We all know that the secret of a successful business is its people,and it is all about keeping their morale high. In order to keep your employees happy, you need to be mindful of creating a work-life balance that works for them. To create the right balance and team culture, it is important to have a conversation with those it will impact. Identify the strengths and weaknesses of the new strategy and see how a middle ground can be created to ensure that the majority are catered to. Within this post, we will be exploring five secrets of building an effective hybrid working policy to help guide your way towards boosting employee happiness. This metric is a key factor in attracting and retaining top talent, and we all want to hire and retain top talent!
Let’s define a hybrid working policy?
A hybrid working policy is a work plan that encourages employees to mix their work between workplace and outside the office, either at home or an alternative workspace.
The benefits of a hybrid working policy have been acknowledged by both employees but employers. During the recent pandemic it has been acknowledged by many employers that employees still engage effectively with their tasks maintaining the same and even better quality of work achieved when in office. The idea behind this hybrid policy is to offer more flexibility and freedom to employees who want it - encouraging them not only to improve their productivity but also their work-life balance. For many employees it has also helped them reduce their expenses and the absence rates of their staff.
Why should your company implement a hybrid working policy?
A hybrid working policy can make you seem more attractive to top talent. According to a study conducted by Mckinsey Institute, the up and coming workers want hybrid work. While the more experienced worker desires although like the hybrid model they prefer the work from home dynamic. If your company is seen as a good place for employees to work, they will be able to easily retain the staff they need and reduce attrition rates. Having a policy that caters to all workers, those that desire to stay at home, work from office or even in a co-working space also helps you become more productive, with studies showing that employees who are given flexible working hours tend to complete their tasks faster - seeing them done before deadlines.
5 secrets and tips to building an effective hybrid working policy
1) Set clear expectations
Communication, communication, communication! How many times can we cay communication is KING! It is vital that workers are clear on what is and isn't permitted as part of your hybrid working policy. If clear expectations are not stated boundaries are easily crossed and no one is to blame but those who failed to communicate what was required of the team. In order to get buy-in, you should work with your team to set these. Considerations should include any hours that everyone must be online, processes for internal tools and how those in and outside the office should communicate, especially if channel of communication is different to in office communication chain. Let the team know what you want.
2) Ensure workers have the right equipment
How will the employees be able to work in their various locations? Is a questions policy makers must answer. Remote working can be productive, but it requires employees to have the right setup. If that means increasing expenses for long-term benefit don’t hesitate, do it! This includes laptops, monitors, desks, chairs, lamps and VPN software. Without this employees will not be able to work to the best of their ability and the hybrid policy will not be effective.
You should also ensure workers have full access to internal tools when they aren't in the office. I.e. all software’s needed to communicate and programmes that help them get the work done and potentially share and showcase to the rest of the team. To maintain effective hybrid working, you should ensure that your staff can access online tools such as CRM systems.
3) Clearly define how meetings should run
With the rise of Zoom, Microsoft Teams and other video communication channels, not having effective communication channels are no longer an excuse. Although virtual meetings are different to in-person meetings it is important your hybrid work policy reflects that. Spontaneous meetings that can occur in person require a lot more planning and intentionality when everyone is not in the same location. Therefore, as a policymaker define how these meetings should run, the requirements of note-taking and what is expected of all meeting participants.
4) Managers need to personalise their approach to each worker
Those in managerial and leadership roles need to appreciate that each worker is different, and hybrid work amplifies that. One thing about hybrid working is that it does require leadership to extend themselves a lot more for employees. Personal communication is needed while some will require a lot of one-to-one check-ins and clear instructions, other workers can be left more to their own devices, leaders must have a plan in place that doesn’t result in a silo effect.
5) Organise in-person work socials
Working for various environments and locations can result in employees not knowing one another outside of the work environment. It is time to put a face to the teammate who has been sending you all those requests… lol. It is important to note that your company culture will be tested as you switch to a hybrid work environment. To maintain this culture, organise in-person work socials so that hybrid workers can maintain relationships with their co-workers both inside and outside the office. From Halloween Parties to Christmas get togethers give the employees the option to meet one another in a relaxed and fun setting aiding them to build authentic relationships with one another.
Hybrid working can be invaluable to companies looking for a way to boost morale by offering employees more flexibility. Implementing an effective hybrid working policy takes time and consideration but is ultimately worth the effort if done correctly. The return to the office is an opportunity for employers to look at their business and determine how they can exploit the benefits of both working from home and remote working.