The pandemic has forced many companies to foray into remote working as a way to thrive during the lockdown. As employees are preparing to return en masse to the physical office, many employers are considering implementing the hybrid model. Companies have seen the benefits as well as the consequences of working remotely. A hybrid workplace model helps companies to be able to take advantage of both the remote work experience as well as the traditional office setting. In this article, we are going to explore the five ways to implement the hybrid work experience.
1. Have a Hybrid Workplace Plan
When planning a hybrid workplace plan, one of the first things to consider is how it will look. To do this, you need to have a series of questions you intend to ask. Here are some questions to consider:
Which roles or departments can effectively operate remotely indefinitely?
Which roles or departments need to return on-site work as soon as possible?
Which activities can truly be hybridized?
Will this be a phased implementation or all at once?
Will those working at home still be required to keep the same hours as the on-site teams?
Will there be additional benefits or requirements for working from home?
What processes need to be in place to ensure employees returning to work are ensured their safety?
2. Address Psychological Needs
Humans are social beings. Companies need to design hybrid workplaces that allow for both professional and social connections. This may come in form of experimentations as too much contact can leave people drained, and too little can leave people disengaged.
Companies can start by identifying how people typically stay connected and then develop a connection strategy with their teams.
3. Reimagine How Work is Done
In designing a hybrid workplace, companies must rethink how work is done. In the past, open offices were designed to aid communication and collaboration. Today, we have communication technologies such as email and messaging that provide these benefits in a more scalable way.
Companies may begin by Identifying processes, tasks, and activities that require discussion using the “in-office” experience before the pandemic and check how these communications have been impacted by the lockdown and work from home experience.
4. Manage Integrity and Security
The work from the home model has raised the issue of security concerns. Integrity is an essential component in the hybrid work culture. In terms of integrity, companies must focus on data integrity and security as well as the reliability of internet connections. Also, companies must ensure that they are not invading the privacy of their employees through excessive monitoring.
To effectively manage security and integrity in a hybrid workplace, companies may need to reinforce policies that focus on security, credibility, and confidentiality based on each employee’s workspace characteristics and need.
5. Reimagine the Use of Office Space
In the hybrid work environment, the workplace will become a workspace. A workspace will be anywhere work gets done-- the home, the field, the office, or a co-working space. For the hybrid workspace to be a fruitful experiment, the physical office should be worth the commute and should be seen as a different and more valuable experience than working elsewhere. The physical office should be designed to enable interaction among the employees and allow departments to forge a sense of identity.
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