may be impractical, making minor adjustments can make a significant difference. For instance, if employees come to work an average of three days a week, having a sitting area for everyone wastes the floor space. Therefore, you can remove desks from some rooms and convert them into break rooms, collaboration zones and conference spaces.
The collaboration zones can be helpful for team meetings and interactions when they are working from the office. You will also have sufficient space to create modern conference rooms that employees can utilise for virtual meetings with remote teams. Apart from conference rooms, you can create private spaces that employees can use to meet clients in person or when they need uninterrupted time.
Equip Hybrid Working Teams With the Right Tools
Employers should set up their teams for success by equipping them with the best tools to accomplish their tasks. Apart from providing laptops and access to internal servers, you should provide a stipend for them to install a dedicated home office. You should also invest in high-quality video conferencing equipment. Hybrid workers need to communicate with in-office employees when they need assistance. Ask the team leaders to identify the essential tools for optimal performance.
Introduce Room Booking and Desk Booking
Recent research revealed that 50% of video conferences begin 10 minutes late as they wait for some participants to find a room or get set up. If your remote team has regular meetings with in-office workers, you should have meetings scheduled in advance to avoid delays. The meeting room should also have the necessary tools to reduce the setup time before each video call.
Flex desking is a good idea for hybrid working employees. With flex-desking, employees can reserve a desk before coming to the office to ensure they have a workspace. That means an employee will have access to a desk when they need it, and others workers can use it when they are absent.
How Advance Access Workforce Management Solutions Can Help Your Remote and Hybrid Workers
When you are managing remote and hybrid working employees, monitoring performance and tracking productivity can be a challenge. Luckily, Advance Systems provides workforce management software to help you manage your hybrid team efficiently. Employees do not have to clock in physically since they can do it remotely from their phones or laptops. Workers can also review their schedules remotely and request time off or swap shifts. In addition, the mobile workforce management software provides other self-service options to workers, like checking their sick days, holidays and leaves. They can also request off days or communicate directly with upper management.
Supervisors can improve accuracy with GPS location tracking through the software. For example, you can confirm if the employees are at their designated locations at all times. Furthermore, you can gather this data in real-time instead of waiting for time cards and spreadsheet reports.
The pandemic has shown us the benefits of diverse and flexible work environments. As you adjust to a hybrid model, the above tips will help you create a positive work environment that will enhance the productivity of your remote and hybrid working employees.