The necessity of remote work over the last year has caused many companies to adopt a hybrid work environment, which consists of a productive balance between the office and home. As organizations adjust to this workstyle, they are also finding themselves searching for ways to keep up morale and flow within the workplace without being face-to-face on a daily basis. Lay the foundation of communication and make things run smoothly for the employees and the organization with a new hybrid work structure with these five helpful tips.
- Normalize a hybrid model. Some people may love working remotely, and others not so much, so it’s important to normalize a hybrid model that also has a set of policies for employees to maintain when working from home. After the last year of being remote, department leaders may need to brush up a bit on the company procedures and reassess what works best with a new work structure. Be sure to set clear guidelines and expectations for the new environment both in and out of the office. Also, consider making some changes where it may seem fit to better support everyone and ensure that employees are set up for success when they aren’t in the office.
- Be sure to include everyone when possible. When some employees are in the office and others are working remotely, the regular routine of coffee chats in the break room or running into a colleague at the printer might look a bit different. Implement additional efforts for fun activities to help keep a sense of community and camaraderie within the company with extras for everyone, whether it’s a meeting to focus on team-building exercises or even a weekly happy hour on Zoom.
- Maintain a consistent schedule. With a hybrid environment, it’s important to establish some structure with a consistent schedule. This way everyone knows when to expect a certain person to be in or out of the office on any particular day. Depending on the size of the organization or department, make a document or spreadsheet that can keep track of what days someone will be expected in-office. We recommend establishing certain days of the week, but accommodations can be considered when appropriate. With a set schedule, there will certainly be, “thank yous” in order when it comes to planning meetings!
- Arrange clear communication channels. One thing that’s missing from a full office is the pop-in for a quick question. With a hybrid work structure, it’s important to establish clear methods of communication to ensure that everyone has a way to stay connected. For most, this is as simple as setting up daily or weekly team meetings, or even installing a messaging app across the company like Slack to connect everyone with the information they need.
- Hold weekly or bi-weekly one-on-ones, just to stay on track with your team. Regular check-ins may look a bit different with hybrid, but keeping up with everyone, whether it’s coaching or brainstorming, is essential to maintain a strong channel of communication and community with employees. Even if it’s just some time to catch up and chat, making sure employees know that support is available will encourage productivity and overall satisfaction.
Building a hybrid work environment can take some trial and error, but keeping your employees top-of-mind while maintaining your organization’s morale is imperative to the success of a new structure. In these unprecedented times, remember that everyone is doing the best they can and some flexibility is necessary as organizations and their employees adjust accordingly.
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