Build Hybrid Workplace Strategy: 7 Questions to Ask
As businesses are shifting to the pandemic-inspired hybrid model of working, executives and managers face new challenges. Workplace administrators are busy devising plans and strategies that can help the companies introduce a well planned hybrid working model as it is highly relevant as businesses seek to reopen physical offices. The hybrid model may seem easy to operate but the real challenge lies in the transition of companies to the hybrid mode of working.
Here are 7 questions that you need to ask in order to frame an effective hybrid workplace strategy that smoothens the transition and adoption for both the employees as well as the employers.
Why is hybrid right for your organisation?
The first and foremost question posed as companies begin to adopt a hybrid culture is: Why would hybrid be the right fit for their organisation? Is your organisation capable of operating in such an environment? Does your company fall into the category of those that would really benefit from hybrid culture?
A Hybrid workplace leads to a safe, secure and flexible work culture. With a hybrid work culture, the company can maintain a fair community of employees who have equal access to all the amenities and equal status of work life balance within the organisation. Remote employees have been feeling neglected ever since the concept of remote emerged but hybrid aims to create a culture wherein both remote and on-site employees have the same level of working conditions, respect and inclusivity.
Considering diverse dimensions of the company like investment, compliance, working culture, team infrastructure and location, inclusivity is extremely important for setting the tone of a hybrid workplace transformation strategy.
How will the voice of your employees guide your approach?
Although second in line, this aspect of transitioning is highly important. The whole concept of hybrid culture is employee-centric and is totally focussed toward the betterment of the employees. The employees are the backbone of any organisation and something as big as adopting a hybrid way of working is directly going to impact your employees.
Before you begin laying out the rules for carrying out a smooth transition, it is highly essential to ask the staff or employees about their opinions. There are some problems that the executives may not find on a survey stats or trend reports but can only be found out when they sit down and talk to the employees. For bigger organisations, sitting face to face with each and every employee is not possible. This brings us to the conclusion that the companies need to find other ways to hear every employee and his/her take on this concept. Rather than letting the HR and IT management follow their instincts, the best way to hear employees out is by taking employee surveys that can occur through forms that have proper questions or spaces for the employees to list their interests and expectations.
The internal help desk can also be used by the employees to voice their opinions and speak out their minds. Such ways will not only allow the organisations to understand the demands of the employees but also ensure that managers and executives formulate policies that are successful and fail-proof.
Will the new model be introduced in phases or at the same time?
Next, companies need to commit to a rollout plan for employees to begin adopting this culture. How will employees come to the office? Which employees will work on-site and which ones can work remotely? How do you segregate the employees and make shifts work?
While some companies opted to gradually get into the habit of this culture, others took a leap of faith and started hybrid work right after they reopened their businesses. Whichever way the companies decide to get into the hybrid habit of working, a great aid to smoothen the transition is by adopting technological solutions like office seat booking software. This can help the companies keep a limited number of employees at their premises and allow the rest of the team to work from home. An office desk booking software gives employees the freedom to choose their on-site working days and safely book their seats in advance. This way the employees have control over their schedules and in the same way, the management has control over the employee’s safety and capacity in the premises at a given time.
What determines flexible time in the organisation?
The greatest quality of a hybrid workforce is the flexibility that it offers, especially to employees. The reason for the majority of the employees choosing hybrid over other work models is the freedom and independence that comes with the working culture.
However, companies need to first identify the factors that fit into this flexible module of working. The organisations need to find the right balance between the working schedules of employees. For some companies working 4 days a week is favourable while for some, the workflow can be managed with the workers coming on-site for 3 days. Thus, the amount of flexibility in shifts and working hours is a question of deliberation. The right chord can be struck with experimentation allowing the employees to choose their preferred modules. With this, the team infrastructure, the role and responsibility of each employee, the technological amenities and facilities are contributors towards setting this flexible mode.
Keeping all the factors in mind, the companies can zero in on the right work schedule for each employee and this, in turn, contributes to the well-being of employees. This control over the working hours ultimately leads to a better work-life balance enabling the employees to lead a more relaxed and stressful life which, in turn, affects their quality of work.
How can managers get the right support in making the shift?
Hybrid work culture may be directed solely towards the employees but the managers, too, have an important role in catalysing the transition. The real challenge lies in creating a consistent employee experience because the employees are separated geographically and physically.
Managers and executives can invest in workplace management suites that comprise an amalgam of the right technologies. These systems can help the companies generate a uniform and engaging employee experience for both the remote as well as the on-site staff. Such programs help the companies in maintaining the right balance of technological devices and tools for the betterment of employees, resulting in greater engagement and productivity. The various software result in better visibility and accountability among the workers and the companies can provide proper attention to all its employees consistently.
How will the shift affect the overall costs?
Adopting a hybrid workplace strategy is highly dependent on the cost factor and an essential advantage of shifting to a hybrid facility is its cost-saving approach. This implies that the companies can save tons and tons of money with the hybrid work model.
In order to make things work, the companies would have to invest in some kinds of workplace software that can ease collaboration between teams and strengthen communication. The location-independent approach would require lots of connectivity tools, subscriptions of various software, digital assets and costs related to power, internet connections and so on. However, these are only one-time investments which may look bulky in the beginning and may seem like costing a fortune. If organisations look at the bigger picture, there is a lot that they save in terms of costs.
Hybrid can help save real estate costs because the same space is available for work by twice or thrice the number of employees taking shifts and working from home. Office allowance and employee allowance costs are also reduced drastically and the overall space being utilised by every employee is reduced making it possible for the companies to expand and make more profits with the available resources.
How to evaluate what works (and what doesn’t)?
Once the organisation has stepped into the hybrid culture, the next important thing to keep in mind is ensuring that the whole experience stays the same and is driven towards betterment. The hybrid workplace strategy does not end with enforcement of hybrid modules in the premise but the real challenge is maintaining the core approach of the model.
This evaluation can only be done by leveraging technologies like hybrid workplace software that not only enables smooth working and greater coordination between employees and employers but also gives a detailed insight into the work processes and workflows. This software lets the companies evaluate the employee performance and allows the companies to understand the minute details of the operations occurring inside the company. With all the digitalised devices and software taking care of the processes, the data obtained is huge and this can be evaluated without much hassle. The data can further be utilised for improving the company’s growth and the employees’ performance.
For instance, a visitor management system not only screens the visitors but also gives valuable insights into the number and demographic of visitors that entered the premises. This can help management get a clear picture of complete visitor management and its implications within the organisation. The real-time data and valuable stats obtained can be used to create proper planning and strategies for the advancement and betterment of the company in the long run.