September 30th, 2021 Read Time: 5 minutes
Justin Sheil is the Content Marketing Manager at Electric. He has 5+ years experience writing about a wide range of technology topics. As part of his role at Electric, he currently functions as the head of the company’s Research & Insights division.
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In a world rocked by the pandemic, a hybrid work model is when your human resources shuffle between on-site work and working from home or anywhere as long as it doesn't affect their productivity.
A hybrid work model can provide flexibility for the workforce, diversify the organization, and make the employees more productive. If an organization wants to reap the benefits of a hybrid work model, they need to be aware of what mistakes they need to avoid when building a hybrid work model.
In this blog, we’ll review some of the common mistakes you should avoid when your company assumes a hybrid work model.
For a long time, industries and organizations have toyed with the idea of remote work, but there have been little efforts to adopt the new working strategy. Then 2020 happened, and with it came lockdown, social distancing, and ultimately a boom in remote work.
According to a recent study conducted by Accenture, 83% of people admit they prefer a hybrid work model where they combine the best of remote and in-person working, which promotes a healthy and flexible working environment.
To this end, organizational leaders focused on growth and change should shift beyond on-site working and provide the workforce with the necessary resources tailored to suit their working needs. Accenture further found that 63% of top-ranking companies are already implementing a "work from anywhere" workforce approach.
What Makes Hybrid Tick?
Hybrid brings together the best of both working options. In fact, the research found that those who were working partly at home and partly at the office when the pandemic first hit recorded better mental health and improved work relationships.
And while adopting this new model should be a priority for most organizations, on-site working also needs to be restrategized. This is for the sake of the workers who continue to work in the same environment no matter their preferences. While human resources policies have long been centered on on-site work, a new generation of digital workforce is emerging.
Companies need to develop new strategies, resources, and policies that accommodate all of these three models. So what are the mistakes organizational leadership needs to avoid when adopting productivity everywhere kind of approach?
1. Avoid Bias, Lead By Example
As companies embrace the best of both remote and in-office offerings, they should lead by example by not encouraging or condoning bias. There's a chance that some leaders might favor those working in the traditional office setting.
Both in-house and remote staff should be accorded the same opportunities and resources to ensure productivity is not compromised. As a leader, you should set a good example by not condoning bias. A company that is adopting a hybrid workforce model should do so from the top executive level down to the interns.
2. Creating An Environment Of Distrust And Discord
All employees from the highest executive echelon to the intern and janitor have dedicated endless hours of their lives to drive the company success while also creating a balance between family, education, personal growth, health, and justice, in their individual lives.
Overall, they have worked hard enough to earn considerable trust and credibility. Therefore, they deserve a little autonomy and some flexibility moving forward. When moving back to a physical workspace, you should not call it a 'return-to-work' to imply that your workforce can only be productive when at the company premises.
3.Only Permitting Workspace Location as Flexible
Balancing family and career is no easy feat, irrespective of an employee's workspace. The situation has been complex and frustrating, and it's not going to change anytime soon. People will still need to play caregivers to their incapacitated family members, including the elderly, the chronically sick, and children.
Employees will still need to keep the doctor's appointment and still deliver quality work—these everyday life responsibilities have been and will always be a challenge. Just because people are working from home doesn't mean the situation is any easier to navigate. If anything, most employees reported that simultaneously being a teammate and a caregiver was something of a disaster.
As a leader, you can help alleviate this problem by not imposing the usual 9-to-5 work schedule and allowing employees to work flexible hours. Designate specific times for synchronous collaboration, which includes meetings and consultations, etc. Otherwise, let them create their own work schedules for the remainder of the day.
4. Don't Assume One Size Fits All
Different people prefer different workspaces, and these preferences stem from several other factors. One person finds working from home too distracting; another finds it too lonely and unmotivating. One person's kitchen table doesn't make an ideal workstation, and they miss their office desk. Then there's another staff member with a chronic health condition who finds working from their couch comforting. Another worker is sick of the daily commute and would rather stay at home.
The mistake you can make is assuming that everyone wants to be at the office or home for the same reason. You can hold discussions with your staff to find out what everyone wants. These can provide you with new ideas on how to support each other as a team.
5. Only Call For In-Person Meetings When Necessary
Nothing is as inconvenient as impromptu or unnecessary traveling. Not everyone wants to take a 3-hour flight for a one-hour meeting in a different city. Not only does this eat into your employee travel allowances, but it also affects the team's productivity.
With so many things moving to the cloud, both staff and clients meetings can be done remotely. Since clients are coming to offices less frequently, a quick, in-person meeting at the restaurant or coffee shop near the client's home could be more suitable.
At Electric, we exist to help you transition to a hybrid workplace by providing all the IT support you need in the process and beyond. IT powers hybrid work, and we power IT. We can give your organization a hand in transitioning into this new normal. Get in touch today to learn more.