The way we work has dramatically changed since the start of the pandemic. From temporarily stopping operations to shifting to a remote working model, companies came across many challenges. But, unfortunately, it turned out that lots of them were not ready for this new situation.
But fortunately, the world step-by-step is returning to “normal”, and as a result, many startup companies are integrating into a hybrid workplace environment.
Anything new in a workplace culture can bring a lot of challenges and difficulties. However, there are several strategies to practice to succeed from the beginning that will ensure a successful hybrid workplace environment for your startup team.
Let’s Define a Hybrid Workplace
A hybrid working model is a new and technologically innovative way to work that is concentrated around productivity rather than attendance.
In this work model, the workforce is free to work from home. The hybrid work model comprises of several teams that work in mixed environments. Your startup team can work remotely for part of the week and the rest of the week from the office.
According to statistics, one in five companies has already shifted to a hybrid working model.
It can seem challenging at first, but soon you could be enjoying the benefits, and here is how:
Understand Your Employees’ Needs
The biggest resource of your organization is your employees. As a business owner, you should better understand how they work, which is one of the main points in creating a supportive hybrid environment.
You can practice conducting surveys and interviews to understand your employees’ difficulties and suggestions better. By implementing these methods, you will make your task easier and create a setup that works best for your company.
Align Company Policies with the New Setup
As part of your workforce starts working remotely and the other part will start working from the office, your hybrid work practice will face some complexities at first. To support this work model, you must align your company policies. This will help you promote flexibility, and at the same time, you will be sure that your company goals are achieved.
Your startup company policies must address the following aspects of work implementation:
Draw your scheme beforehand. Do you want your employees to be at the office on certain days? In this case, you should schedule the attendance graphic and track your employee productivity. If your startup has several teams, it can be difficult to track the performance manually. For that purpose, nearly all companies implement clock-in systems that make tracking time and attendance easier for remote, in-office, and hybrid workforces.
The main goal of your company policies should be ensuring tasks are being completed and paying attention to how work is being completed. Working remotely can sound like a perfect option, but it isn’t always the best option for some people, depending on their function in a company structure.
Although working from home can be defined as a “luxury” practice and can positively impact employee work-life balance, new research shows that people who worked remotely during the pandemic had high levels of loneliness and mental health problems.
And for this point, comes one of the main benefits of hybrid working opportunities is that team members can decide on their own whether to work remotely or attend the office. Some companies set up satellite offices within the city or metro where employees work. Business owners should ensure that their workers have a conducive and healthy work environment, which is vital to work productivity, employee engagement, work quality, and positive workplace culture.
According to many experts and researchers, the future of work is remote. Organizations that can’t practice a remote work model are missing a lot of benefits, including improved productivity and high motivation. Be clear in your working policies about your remote teams to avoid employee confusion.
Your Work Environment Should be Supportive
There are many ways to maximize the benefits of a hybrid work environment to make it more supportive and minimize its toll on collaboration and other face-to-face activities.
Accordingly, if you have shifted to hybrid, only a part of your employees will use your office space, making more sense to reconsider your space. As a manager, you should set up dedicated desks for employees to ensure the work environment is efficient, productive, and healthy.
When you solve the problem of dedicated desks, the next thing to consider is having collaboration zones in your office. Those are spaces where in-person collaboration can take place. Think about providing your workplace with equipment with tools and technology that allows remote teams to connect during hybrid meetings. This can be online conference technology, virtual meeting software, quick chats, etc.
Offices that are purposed for hybrid work implementation can have different layouts, depending on the organization’s needs. Each company needs to incorporate private spaces that certain employees can use for deep work and special tasks. If you have space for an open floor in your workplace plans, a few private rooms or meeting rooms are very useful for activities that require a lot of focus.
Equip Your Hybrid Workforce
Implementing a hybrid model depends mainly on technology; your business needs digitalization. There are many technological solutions and tools that you can use to create a strong and healthy culture within your company in terms of communication, collaboration, task management, and other daily activities.
Some of the most important tools used by hybrid teams today are:
Due to this solution, both in-office and remote workers stay connected during hybrid meetings, stand-ups, and online team buildings. In addition, many technology company vendors who are working on features mainly meant for hybrid work models, such as auto-framing, real-time face detection, and other innovations.
Performance Management Tools
Receiving constructive feedback is very important to helping employees succeed in their careers. Therefore, Human Resource teams and managers should integrate a comprehensive onboarding solution that eases new employees into the organization’s culture and policies.
Your hybrid work practice will not succeed without some applications that support employee collaboration in your teams. Such communication platforms as Slack and Microsoft Teams are widely used examples for keeping employees connected.
Empower Your Team
The most important aspect of a hybrid work environment is that it is geared towards empowering the workforce. Therefore, ensuring working process efficiency and productivity is the major challenge.
Allowing your employees to decide the setup where they are most productive and engaged is a great way to empower them. Still, policies and company morals involving productivity should be established so that your organization is not hindered from reaching its goals.
Shifting to a hybrid workplace requires full commitment from business owners and leaders.
A hybrid work model promotes a positive employee experience and productivity gains if done the right way. To reach a successful transition, business owners should develop and implement a plan that supports a hybrid workforce, including listening to their employees, aligning policies with the new work model, business digitalization with the right tools, and supporting them.
These strategies can greatly enable your startup and your team to thrive, grow, and succeed using the hybrid work model.
About the Author: Meggie Nelson is an HR Manager at AMGtime and a passionate Freelance Writer with an ongoing curiosity to learn new things. She is deeply convinced that valuable experience sharing is key to business success. Meggie believes in a win-win formula and utilizes it on a daily basis in staff management.