Hybrid Work 2021
Facility Management

Hybrid Work Is Here and We May Not Be Ready!

The global pandemic has led to the popularity of the hybrid work culture like never before. It’s become a global phenomenon, with surveys showing the 55% of US workers vouching for a home-office working mix. The UK is expected to see the percentage of regular home workers go up to 37%. In China, experts predict that there will be a 60/40 split of onsite/remote work.

This has spanned across several industries, and it looks like it’s here to stay. But many companies were new to this setup at the beginning and didn’t know how to deal with it. Many are still struggling with the transition and are faced with several challenges throughout. Let’s discuss some of these challenges in this blog.

1. Change in Facility

Organizations will have to plan for fewer employees actually inside the office, and this will spur many to move to a smaller physical space. This will be a cost-saving move for the organization but could cause issues in terms of location. Employees would be pushed to move closer towards their new workplace. This is challenging for both the workers and the organization as it would be a new, disruptive move that would take some time to get used to. It will also bring in several problems for the Facility Manager to manage safety, hygiene, and flexible infrastructure provisioning requests.

2. New Roles

Hybrid work has created new roles in organizations. Within the HR function itself, many transformations take place. HR and business leaders now have to focus on being empathetic towards the many challenges of a hybrid setting. HR managers will have to create ways to support personal interactions and connections between remote colleagues. All leaders will have to redefine their behaviour and create a good support system to help their subordinates. Empathy will be a mandatory leadership quality. Measures must be taken to improve transparency, increase communication, undertake new learning and development initiatives, and more, in new and creative ways. 

3. Impact on Salaries

The compensation and benefits of working from home have to be ever-evolving in this scenario. Many organizations would have to redesign theirs to include the needs of their hybrid employees. The organization will have to find out what the needs of their employees are. They must then create the right balance of financial and non-financial rewards, and opportunities to grow. This must follow a healthy mix of these, and decide the right method and frequency as well. Failing to handle these issues carefully can have consequences.

4. Effect on Performance 

Many individuals were not ready for hybrid work, and this disrupted their workflow, which in turn affected their performance. This manifested in many ways. Some employees didn’t have a suitable workstation at home, nor did they have the hardware. Others were distracted by disturbing elements at home. Employees are also not immune to the events in the world around them and mental issues are becoming more substantial and more common. Some of these issues need long-term and professional attention. But other issues are easy to solve if the company takes initiative to equip employees with whatever they need to continue working diligently. Of course, on the infrastructure front, this becomes a challenge for the Facility Manager to provision infrastructure for remote employees and for the IT help desk on how to support them.

5. Issues with Collaboration 

One of the main issues is having departments spread out in different places. An example is when some parts of the team are in the office and others are working online. It’s tough to collaborate that way. There can be gaps in communication, misunderstandings, mismatch in the timings of different individuals, conflicts, and more. Luckily, this challenge is easily overcome with some practice and the right tools. Over time, using project collaboration and communication tools, and other platforms make working remotely easy and smooth. 

6. Communication Breakdowns 

This workplace setting has redefined the way we view workplace communication. It has encouraged noting everything down, using video technology, and more. A major challenge is that it can be difficult to understand the tone of the words in a remote setting. It’s also tough to textually convey emotions such as empathy, clarity, and respect. This makes it difficult to conduct sensitive meetings, such as performance reviews, completely over text and video.

7. Maintaining Employee Engagement… From Afar

With hybrid work, it’s tough for employees, especially new joinees, to feel engaged with the organization. Many can start feeling alienated or even jealous of their counterparts who are working from the office. Providing a consistent employee experience will become a crucial need. . Maintaining company morale will also be difficult. Some employees can even start feeling depressed and experience mental health issues. Awareness programs must be conducted to focus on this. New steps will have to be designed and taken to raise morale. This can include creating virtual events which are fun for everyone to participate in, or insisting that on some days, all the employees are present in the office.

8. Issues with Hiring

Many candidates will be interviewed online or remotely. Background verifications will have to be more stringent. Conversations won’t be as impactful as real-life ones, and it’s tougher to gauge things from body language when you’re viewing a person via video. There will also be a vast amount of data of candidates that must be kept systematically. All this has to be done while ensuring maximum security and process integrity.

Regardless of these challenges, companies will rise to the occasion and make their processes more hybrid-friendly. SeQure, a workplace management platform, can streamline some of these processes. We have a visitor management solution, an internal helpdesk solution, flexible seating solutions, and asset management systems to address specific problems. We aim to create a safe and secure workplace for our clients so that transitioning to a hybrid-work place is smoother than ever for their employees.

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