As COVID-19 restrictions continue to be lifted throughout various parts of the world, certain companies are beginning to determine just how their day-to-day operations are going to look.
While some staff members will excitedly welcome the opportunity to come back to the office five days a week, some will have gotten exceptionally comfortable working from home. The challenging aspect for management here will be figuring out how to satisfy the needs of workers on both ends of the scale.
A method gaining great traction is the hybrid work model. This approach gives employees the option to work from the office, or from home. Depending on how a company structures their hybrid work model, this may also include working non-traditional office hours throughout the course of a day.
In order to have a successful hybrid work model, a couple of things need to happen. Firstly, it needs to be straightforward, so that employees easily understand the parameters. Secondly, the company needs to have an impressive video conference tool in place to keep staff members connected – regardless of where their desks might be.
Transparency is Key
When a hybrid model is unveiled to staff, management needs to clearly explain a company’s expectations for how staff are going to use it.
For instance, a company could inform full-time staff members that they are free to work from home upwards of two times a week. However, unless special permission is granted, this limit cannot be exceeded. A scheduling system would also be used to track who is working where, and on which days.
If this information is laid out clearly to employees, they will be able to organize their work weeks accordingly. What’s more, if they are working from home during a day in which a special project meeting is to be held, they will need to have access to an online meeting platform.
Please, No Guilt Trips
Even though some companies’ remote work policies did not hinder business during the pandemic, that does not mean they will no longer prefer if staff came to the office more often than not.
However, if a company has devised a hybrid work model and employees have decided to take advantage of that option, these individuals should not be guilted into feeling like they are cutting corners by working from home.
There are enough online meeting apps capable of keeping employees in the loop – and productive – when not physically at an office. Plus, being from home (for some) can be a less stressful and more productive environment to work from.
Just because this may be odd or unconventional to some, does not mean those able to handle a remote work environment should be made to feel bad about their ability to take care of business from outside their cubicle.
Communicate with Office and Home Workers Equally
When staff members work from home, management can sometimes forget about them and focus most of their attention on office workers. Although this is not always a bad thing, a lack of communication with remote workers could cause problems.
All managers should have a high-end virtual meetings solution at their fingertips in order to easily communicate with remote workers in a face-to-face environment. This will allow both the employee and management to remain on the same page about ongoing projects, as well as any other additional company initiatives.
Beyond that, those who spend most of their time working from home will feel much better about their role within a company if supervisors do not treat them as if they are situated on a deserted island.