The hybrid workplace model is not new to the business world. Yet many companies before hesitate to implement them. Not only during the COVID-19 pandemic were they forced to adapt and develop their own flexible workplace setup.
Due to COVID which resulted in the loss of countless loved ones (friends and families) the mindset of many working individuals about their priorities in life forever changed. The majority of them now became unwilling to go back to offices after working from home for more than a year.
Some companies decided to implement a permanent work-from-home setup while some introduced a hybrid setup where employees are only required to report to their offices a few days a week. This is to retain balance and give solutions to the concerns including a lost sense of belongingness and increasing trust issues between managers and employees.
One of the significant facts that we should focus on and must not deny about these new workplace models is how it greatly increased employee productivity. Despite the fear of employers that it will make their employees distant and uninspired due to the lack of socialization, it continued to prove otherwise and now it seems like it has more benefits. For companies, it helped cut costs because a hefty amount of money has been saved from office rent and related fees which they don’t have to pay anymore.
Here are some important points to consider to make sure that your implementation of the hybrid setup is not only aligned to the organizational aspiration but also with the employee’s aspirations.
Respect Employees’ Personal Time
The presumption that an employee who is not coming to the office is available at any time should change. Employers should respect the fact that people still need time to rest and manage their personal life and domestic responsibilities. The balance should always be one of the objectives when modifying the work setup.
Employee-Inclusion in Decision-Making
Your employee’s feedback and suggestion matter and should be heard before finalizing and implementing new policies. Their experiences and response will help you make better decisions involving the hybrid work model. This is crucial because they are also directly affected and their contribution can help you address challenges that may arise once you are already at it.
Additional Initiatives to Help Employees Cope
There’s no denying that COVID-19 took a mental toll on all of us. We have to recognize that aside from their work responsibilities, your employees may also be dealing with mental stress, anxiety, and even depression. So it is your duty to take the initiative and come up with programs such as counseling, therapy, and meditation addressing your employee’s personal problems and concerns.
Dealing with all the missed social Interaction
People who work from home miss out on a lot of social interaction, which provides cultural belongingness and coherence. The rapid change can cause constant shock to them. As a solution, organizations must introduce measures such as conferences and informal outings to help employees cope.
The concept of hubs or micro hubs is also interesting. It allows employees living far from your HQ to have a place to have fun and innovative experiences while building connections and bonds with their colleagues. It benefits the company as a whole while helping your hybrid work model succeed.