Besides remote working, the hybrid work model has emerged as another popular alternative to the traditional 9 to 5 office routine.
A hybrid workplace allows for both home and office-based staff. Depending on the nature and needs of your business, you could either:
- Allow staff whose role requires being present in office come into the work with the rest continuing to work from home, or
- Allow employees to divide their work week between working in the office and from home.
While it may lower costs and improve productivity, a hybrid work model has its own challenges. Besides updating policies and restructuring work processes, managing a hybrid workforce well means you pay equal attention to home and office-based staff.
What things should I keep in mind to manage a hybrid workforce efficiently?
We recommend the following best practices:
1. Set clear goals and expectations
Communicate work briefs, goals, and deadlines with clarity to all your employees, especially home-based staff. You may want to hold daily or weekly virtual meetings to bring your hybrid workforce together to discuss projects and share progress. Communicating regularly is essential to keeping remote staff engaged and motivated.
2. Create a hybrid work policy
Developing a policy for hybrid or remote work will set down the rules on breaks, attendance, provision of equipment, cybersecurity, and ratio of home-to-office hours (if your hybrid workers are splitting time between office and work).
You should update your employee handbook with your hybrid work policy. Make sure you share it with your hybrid workers through your company intraweb or a cloud-based HR management software such as BrightHR.
3. Change parameters for assessing performance
To get the best out of your hybrid team, tailor your management style to their needs. Some workers may perform better with detailed instructions and frequent one-on-one video meetings. Others may only need clarity on objectives and deadlines.
Micromanaging or monitoring your remote staff all day will only put unnecessary strain on your energies. It will also be demotivating for your staff. Don’t put a premium on the number of hours clock in, but rather on the results delivered.
4. Organize in-person work socials
Monthly or bi-monthly team get-togethers may help your hybrid staff interact face-to-face and build a rapport. Team bonding will help increase workplace harmony and morale.
Feeling connected to their co-workers may help improve the wellbeing of your home-based staff, especially those who live alone.
5. Hire candidates with the right skills
When hiring for remote positions, consider candidates who have the desired skill sets. Workers who are motivated, goal-oriented and/or have experience with remote working would be ideal.
6. Take steps to ensure home-based staff don’t feel left out
If the employer and managers also work from the office, they may end up treating home and office-based staff differently without even realizing it. It is but natural and easier to connect with employees whom you see at work every day.
Managers must make sure they:
- Include home-based staff in decision-making through virtual team meetings and internal communications. Livestream any office-based events (business talks, seminars, or training workshops) for the benefit of employees working from home.
- Avoid spontaneous in-office meetings or team lunches/outings. Plan and give your hybrid staff sufficient notice of such events.
- Keep your home-based workers in the loop about company goals, challenges, and executive decisions
7. Focus on employee wellness and mental health
The stress and uncertainty of the past year has brought employee mental health into focus. The pandemic is not over yet. Your staff may be dealing with many challenges whether related to health or finances. Those remote workers who live alone may be struggling with social isolation as well.
It is a good practice to introduce employee wellness programs and activities. If you don’t already, offer an employee assistance program (EAP). An EAP provides confidential counselling services to employees who may be going through personal difficulties, such as domestic violence, substance abuse, mental health issues.
Investing in the mental and physical wellbeing of your workforce is ultimately good for your business.
Do you need help creating a hybrid work policy?
We’re here for you. Whether you need assistance creating a hybrid work policy or need legal advice, let Peninsula’s experts take the confusion out of managing your remote staff. To learn more, call an expert today: 1 (833) 247-3652.