Before implementing the new working model, it is necessary to consider different hybrid work guidelines that can help you bring some harmony into your workplace. The hybrid workforce is here to stay. Some sources dare to say it is “the future of work,” Including Forbes and even the BBC. This transition from the traditional workplace to a combination between remote work and in-person attendance has become more prominent as offices start getting ready to reopen. Not everyone wants to go back to the office, and that has forced many companies to work differently.
Many organizations have been re-imagining the workplace strategies they have been using until now, including big enterprises like Microsoft, who reported in 2021 that 73% of employees wish for more flexible remote work opportunities once the pandemic is over. On the other hand, this same report revealed that at least 66% of companies are considering applying redesign to their physical environments so they can adapt better to the new hybrid work exigencies.
We’re still halfway through the pandemic’s end. The new advancements (such as the vaccines) have helped us go beyond the start point, but the new COVID-19 variants may slow down the process. Thus, we cannot expect to go back to the office full time, at least during the next couple of years.
Hybrid Work Guidelines: Preparing for a Hybrid Workforce
Before the pandemic, not all companies offered hybrid remote work options to their employees. However, after the coronavirus outbreak hit us in 2020, this tendency became highly prominent among enterprises for obvious reasons.
A survey conducted by Xerox Holdings Corp. in May 2020 took into account 600 IT decision-makers. 95% of them considered that in-person training and communication was still necessary to evaluate talent and save some room for employee development. Despite that, more than half of businesses were intending to change their policies once the pandemic ends so employees can go back to the office with a "hybrid return to work" approach. This means that a considerable number of organizations are looking forward to allowing employees to be eligible for remote working or in-person attendance (even a combination of the two options) based on their position or their choice. Still, every company is different, and their needs may vary. Thus, although many hybrid work guides for business leaders have become trendy nowadays, the truth is that there isn't a right way of implementing this working model.
Many hybrid work guidelines may work for a business but may not do so well in other work environments. However, as we're all stepping in the same direction simultaneously, we're all discovering what works and what may cause problems in the future.
What Should a Hybrid Work Policy Include?
Companies must consider many aspects before they decide to implement hybrid work. A hybrid work guide may differ from a business to another, but there are some things that they all have in common that leaders should not overlook.
Vaccinations are allowing us to go back to a “new normal,” but the world will never be what it was before the pandemic hit. Thus, considering the following points while building hybrid work guidelines for your company may give you a clearer idea of what you want to achieve with it.
1. What will your company allow?
For starters, you should start by stating clearly what your company will allow as a hybrid work environment. It is important to note the advantages of this new working model for everyone, such as less commuting and allowing employees to achieve a better work-life balance.
It should also state what remote work options are available. For instance, you may allow employees to work part-time at home and part-time at the office. On the other hand, you may also introduce them to a flexible option like hot-desking or office hoteling for people that choose to work remotely.
2. Which employees are eligible for remote work options?
Remote working is something that most employees would want. If certain positions that do not qualify for remote working exist in your organizational chart, you should state it as well. You must include a detailed description of each position so you can make it clear why some positions are eligible and why others should be present at the office. For instance, certain positions may be in constant face-to-face contact with customers and other employees, which makes it impossible for them to stay at home.
Please don't skip any information you may find vital, and make it clear whether physical presence can be part-time or not. This way, employees can choose remotely during selected days while being present at the office the rest of the week.
3. What are your expectations?
Each work environment is different. For instance, salaried workforces may not find a “big” change from what they would expect in the office. However, if you’re working with an hourly workforce, your rules will have to be more rigid. For instance, you must apply rules to the times they should log on to the computer, state when they are allowed to take breaks, and so on.
It’s also important to make it clear what kind of hybrid work technology you're using. For example, companies using hot-desking or office hoteling are using space management software to keep track of everything that happens in the office. Finally, it is essential to reinforce how important is data security.
Furthermore, you shouldn’t forget that hybrid work guidelines should state permissions to work overtime or if they’re allowed to have time away from the computer – and if they are, at what times of the day.
We're still figuring out what works best and what doesn't work at all in hybrid work environments together. This working model may look like the perfect solution due to the pandemic, but the truth is that it still has multiple flaws that should be addressed by every workplace individually. Taking into account the aspects mentioned above and everything else that may be vital to your company, you will be able to have a clearer idea of what a hybrid work environment may look like at your company.
Hybrid work isn’t going away any time soon. Thus, employers should prepare for this new way of working and create proper guidelines so they can continue managing their businesses as well as they’ve been doing in previous years.
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