How To: Transition To A Hybrid Work Model That Your Employees AREN’T Skeptical Of
TRANSITION TO A HYBRID WORK MODEL
YOUR EMPLOYEES AREN’T SKEPTICAL OF
Four tips on how to get your employees on board with a hybrid work model they support.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO BE PRODUCTIVE?
One of the most common pushbacks from employees when discussing a hybrid work model is not having dedicated spaces. Most of the older generations have trouble making this jump to unassigned spaces and open plan offices due to their conditioning of a traditional style office space. These employees are used to operating in their own personalized space. Shifting to spaces that are shared, and designed for day-by-day usage, can be a major environmental shock for employees accustomed to their dedicated private office or workstation. Employees are afraid that they will not have the spaces or resources they need to be productive. You can read more on trading "me" spaces for "we" spaces here.
So how do you bridge the gap? Having “interviews” with your employees to determine what their concerns are, and then finding solutions to accommodate them, will not only limit employee push back, but also remind your employees that they are considered, valued, and heard within the company.
Finding out what your employees need to be productive is the most important information to study when planning a hybrid office. Ask them questions like:
Do you work better in a quiet space or a space that is buzzing with energy?
What percentage of the day are you on calls?
What office amenities would be a convenience for you?
Knowing how your employees work and what resources will help them do their job effectively and efficiently will set the groundwork for your hybrid model. Then, when they enter the office, they will know it was designed for them rather than a one-size-fits-all solution. Because let’s face it, there are all types of office work, and trying to fit a square peg in a round hole has never proven successful.
YOU WILL BE HEARD
After gathering all of the information and input from your employees, it’s time to deliver. Start by grouping similar requests and needs in neighborhoods throughout the office. For example, lay out spaces from a quiet to loud spectrum, locating focus spaces on one end of the office and collaboration areas on the other. Organizing the different work style environments will start to develop your floor plan. Perhaps, instead, your employees prefer a mix of spaces throughout the office where collaboration areas are next to private offices so that teams can work independently, yet still have a meeting space close by to collaborate. Your employee’s needs and schedules will dictate which is the most efficient layout of the space. To read more on hybrid layouts and which one is best for you, click here.
It is important to deliver at least one request of each department or employee. You want your teams to know they were heard and that the company provided for them. This may create various atmospheres throughout the office, which is okay. There should be a variety of spaces that will fit each work style and offer the environment and resources the employees need to be productive.
THAT WILL WORK WITH YOUR OFFICE
The second most important piece of a hybrid model is making sure the schedules of your employees work with your office space. If all of your employees needing private spaces are occupying the office on the same day, you’re likely to have an overcrowding and inadequate amount of spaces for them. Analyzing the types of spaces versus who needs them and when will help you determine hybrid work schedules.
Another leading concern of employees entering a hybrid office is wondering if they will get a space they need to be productive. Implementing a scheduling system will ensure your employees that spaces are available for them when they need them. Having the software available to reserve a space ahead of time will eliminate the concern of availability for employees who are coming into the office on any given day.
HAVE A TECHNOLOGY PLAN
There is no doubt that technology is one of the most important aspects to support a hybrid work model. With the office being flexible work environment, it is crucial to have the technology to support it.
Hard-wired solutions are still useful, but tether a user to a specific area. Power banks and mobile charging stations are great ways to support the moving worker. Providing a range of flexible and reconfigurable workplace solutions that are designed for dynamic workers will help employees adapt to their space on demand.
Systems like Zoom, Skype, and Microsoft Teams have become critical aspects of the normal workday. These tools are crucial for keeping the employee engagement levels elevated. Now, companies are investing in more tools and technology that allow for seamless communication and collaboration among remote teams. This includes video conferencing software, project management tools, and cloud-based storage. Technological advancements in things like artificial intelligence are also creating more opportunities for remote employees to improve the employee experience from the comfort of their home.
Other technologies such as room displays, automatic desk check-in, sensors, and busy lights are all pertinent in sustaining and supporting the hybrid office. Desk and room booking software also play a role. Technology's significance in the hybrid work model cannot be overstated. It bridges physical distance, unifying the workforce regardless of location. These tools facilitate real-time communication, integrated teamwork, and cohesive project management, minimizing misunderstandings or gaps. They keep the organization running smoothly, ensuring uninterrupted workflow and productivity. User-friendly tools accommodating diverse needs promote effective usage. Organizations must adapt to tech advancements, refining their digital suite for an efficient and inclusive hybrid work environment.
Most importantly, make sure it works and offer training to your users. There is nothing more frustrating than having "technical difficulties" while using these systems. Troubleshooting and user-errors take up valuable time and create inefficiencies. Equip your employees with the knowledge on how to use what is provided, and offer easy-to-access help desks and support if trouble does arise.
MAKE THE MOVE:
IT WILL BENEFIT EVERYONE!
A hybrid work model can be a powerful advantage for your company culture, but only if you actively and mindfully cultivate it.
Help preserve team camaraderie and promote a shared culture across office and remote employees through inclusive and flexible team activities, company events, and policies. Train managers on effective communication and coaching to ensure remote workers receive equitable mentorship and networking opportunities.
Hybrid work is the model of the future, and with the right tools, plan, and office space in place, you can move forward with confidence - and so can your employees!