Want to save on office space? Give your employees the flexibility and work-life balance they need?
Moving to a hybrid workplace that allows for both at-home and in-office work is the solution many leading companies are employing.
But as with anything new, it doesn’t come without its challenges. Understanding these three potential pitfalls will empower you to pull off the move like a champ.
In a recent survey, 45 percent of company owners said they plan to adopt a hybrid work model. Is your business one of them?
There’s no doubt that a hybrid workplace offers many advantages to both employers and employees. However, it also comes with some challenges too, especially for office managers and HR departments.
What should you expect as your employees move to a hybrid work-from-home setup? Here are three common challenges to anticipate, along with actionable steps you can take to overcome them.
- Differences in Employee Experience
A hybrid workplace offers many potential benefits for employees and employers. Workers enjoy greater freedom and lower stress levels, while companies that allow remote work enjoy up to 25 percent less turnover.
This all sounds great…in theory. However, if you don’t set up your hybrid work model correctly, you’ll quickly find that your employees who spend most of their time working from home have a very different experience than your employees who spend more time in the office.
It can be a challenge to keep remote employees motivated while avoiding the urge to micromanage their work. At the same time, employees who spend more time in-house may feel more connected to the company culture.
To ensure everyone stays on the same page, set specific days for everyone to come to the office. Focus on tasks that require more collaboration and save more autonomous tasks for work-from-home days. Also, make video the default setting for meetings (even if only one employee is remote) so no one gets left out.
- Forming an Unconscious Bias
Another challenge managers face is ensuring they treat remote employees the same way they treat those who come to the office.
Research from MIT shows that remote workers often receive lower performance evaluations and are more likely to be passed over for raises and promotions.
Because they’re out of sight, they may also be out of mind – even if they’re working as hard (or harder) than everyone in the office.
To ensure equality, focus on establishing a culture of trust that fosters open communication. Use collaborative apps, software, and other tools to keep employees connected, no matter where they’re located.
And when it’s time for raises and promotions, keep in mind that 60 percent of remote workers are more productive than office workers.
- Hybrid Office Overhead and Costs
With some or all of your employees working from home, either full-time or part-time, you may find that you no longer need a large office space. Depending on the nature of your business, you might consider downsizing to a smaller office or even using a local co-working center for essential meetings.
You’ll also need to carefully consider employee costs and expenses. For example, remote employees may not be eligible for travel reimbursements. [quotesright]But what about compensation for using their electricity and internet connection? [/quotesright]
Communicate your new company policies clearly with your employees and offer them choices whenever possible. Let them know (in advance) of any tradeoffs or changes to their benefits.
Successfully Transition to a Hybrid Workplace
For many companies, the hybrid work model is here to stay. Although there are some clear advantages to a hybrid working environment, it comes with inherent challenges too.
Use these tips to help your employees and your company successfully make the transition to a hybrid workplace.
Want to explore further? Questions? Get in touch and let’s set up a time to talk.