Over the past couple of years, many organizations formally transitioned to a hybrid work model. The results are in: as of February 2022, 42% of employees in the US were hybrid. Gallup predicts that this could increase to as many as 53% of workers by the end of this year. As organizations have become increasingly familiar with hybrid work, and many individuals have experienced the model, it is the perfect time to check-in for a progress update. It’s a chance to revisit some of the core reasons why employees wanted hybrid work in the first place and how your organization is delivering on that.
Follow these three best practices to achieve a successful hybrid working model and cultivate a fantastic employee experience.
1. Gather employee feedback
The first step towards a great hybrid work model is to collect input from your employees about their working preferences. This is an opportunity to make improvements and tweak your policies based on what employees want to see. Ultimately, implementing this feedback can improve the adoption of your company policy and employee retention.
You can get valuable insight into your hybrid work model and its effectiveness by asking questions. Ask employees that have visited the office what improvements they would like to see and how they used the space. How many of your employees have attended the office since it reopened? Are there any consistent improvement requests that could be easily implemented? What other trends can be identified?
Conduct a formal employee pulse survey to generate quality feedback. Or, host a Town Hall or All Hands session to field live responses. Ensure that you remain flexible and open-minded throughout the feedback process.
2. Revamp the in-office experience
Choosing to implement a hybrid work model is the first step in an office reopening plan. Make sure that this isn’t the end of your space planning! Continue to adjust the on-site setup based on data gathered about positive experiences or identified areas of improvement. With workplace analytics, the feedback can be validated and used to make both quantitative and qualitative data-driven decisions.
The hybrid office is different than the traditional office setup. Staff will be attending on varying schedules, and the major role of video calls in communication impacts how employees work in-person. Not to mention the prevalence of hybrid office-specific safety concerns.
Employees will go to the office for a variety of reasons. Perhaps it’s for a better setup to focus, social interaction with coworkers, or a reliable internet connection. Reinforce the value of the physical office with your employees to encourage them to intentionally use the office. Ensure that the on-site space is welcoming and encourages employees to visit. If the office is ineffective, or creates barriers, it could impact the success of your hybrid work model.
3. Adopt a flexible policy
The hybrid working model is inherently a flexible work policy. Willingness to adapt and iterate on policies is critical to achieving a great hybrid working culture. There are many different modes of hybrid working, and each policy has unique benefits. It’s important to remain open-minded and responsive to employee preferences. This means being willing to adjust your existing programs and policies.
As a leader, encourage your employees to take ownership of their schedules and workloads. You can also provide a safe space for employees to discuss issues related to work-life balance. Be willing to compromise and approach this model with empathy. Allow your employees to operate in the circumstances that will work best for them.
Embrace the hybrid workplace
Implementing these best practices for a hybrid working model will set you apart and ensure the long-term success of your workplace. Make sure that you continue to gather feedback from your employees on a consistent basis about their policy preferences, in-office experiences, and suggested improvements. Embrace the future of work by increasing flexibility for your employees.