The COVID-19 pandemic had a huge impact on how we work and do business. Because of the need to socially distance for safety, many companies transitioned to a remote workforce, and a good number of employees preferred the new arrangement.
Now that the pandemic is mostly in the rearview mirror, many companies are asking employees to return to the office, but not all workers are on board, so many are quitting. In fact, it is one of the reasons why we have been facing a labour shortage over the last year.
Some people prefer the comfort of working from home, while others can feel isolated and prefer the structure of an in-office work arrangement. In order to satisfy as many employees as possible, companies are now thinking about moving to a hybrid model.
Today, we will talk about hybrid work arrangements, and how they can help your company. We will also talk about how to make the hybrid work idea more attractive to your staff.
1. Benefits Of Recruiting
A hybrid workplace can take many forms. In many cases, it involves having the team work either at home two or three days of the week and in the office the other portion, or vice versa.
Sometimes the hybrid work arrangement might be that your staff spends most days in one place or the other. Or it could be that the team is completely remote, but they come into the office for a weekly meeting.
Whatever hybrid work arrangement you make, you need to make it attractive to your employees. So, reach out to them and ask what they prefer. If what they propose will work for the company and allow them time to complete their assignments, then consider giving the green light.
Your current employees and potential job applicants will appreciate the company more when they are provided with options, and they know that you listen.
One of the greatest benefits of a hybrid work arrangement is that there are more options when it comes to hiring new employees. Instead of only looking for candidates in the immediate vicinity, you can reach out to people in other parts of the state or country and have those employees work from home and only come to the office when necessary. The potential employees will also be happy that they won’t have to relocate to join your organization.
While not every person is on board with a remote assignment, many people really love the idea of having the freedom to work from home. Many employees enjoy being at home so much that they will only apply for and accept a job if they can work remotely, and that fact has made hiring a bit more difficult over the last couple of years.
If the nature of your work makes it impossible to have an entirely remote workforce, then at least consider a hybrid arrangement and advertise that in your job listings, and you may be able to pull in more candidates.
In order to really seal the deal, you will want to put policies in place to make both the remote and in-office days comfortable and productive. Let’s talk about how to do each.
2. Help Them Create A Safe And Effective Home Environment
There are many perks to working at home, including the ability to avoid a daily commute and work anywhere, but there is a downside that many people face, and that is the feelings of loneliness and isolation.
There is something about being in an office with people all around that many employees enjoy, and they don’t have that at home. To rectify that issue, management needs to ensure that they are consistently sharing helpful work-from-home tips with their teams and practising active communication.
Set up a chat program or daily email where your employees can communicate with one another. It is also a wise idea to have a weekly video conferencing session via Zoom or another app, where everyone can log in, see each other’s faces, and talk about work or their plans for the weekend. It is a great way to stay connected.
Even if it is virtual, the opportunity to connect with coworkers is essential for the mental well-being of your employees and can help prevent burnout.
Another fear that many remote employees may face is the possibility of becoming the target of hackers. When they are at an office, they know that they have the protection of the IT team, but it is a different story at home. To put your teams at ease, host meetings about cybersecurity where you talk about different threats to be aware of while working at home.
They should be advised about phishing scams, malware, and camera hacking, where a hacker can break into your webcam and then join meetings or use your credentials to breach other programs on your computer.
In addition to talking about the threats, management also needs to discuss the steps for proper cyber security and how every employee can do their part. In addition to making proper passwords and running antivirus scans, protecting the company means keeping its eyes open for potential risks that could make the company more vulnerable.
Employees should also be taught how to keep their files secure by logging out of their computers at the end of the day and backing up their data. Having these tools in their arsenal will help them to feel more comfortable at home.
3. Make Coming Into The Office More Tolerable to Work
Your employees might not be thrilled about coming into the office after spending time at home, but if it is necessary that they do so, then management just needs to make the arrangement easier to tolerate.
For starters, instead of getting into their faces when they come into the office, management should continue to give them some space and allow them to complete their tasks. You should have in-person meetings so everyone can be together to discuss business, but make the meetings intentional and to the point instead of letting them drone on.
Another reason why people love to work from home is that they get to sit in their comfortable chairs and sit at their favourite desks. You can try to match that comfort in the office by supplying your team with ergonomic chairs that protect their neck and spine.
You can also consider height-adjustable desks that will allow your employees to modify their sitting position, so they are comfortable and don’t mind sitting in the office for eight hours.
Finally, be flexible when necessary. If an employee is used to bringing their child to school in the morning, then consider allowing them to get to the office a bit later so they can do so, and if necessary, they can work later in the day or make up the time another way. Your staff will appreciate that you see them as people with families and outside responsibilities.
As you can see, there are many perks to allowing a hybrid work environment and several ways to make the arrangement a success.
Hybrid work environments combine the best of both in-office and remote work to create a healthy company culture that everyone from management to entry-level employees can enjoy. Heed the advice here and make the best choice for your organization.
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Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. She is frequently lost in a good book.