In recent years, hybrid work has increased in popularity with the pandemic accelerating it. There are many mixed feelings about working from home or even hybrid work. Some individuals love it while others hate it due to the lack of personal interaction. One significant change is that many businesses now understand that their employees don't necessarily need to return to the workplace full-time. As a result, in almost every sector that permits remote work, hybrid work models have emerged as the way ahead.
To support the workplace shift from traditional to hybrid, here are some tips companies can use to keep employees engaged.
Redesign the office to make it feel welcome to hybrid workers. Sitting at a desk all day is not needed as people can do that at home as well. The office nowadays should be designed to make connections within teams, cross-functionally and with management. This will drive motivation and increase productivity.
Many companies are shifting their cubicle design to open designs to increase gatherings and interactions. Companies such as Google, Airbnb, LinkedIn, JP Morgan, and many others have started to adapt to a hybrid work environment.
Companies have started to downsize their real estate, however, this has had a negative impact as many employees cannot find a place to work. While downsizing is good, allowing employees to schedule desk spaces and rooms is important. This will allow employees to maximize their time in the space as well as not create chaos trying to find a spot to work at.
Focus on employee groups that feel excluded. It is important to make everyone feel included in the workplace. While hybrid work is great for full-time employees or long-term employees. Many individuals entering the workforce find it difficult as hybrid does limit their growth. 40% of new grads prefer in-person work due to mentorship and networking opportunities.
Telling employees to come into the office to avoid FOMO is not a great idea. Employers and managers must take concrete steps to address the very real benefits of facetime. Expecting individuals to come in more frequently effectively penalizes employees for using their hybrid arrangements; eventually, this can lead to a scenario where everyone feels obligated to come in, and the hybrid model will be eliminated.
It is important for employers to bridge the gap between hybrid and in-person employees. Communication and feeling part of the team is important for growth for both individuals and the company. Creating a bridge allows employees to choose when they wish to come in.
Create a more flexible approach to hybrid work. Pushing employees to come back to work is not fair as many companies have started to face pushback into these decisions. Many individuals feel there's no reason to come into the office due to the work that is being done at home compared to in person. If there's no core reason for employees to return to the office, allowing employees to choose when to return creates a more flexible environment.
Successful companies are open to feedback and constant change. They understand that an excessively authoritarian approach would ultimately cause individuals to leave their firm, as opposed to an employer who listens to its employees and values their long-term commitment.
Misleading employees on the hybrid policy creates a hostile environment. Many companies do mention hybrid but don't create enough infrastructure for hybrid workers to feel welcomed. While hybrid workplaces attract better talent, retaining employees does become harder when the majority of the work is being done at the office.
Technology is extremely important, companies like Zoom, Teamflow, Notion, Miro, and more allow easy communication and document sharing between employees. Investing in proper technology allows employees to feel a sense of belonging and purpose. This in return also helps increase productivity and collaboration.
The connection between software is important. Having many different software creates a sense of confusion and a higher learning curve. Keeping it simple and a great integrated ecosystem is important for companies and employees to easily access work. The best hybrid working support solutions will always operate with widely utilized services like Office 365 or Google Drive.
Hybrid work and communication is important for any company. Feeling welcomed with flexibility, events and work gatherings are important to any employee experience. Epoch helps grow employee engagement and productivity by automating tasks and streamlining workflows for all internal events and programs, allowing employees to feel a sense of place and boost employee engagement. Book a demo today!
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