It’s safe to say that the world of work has permanently changed. The rise of technology, combined with the long-lasting effects of global disruptions, has made working from the office far less important than it used to be. Employers and employees alike are looking for ways to integrate the many benefits of remote work with the traditional office structure.
The answer is hybrid working. It combines the benefits of traditional working methods and remote teams. Office space can be managed more effectively, more employees can be hired, and productivity can be fully optimized when teams can work in the way that suits them best.
So if your next business move is to adopt a hybrid approach to your office, here are some tips to make the process smoother and beneficial for everyone.
Be Clear on Policy and Strategy
The transition to a hybrid working model can be extremely difficult if everyone is working towards different goals. Your first step should be to write a hybrid working policy that includes clear policy guidelines for your team. That means clearly stating:
- The type of hybrid-working model you will be implementing, along with a breakdown of how you want it to work.
- A clear explanation of the roles and responsibilities of each employee and how those will change in light of the hybrid model.
- Addressing existing company policies and updating those now outdated due to the shift to hybrid working.
The clearer you are in your written hybrid-working strategy, the easier it will be to ensure that every member of your team is on the same page. It will reduce miscommunication and ensure that productivity is maintained throughout the transition period.
Consider the Law
Any business that adopts hybrid working needs to consider the possible legal implications. There are likely to be contract changes needed for existing employees, especially in terms of contractual locations for working. But it’s not just employers who need to think about the law. Employees making the shift to hybrid working will need to think about how the law views them working from home.
For example, landlords could have a contract clause stating no working from home, and for those with a mortgage, their mortgage providers may request changes to existing contracts. But the most important thing to consider in terms of the law and hybrid working is that employees may get access to some great tax benefits. Let them know what’s available, so they can take advantage where possible.
If there’s one area to focus on as a priority, it is ensuring communication flow is maintained throughout the transitionary period and beyond. Poor use of communication channels won’t just limit your ability to adopt a hybrid working model, it could lead to mistakes and an immediate halt to business growth.
Instant messaging apps and platforms can be extremely useful, but you need to ensure you choose the solution that best suits your sector and team. You want your employees to be able to work without interruption but also to be accessible when needed. The good news is that there are plenty of options to consider when it comes to communication tools. From Zoom and Slack to WhatsApp and Microsoft Teams, work out the means of communication that best suits your needs.
Efficient Adoption of the Hybrid Office
The goal of any office manager is to look after the team and ensure they have everything they need to work. That remains true whether the team is based in the office, at home, or a combination of both. Wherever they’re working from, they need the tools and guidance that will ease headaches and ensure productivity.
With the many advantages of the hybrid office, a return to the traditional office looks less likely long-term. And that’s good news for businesses adopting a hybrid-working policy. However, without focusing on delivering a pain-free transition, a shift in working models could become extremely difficult. Take your time, plan, and have the tools you need ready to go. The more prepared you are, the easier the move to a modern, hybrid workplace will be.