Many people have been working from home for well over a year now, and most say it’s going well. Sixty eight percent of people say they’re successful working from home, and 70 percent of leaders say that working from home is the same or better for their team’s work performance.
As offices begin to reopen, many companies are embracing a hybrid approach to remote work going forward. For example, 94 percent of midsize companies will have some mix of in-office, remote, and hybrid workers. Only 1 percent will be fully remote, and 5 percent plan to have all employees come back to the physical workplace.
But this transition won’t come without its challenges. While organizations may have overcome some remote work challenges over the past year, a hybrid model can be more difficult to manage. It’s important to fully consider various aspects of this transition to a hybrid workforce model.
A hybrid work model means that some team members work in-office, while some work remotely—but there are many different variations of this:
Clearly define who can work remotely (and when), and document it in your remote work policy.
Your HR programs, policies, and processes were likely developed with in-office team members in mind. Reassess them from the lens of a hybrid workforce to see what may need to change.
As your workforce, programs, and processes evolve, your company-wide technology stack will need to evolve too. Reevaluate your internal tools to determine if they still meet your needs, or if it’s time to look for new solutions that will better support your hybrid workforce.
For instance, do your tools allow you to track each team member’s remote status, so you know whether each team member is fully remote, in the office full-time, or in the office part-time? Do your solutions have security protocols that keep your data secure, even when employees are working remotely?
Depending on your approach to hybrid work, you may benefit from:
Also consider physical tools. For instance, you may need to outfit conference rooms with better microphones so team members calling in can actively participate in conversations. And you may want to invest in your remote team members’ office set-ups to ensure optimal productivity. An ergonomic chair, adjustable desk, external monitor, and other peripherals can help each remote team member do their best work.
For many, the transition to remote work was sudden and disruptive. We learned and adapted, as our circumstances dictated, but many of us can agree that there are things we could have done differently.
Take the time to make the transition to a hybrid work model more deliberate and successful from the start. Think through what needs to change, document it, and communicate those changes with your team. That doesn’t mean you won’t have missteps, so it’s important to get feedback from team members and company leaders as you go, and iterate as needed. Hybrid work is going to be a big experiment—just as remote work was—and it will require some effort to make it successful.