Can you believe it? It’s been a year and half since the world shut down, and we started sheltering in place and working remotely from home.
According to a survey by Glassdoor, 86% of surveyed employees say they would prefer to continue working from home at least part of the time after offices reopen. And, nearly one in four employees would consider quitting their job if they were required to return to the office before all employees have been fully vaccinated.
Who will decide if and when employees will come back to the office? And what will the hybrid workplace look like when that time comes? It will take a team effort for each organization to step up and put together a hybrid workplace plan that embraces employees and puts their needs first and foremost in the transition.
Here are 10 strategies that can help you build a hybrid workplace that “works” for your organization:
For a hybrid workplace to actually “work,” leadership must be willing to be open and honest with employees. Since employees will be expected to change their working habits that they’ve developed over the last year, make sure your workforce has clear direction around office logistics and how the new office will work. Leaders must reassure people that whether they’re working in person, remotely, or a combination – their career path is accepted by management and their contributions are valued.
Many organizations are starting to invest in employee experience platforms, which can connect employees, provide ongoing feedback, and keep employees engaged and productive.
Prioritize employee success
The well-being of your employees is crucial to getting back into the office. Employees want to be productive, safe, and empowered to succeed in the new hybrid workplace. Employees also want to have flexibility in how they work and maintain a balance and a purpose in their work.
Bring coworkers together
Bridging the gap between in-person and remote workers will be hard. Remote colleagues can feel frustrated and unable to participate equally and can feel less engage with the organization. Make sure that both remote coworkers and in-person workers are engaged and able to collaborate in important meetings.
Many conference rooms have a long table with a monitor at the end. In-person employees sit at the table while remote participants are on a monitor with a tiny screen. For instance, to fully engage everyone in the meeting, give each participant their own screen by placing monitors on rolling carts that can be moved around so they can be seen by the group.
Rethink open and enclosed spaces
It’s time to rethink the open concept office plan. Over the last few decades, employee workstations have become more open, while meetings are held in enclosed conference rooms. As we see people coming back to the office, these spaces may need to be flipped. Meetings should happen out in the open with movable partitions, and employees can migrate to enclosed spaces or pods to get work done in a quiet setting.
Reinvent the purpose of meetings
Many organizations adopted processes over the last year to enable effective and productive remote work. Some of these processes will remain. While employees are eager to have in-person meetings again, not all video calls should be replaced with a trip the conference room. In-person meetings should be used to collaborate and bounce ideas off of each other, like a white board session.
On the other side the equation, individual work may still be done best in a remote setting, with no distractions, where employees can use digital collaboration tools to interact with co-workers one-on-one through the day.
Create smarter collaborations
Collaboration isn’t just about coming together with ideas and working together as a group. Collaboration also happens when teams move apart and focus on their own, process their own ideas, and work on their assigned tasks. Organizations should design for “we” activities as well as the need for “me” spaces.
Make returning to the office safe
Employees need to know that their employer is looking out for their health and safety. Bringing back part of your workforce or even all of your employees, may make workers concerned for their safety. Transparency is important to helping employees feel more comfortable with any safety precautions that are planning to put into place.
Cultivate learning and training
Education, training, and microlearning can ensure teams feel prepared for new challenges and are upskilling to meet new workforce demands. Training and coaching help prevent burnout and stress, and employees will feel more connected to the organization and most likely will increase employee retention.
Focus on company culture
Cultural change is at the heart of a digital and hybrid work experience. Whether it’s technology, internal operations, new products and services, or how your organization engages with customers, digital transformation impacts every part of your organization. A culture of collaboration is necessary and provides the glue that binds any organization together. Make sure that you’re aware of what your employees actually want or can do without in the new hybrid workplace.
Consider a no code enterprise mobile app
We want to help you quickly and easily share information and foster collaboration across your entire organization. We can deliver a no code, custom-branded enterprise mobile platform that unlocks answers and provides insights via our Cardware™ platform — sharing categorized content in a powerful flashcard format. Our mobile platform fosters a community of collaboration, engagement, and connectedness for your employees – both in and out of the office.
Book a demo today.