The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak took everyone by surprise, businesses included and disrupted the ‘normal’ all around. With both, employee safety and operational continuity in mind, businesses were arm-twisted by the pandemic to give remote work serious consideration.
The only viable and sustainable option in front of businesses and recommendations from business leaders was to transform your business in order to accommodate remote work for employees.
What started off as very unorganized and haphazard, slowly took shape and companies started to see lots of plusses for both the business as well as for the workforce. While many businesses were forced to transform their business, today this mandate has resulted in many companies considering a dramatic shift in how people will work in the future.
Is hybrid work the future of work? Most definitely yes. Not just companies, if one were to go by a global survey published on Statista, 73% of employees from leading organizations to prefer flexible work options. Read on if you would like to learn more about hybrid work and how you can use it to transform your business in this era.
Define Hybrid Work
“The pandemic spurred a seismic shift in how we think about work,”
Quendrida Whitmore, SVP- WeWork.
First things first, let’s look at what is hybrid work. Hybrid work models are flexible work models where employees enjoy autonomy to choose from in-office, remote, and even on-the-go-work options to work from. Under this model, employees enjoy the flexibility of choosing where they work out and do not need to go to the office every day.
Tips to Transform Your Business in the Hybrid Work Era
While hybrid work models carry their own merits at work, it can also be very easy for companies to lose focus and control of the actual work itself, if not executed right. In order to transform your business in the hybrid work era, it is necessary for businesses to establish not only a sense of trust and transparency within the team but also to set clear goals and parameters to measure performance.
While the employees enjoy the freedom to choose where they work, it is also important to hold them accountable for the work they need to deliver.
Here are the top five hybrid work model best practices that can help you transform your business in the hybrid work era.
1. Plan and document your transition
With the shift to hybrid work, you need to make a conscious shift in your processes, procedures, and playbooks too. Take time out, and identify and define goals for each individual within the organization. Make sure that these goals are realistic and achievable. Relook at the entire organizational processes and procedures, modify the same according to the hybrid work model, document them clearly, and ensure that the same is available for all employees whenever they need to refer to the playbook. No matter where the employees decide to work out of, ensure all employees have equal access to all the necessary tools and opportunities needed for them to succeed.
It is critical to evaluate every element that could change based on the shift in the work model, from processes to various tools needed for fulfilling these goals.
Documenting goals, clearly communicating the same, and monitoring the same with clearly defined timelines are critical for the achievement of the organizational goals.
2. Invest in up-skilling the team according to hybrid work
The skills and tools that worked for you during the in-office work era may not work for you anymore in this hybrid work era. The flexibility to choose to work from wherever you like also means very limited face-time interaction within most teams.
In this hybrid work environment, soft skills like empathy, decision-making skills, collaborative skills, etc. play an even greater role. You can really benefit by focusing on bolstering these soft skills in your team through various training programs and by adopting various tools that will assist them with these. Building an online training library with various modules that the employees can choose at their convenience might be a great place to start. Up-skilling your team can directly lead to up-skilling the organization, so invest in the right tools.
3. Redefine office space
With employees working from remote locations, it is important to reimagine your office as a space needed whenever teams need to collaborate to ideate or brainstorm together. Switching to an on-demand model for your office space might be a more cost-effective model to operate on.
In case you already hold office space, it might be a great idea to generate some revenue out of it by subletting the space. Consider office space only as a space needed for employees to get together to collaborate, host a client meeting, or to get together and celebrate various milestones and individual successes.
4. Invest in workforce analytics
Keeping a tab on and understanding the pulse of when and where a person is most productive is paramount to the success of your organization, especially in the hybrid work environment. With hardly any face time with the team, it is important to invest in workforce analytics that can help you measure various parameters like productivity patterns, cross-team collaborations, burn-outs, etc. Equally important is to keep a constant vigil on the performance metrics of each employee. One of the most important hybrid work model best practices is adopting data-based decision-making as fundamental in your business.
5. Pay attention to what your employees say
One of the great advantages hybrid workings offer businesses is the ability to hire great resources from across geographies. While this is a blessing for many businesses, it can also turn into a great disadvantage as these resources, especially critical ones, are able to find many opportunities out in the market as well.
That is why it is important to build a culture to listen more intently and with greater empathy to what your team says and to build policies that work for them and not the other way around. Keeping your team happy is all the more important now than before as getting the right talent today may not be difficult, but retaining the right talent has become more critical.
Healthier, happier employees are naturally more productive. It is urgent that organizations act now to adjust processes and acquire technology to support (and thus retain) their people in the wake of the Great Resignation. In a collaborative planning process, a data-driven approach will help them understand the type of hybrid work that will keep them happy and enable them to excel. An organization that shares accurate, trusted data transparently benefits from it all.
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