Understanding The Hybrid Remote Office And How To Implement It
As the world slowly goes back to its “normal” state, more workplaces are incorporating a hybrid remote office organizational model into their business. Some sources refer to this working model as the new standard 9-to-5, especially as a major part of the workforce expects to continue working remotely in the future.
A hybrid office layout requires thorough planning. Otherwise, you are vulnerable to failures as it is a transition process that all employees must go through. And even when you’ve accomplished this transition successfully, you’ll also have to face hybrid work challenges that may make it more complicated to keep up with it in the long term.
The first thing you need to know is that you're not alone. Thousands of workplaces are implementing this new hybrid remote work model, and we're all learning together with the good and bad factors that it implies.
What Is a Hybrid Remote Office?
Essentially, we can say that the so-called "hybrid work from home" consists of combining the two systems, as the title suggests. Thus, employees will be able to alternate between working at the office and working off-site, based on their availability and the unique policy each workplace develops.
There are greater probabilities of success if you take some time to thoroughly plan how you will adapt your business to the new hybrid remote environment. However, before we start, it is worth noting to say that when you combine a hybrid office with any flexible model, you’ll be granting your employees more freedom to choose where and “when” to work.
The COVID-19 pandemic came with many changes. During most of 2020, we worked remotely as the coronavirus outbreak was at its peak. However, in 2021, new health advancements were made, and now we have multiple vaccines available. Now, we have big enterprises like Google and Facebook utilizing this organizational model as a response to the COVID-19 outbreak.
How to implement the hybrid remote office
There are multiple existent factors that leaders must take into account before starting to plan the hybrid office. For instance, this change is quite dependent on the infrastructure your company already has. It also means that you’ll need some time “to adjust it” to the new organization.
However, this process doesn't have to be quite daunting. It is crucial to take it seriously and patiently, of course. Still, the following tips will help you transition from a traditional organizational model to a hybrid remote office with ease.
1. Start by establishing a centralized system
The first step every company must take is to decide what is the primary tool your employees will have access to whenever they need to communicate or collaborate with a co-worker. There are tons of options out there, such as Robin or Condeco. However, it is essential to use the same software for everything so that each department can have access to the required information at all times.
Although some companies recommend Microsoft Office 365, there are other options that allow you to keep track of your business with more comprehensive tools, like Autonomous Hybrid Office.
About Autonomous Hybrid Office
This program is new, but that doesn’t make it less effective. This app combines everything you like from tools like Office 365 with features exclusive to space management programs. This way, as a manager, you will be able to enjoy the following features:
- It is possible to map out the entire office, allowing you to keep track of who is present simultaneously.
- Once you’ve uploaded your current office layout, you can start assigning desks. It doesn’t matter if they are fixed or if you’re opting for hot-desking or office hoteling, for instance.
- It will also be possible to keep all your resources in the same place. This app also provides you with tools to “forecast” the things you’ll need in the long term.
On the other hand, your employees will enjoy the following features:
- If you’re using office hoteling or hot-desking, it will be possible for them to book a space in the hybrid remote office while using a real-time map of the office. This also includes other spaces, like conference rooms.
- What tools do your employees need to complete your tasks? This program allows them to define such resources on their own.
- This hybrid work software is also meant to promote collaboration. It makes it easier for each employee to find one another, talk, and work with each other within a few seconds.
2. It is recommended to prioritize remote work
Although we've mentioned that you should "centralize all your resources," it is quite important for you to prioritize hybrid work from home so that everyone can have access to the same information without problems. On-site and off-site workers should be granted equal access to the necessary company data.
This fact implies that you’ll have to make several changes in the way your business works. Moreover, it requires effort from certain employees that are used to working in a traditional working model. It is essential to clarify the communication channels to all your employees, as everyone knows where and whom to ask the necessary questions whenever they need it. As everything is documented, everyone will be able to have their doubts answered immediately without even asking anything, at least sometimes.
You can also take a look at our work from home policy template.
3. Promote collaboration within the hybrid remote environment
It is quite impossible to find success without proper collaboration in the hybrid remote office. If your teams do not communicate effectively, your business will be quite challenging to maintain a good rhythm. Your off-site and on-site workers should be able to communicate and collaborate with each other effectively.
As mentioned above, this problem is solved quickly with the use of appropriate remote communication software. Then, when everything - including the resources and communication channels - is at the same place, your employees should be able to work efficiently with all the required resources.
4. Never forget to request feedback
Your company will improve even more when you listen to your employees' feelings. Although the hybrid remote office or hybrid workplace seems to be the perfect organizational model for both employers and the workforce, it can be quite hard for some individuals to get used to it. Thus, when you receive effective employee feedback, you'll be able to know the areas where the company is expected to improve, what others should be changed, and the ones you should promote.
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