Hybrid is the future of work, at least for the next couple of years, if not more. While 88% of the employers globally emphasized providing remote working facilities to their employees during the pandemic, the trend is shifting rapidly today. Nearly 83% of the workforce prefer a hybrid work model influenced by the ability of Flexi-workdays. Thus, the present times have called out for the need to nurture the remote workforce to achieve organizational development while redeveloping the offline model.
As the world is inching towards normalcy, organizations are strategically planning a hybrid work model can benefit employees in many ways. But for employers, things can get tricky in no time!
How does a hybrid model work?
A hybrid work model quintessentially emphasizes a balance of remote working along with working in the office. While a part may continue to work from home, specific processes need to begin working offline.
So here’s an extensive list of ways in which you can manage and balance a remote and hybrid workforce:
- Don’t Micromanage
Everyone wants their freedom to work and make mistakes to grow. While they may need a guide or a mentor, they do not want to be micromanaged at any stage. Micromanaging impairs productivity and gets employees annoyed and overwhelmed. Setting clear work expectations works wonders to enhance their productivity and avoid the need to micromanage. You must practice responsible delegation and act as a mentor and not a manager.
- Provide the Technology they Need
Even the most dedicated workforce needs technology to perform as efficiently as you would like them to. But, unfortunately, not everyone from your crew will have advanced devices or high-speed broadband to complete their tasks. In a remote setup, arranging for cameras, devices, connections, and equipment will help run businesses smoothly.
While in the office, everything they need is taken care of by the managers or senior leadership.
You would benefit immensely by training your workforce in the latest technologies. You can consider short courses, webinars, or workshops to accelerate their output.
Ultimately, everything comes down to productive communication between the remote and hybrid workforce and the management. As a hybrid manager, you will need to provide team members with equal opportunities to build trust.
So, how can providing flexibility result in greater employee happiness and engagement?
- Allow them to decide their own working hours.
- Let them choose to be ‘target-oriented’ over ‘time-oriented.’
- Facilitate them to work from the comfort of their home.
- Don’t hesitate to approve their leaves for reasons truly critical to them.
The more support they get from the company, the more they’ll strive to engage and increase efficiency.
- Set Up Easy Communication Channels
The weeds of poor communication can quickly overtake and choke the growth of organizations. And this holds especially true in the case of a hybrid workforce. Two-way communication channels between the management and the workforce will do wonders to the work outcomes. Whenever an organization goes through a change, such as work location, it’s essential to know how the crew feels about it. Addressing issues regularly and providing concrete solutions to your workforce plays a significant role in remote work management. It can be done using intelligent communication techniques which make your employees feel comfortable when it comes to putting forward their honest opinions.
Using tools to communicate in a hybrid setup can help in maintain parity in communication. But don’t overdo using tools as it can lead to knowledge loss and disparities. Skype, MS Teams, Asana, Slack, Zoom, ZoHo, etc., are a few excellent tools to suit both work models.
- Build Trust
Working from home can bring out the best in teams, but all they need is your unconditional trust and support. The same works in a hybrid workforce model too! At no point should team members feel biased between online and in-office colleagues. The bottom line remains- you cannot differentiate between team members and question their efficacy.
As an employer, it’s understandable to become skeptical or unsure about your remote workforce’s performance and due diligence. However, once you start entrusting them enough, it will encourage them to work with more passion and determination. Don’t forget to recognize and appreciate your best remote performers! It’ll keep them motivated at all times.
- Reinforce Workforce-friendly Values
Every workforce acts as an essential stakeholder of the company. After the pandemic, making your remote workforce feel important has become more of an underlying necessity. In such a scenario, employees expect their organization to lay down a set of values and implement them to better their experience.
Work isn’t everything. For a business to sustain itself, the employer-workforce bond to sustain.
It would help if you reinforced the pre-existing values of the organization even during the remote working phase. It ensures that the employees work with a healthy approach rather than constantly fearing being judged and countered by the management.
To Sum it Up
Health, technology, communication, trust, and values – these five factors are the cornerstones of flawless remote-hybrid workforce management. Achieving a perfect work-life balance between team member expectations and employer expectations requires you to respect the circumstances while making critical business decisions.
While remote working saves nearly 40 – 50 minutes of the daily commute, it is equally important to attain an optimal work-life balance while managing a remote workforce. Leadership, company culture, and structure play a vital role in achieving an optimal hybrid-remote working model. A hybrid work model can be a win for employers and employees as you can retain more employees without spending too much money.