Companies are looking to welcome back employees and have taken various initiatives, including vaccination drives in many countries. Employee well-being has been high on the list of companies as they manage upset schedules and try to adhere to their deliverables.
Most businesses have realized that the new normal impacts and have brought about a hybrid remote working model.
What is a Hybrid Office?
What is hybrid remote work? Before the pandemic, many companies already had work from home, including some employees working 100% from home. Most employees worked from a central office. However, the pandemic has shown the way for a hybrid remote working model office. A hybrid work from home model requires employees to work from the office a few days a week. Gartner’s research found that more than 80% of employees prefer working from home post-pandemic. The hybrid remote management of such a diverse and geographically spread workforce is going to be a challenge.
Benefits of a Hybrid Office
From an employee's perspective, the time saved on a daily commute, a better work-life balance, and working in a comfortable environment has been the biggest boosters. They can get into the office as a need arises to collaborate on any office task. Many studies indicate that satisfied employees could enhance productivity.
A Microsoft study in Europe found that 82 percent of employees mentioned that their productivity remained the same as pre-covid when working from the office.
For a company, benefits include higher employee satisfaction, saved capital and operational costs on infrastructure and real estate, higher safety, lowered attrition, and more.
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Challenges of a Hybrid Remote Working Model
Employees are tired of being socially cut off from their work colleagues. The coffee table conversations, informal gatherings, or lunch together has been taken away. Feeling of isolation, disturbance from family members, little or no space for a home office has led to more complications than when working in an office. In fact, a report states that 58% of employees want to come back to work as soon as possible.
For a company where the workforce is the primary investment (like a KPO, consulting services company, and more), company culture plays a pivotal role in the success of a business. Getting people to respond and maintain a work culture has been a challenge. Many traditional companies required employees to log in for a certain duration of hours to be marked as present. This has been replaced by productive hours instead of logged-in hours.
The Role of Human Resources in Transitioning to a Hybrid Work Place
Human Resources (HR) is at the helm as companies transition to a hybrid remote office model. Here are some insights:
Embedding values in processes
With employees working from home or remotely from a satellite office, a company’s culture could be shaken, creating turmoil for business. Business leaders need to adapt their processes to be led by company culture. For example, if your company has innovation as a value, what level of autonomy/decentralization of power/ log-in time have you given to that set of employees?
Redefining Company policies
Employee hybrid remote working model policies like performance measurement need redefinition as employees will not be logging in from a central office. More than the number of hours worked, employee productivity is based on productive hours and the quality of work produced.
Reskilling People Managers
Trust and empathy are two key skills for managers to build and practice as they manage hybrid team. With limited communication, even with the best software and technologies, there is nothing better than on-site presence and communication.
Additionally, employees working remotely may have lowered visibility in comparison to those who are in the office. Being seen in an office, bumping into leadership, and more can raise managers' expectations.
Giving autonomy to employees
Instead of seeking approvals for hybrid remote working model, giving autonomy to employees to decide if they need to get to the office to work or work remotely will be a proactive step. This will show the trust that the business leaders place in their employees.
Centralized support functions
Moving support functions to a full-time or a hybrid model has been debated often. HR can easily make repetitive tasks from support functions to work from home/remotely with the pandemic.
Clearly, there is much work for business leaders and human resources to accomplish remote work management. What could help?
Hybrid Office Solutions
Various technological solutions are available to enable a smoother transition to hybrid remote working model offices. Here is an amazing hybrid work software.
1. Autonomous hybrid
In a hybrid office, the difficult part for HR is to track the location of its employees. This tracking could impact compliance with local regulations of the state or country. Additionally, in case of any eventuality, the whereabouts of an employee are important to know.
With the Autonomous hybrid office, human resources and business leaders can track employees. From an employee's perspective, booking a hot desk in a satellite office or choosing to work from home or remotely can be reflected easily. Tracking and reporting are swifter and without the need to keep manual notes or lists. Autonomous hybrid office offers easy-to-use solutions that help you connect with team members instantly, accessing global talent pools.
Jam is an instant connect software that does not need to set up meetings and passcodes. Want to chat for a quick minute? Easy! Locate your colleague, and ping him in real time to speak or chat using text. Want a quick approval? Ping a colleague across the globe for instant approval. And Pronto! You are done.
3. SmartDesk Hybrid
The SmartDesk Hybrid is an integral part of Hybrid Office solutions. It aims to enable companies to offer comfortable workstations that promote employee health and overall well-being. Office designs are transitioning from open offices to a mix of hot-desking and clustered seating to offer social connections and a relaxed working environment. The SmartDesk Hybrid is yet another solution that enables employees with an ergonomic workstation (desk and chair) that gives them the freedom to sit or stand as they work. Thoughtful, isn't it
In summary, technology can make a hybrid office model quite successful. Leadership and human resources need to evaluate the best what works for them. A hybrid remote working model is the future, and transitioning to it is going to be a necessity soon.
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