Making Hybrid Working Work for You

A group of children sitting together and learning

The COVID 19 pandemic changed the world, and, in many ways, these changes are here to stay. Online shopping continues to be the preferred way to shop, many people are still reluctant to spend time amongst a big crowd of people, and hybrid working environments are becoming the norm. As well as other things, a good learning and performance management system can help you to make the most out of hybrid working and maintain a high standard of training and communication to ensure that this new norm works for you and your workforce.

The Increase in Hybrid Working

In a recent workforce survey,  it was reported that 65 per cent of US workers questioned are now working completely in person, 14 per cent are working mostly in person, 9 per cent are working mostly remotely and the remaining 11 per cent are working fully remotely.  This is a big change compared to the previous year when 60 per cent were working fully in person while 22 per cent were working fully remotely. The hybrid option for the workforce is growing in popularity as about a quarter of all workers are opting for the best of both worlds: spending some time in the office and some time at home. The truth is that the majority of those who work at home are very happy to continue doing so. Over the course of the pandemic, the personal circumstances of many workers have changed and for one reason or another, the commute to work is less appealing. Many have moved farther from the office while others have enjoyed the flexibility that comes with working remotely and the extra time they get to spend with their families. With all of this in mind, regardless of the incentives that companies offer to try and get their employees back to the office, it’s evident that workers are fully capable of weighing up the pros and cons and deciding what is best for their work/life balance.

Your HR Needs to Change

As you may have already experienced, the changes in working environments have multiple implications for HR professionals and their roles. HR workers need to develop new skills and work on their rusty ones to ensure they can provide the support that their workers need. Digital skills are essential in monitoring the integration of in-person and remote workers. Even though an HR role Is usually people orientated, this role now requires professionals to talk the language of business and improve on their business-partnering abilities. The changes in the working environment can also have an impact on the mental health of workers and HR teams need to be aware of these and know how to deal with them. Looking forward, it’s important to think about the repercussions of hybrid working and the policies and procedures that will need to be implemented to support the longevity of the hybrid working system.

Of course, hybrid systems come with their own unique set of challenges but with the increase in popularity, it’s important to know how to make the situation work.  Many new starters expect the option for such a working environment so it’s vital that you can accommodate these modern workplace needs. So, how can that be done?

Making the Best of Hybrid Working

Here are a few tips to make hybrid working work for you.

  1. Change up the office space with hybrid working in mind. You won’t get a lot of interest in in-office days if it’s just to sit at a desk for eight hours. Introduce some new communal areas, replace fixed cubicles with flexible spaces and offer incentives that make people want to leave home and come to the office. The big advantage is the in-person social interactions so do your best to adapt to and encourage that in the way you design the office space.
  2. Keep office workdays organised where everyone has their own space to work. Even if your organisation makes use of a rotating schedule, circulating people around the desks as they work in and out of the office, make sure it doesn’t turn into a free for all when it comes to grabbing a desk in the morning. Give workers the ability to prebook workspaces so they have all the tools they need to get to work quickly without stress and conflict.
  3. Take the initiative to make everyone feel included and involved, even if they do work at home. If hybrid workers feel punished because they choose to stay at home, they will feel compelled to go in and a hybrid working environment will fizzle out completely.
  4. Be flexible, not frigid, and remain open to new ideas and policies. If there isn’t a business reason to make rules, try not to. Show your employees that you trust them by giving them the ability to make their own schedules and fulfil their responsibilities. Offer more flexibility when you can and don’t expect everything to go smoothly from the get-go. Be open to adapting your policies in response to feedback from your staff.
  5. Be open with your employees about your policy. Don’t mislead them about the perks, or the downsides, and be upfront about the freedom they will have and what you will expect from them. If policies must change, be transparent about these changes and the reasons behind them. As such, employees are more likely to support and work along with these changes which leads to a much more unified workforce.
  6. Invest in the technology infrastructure to give a backbone to your work environment. This is where a learning and performance management system can play an important role. Additionally, look for solutions that enable effective communication, collaboration, and document sharing. Make the most of technology that supports social interactions, bookings of workspaces and the monitoring of staff training and performance.

With a little bit of hard work, patience and adaptability, hybrid working can be good for you, your staff, and your business. It might take some time, but this kind of work is here to stay so it makes sense to do everything you can to make it a success.

About Carson Derrow

My name is Carson Derrow I'm an entrepreneur, professional blogger, and marketer from Arkansas. I've been writing for startups and small businesses since 2012. I share the latest business news, tools, resources, and marketing tips to help startups and small businesses to grow their business.