The reliance on remote workers has grown exponentially over the past couple of years, and presents businesses some stark challenges as well as some amazing opportunities. As a result, a lot of businesses have tried to find middle ground and started implementing a hybrid approach to their workforce. Let’s take a look at what hybrid work entails and how it can benefit your organization.
Let’s Start from the Beginning
Remote work was growing slowly for years, but as the COVID-19 pandemic hit, and government mandates were levied, a lot of businesses moved to remote work to try and sustain their operations. A lot of businesses did so reluctantly, with many more just choosing to shutter their business rather than take the risk. The organizations that did embrace the strategy still considered it a short-term solution to a major medical disaster.
As the pandemic carried on, however, many businesses realized that it wasn’t going to be so simple for them to simply recall their workforce as many workers started looking for remote only work. For workers, it was everything that they thought they wanted, but they too were confronted with challenges. Sure, they eliminated the commute and the long hours at the office, but they then had to navigate the same expectations while working from the same place that they used to spend time unwinding from that same activity.
As the threats of the pandemic wound down, a lot of companies wasted no time recalling their staff. This ended up backfiring for a lot of organizations as there were enough remote jobs available that paid competitive wages that lots of people quit their in-person jobs to continue to work remotely. This is now known as the Great Resignation. While some of this was just older workers taking early retirement, most of the people who quit did so to avoid going back to the grind.
A New Strategy
While many people quit due to employer demands, many people didn’t. They returned to the office, but were soon longing for the flexibility they had while working from home. This saw unprecedented losses of productivity and employers had to come up with another strategy to keep their workforce happy and effective.
You see, business owners and employees both had ideas on how to make this work. For the business owners, they had invested in real estate, resources, and company culture to help their workers feel more at home in the office. A comfortable employee is a productive employee, after all; and employees immediately thought, “What’s more comfortable than being at home?”
This resulted in the hybrid compromise. Workers felt like they were much more productive working from home, but employers pointed out that their productivity isn’t as sustained as it is in the office. If somehow a business can leverage both strategies, they could get back on track. This is the hybrid approach. Effectively, employees are asked to come into the office a couple of days a week and work from home the others. Now it is quickly becoming standard operating procedure for businesses all over the world.
The Hybrid Approach
If you are looking for a way to get the most out of your workers, going to a hybrid workplace is a great way to do it. It not only gives you (and your staff) the face time needed to promote a dedicated company culture, it also gives your staff the flexibility they need to not have to grind through every workday.
Unfortunately, there are some considerations that have to be made to make this strategy work. Firstly, you have to understand that some of the biggest achievers you have in your business aren’t going to want to spend hours in your office in virtual meetings. This will just serve to push them away, so if you choose to implement this hybrid approach, consider these two factors:
You’ve spent a lot of time and effort on your company’s policy and procedure generation and a change to a hybrid workplace makes these obsolete. You need to pay attention to how your individual employees operate and manage them accordingly. After all, it is much easier to be more attentive to someone you trust’s needs than to find someone new.
Make Sure People are Connected
One of the biggest problems with remote-only work is the tendency for people to get left behind. In order to make a hybrid system work you need to give your team the communications and collaboration tools they need to make your business a success. By making efforts to keep people connected, you can build relationships that will do nothing but benefit your business.
The hybrid workplace also relies on technology and the experts at NSN Management can help. If you would like to learn more about how to get a hybrid workplace up and running, give us a call today at (918) 770-7400.