Five Top Tips for HR leaders to support a hybrid workplace

Updated: Jan 25

HR ADVICE: In 2020, the Covid-19 pandemic forced many employees to learn to do their jobs from home. Overnight, the rate of home-working massively increased.

But now, as the world slowly fights back against the virus, many organisations are welcoming back their employees into the office. Many are setting up the hybrid work model which allows employees to work both remotely and at the office.

Having two work stations; one at home and the other at the office, has its benefits but there are also many challenges. Here are, five tips on how you can make hybrid working a process as smooth as possible for your staff:

1. Schedule interactions to encourage open communication

Open communication is key in successfully implementing a hybrid workplace. However, to achieve that, each person should take responsibility for delivering in their role. In turn, providing trust among employees and removing the stigma about remote working will be a challenge.

This can be achieved when employers provide clarity about what needs to be delivered, and which can help employees work independently, even when they are at home. Access to communication online, through video calls or online chat rooms, can also help employees seek clarity about expectations with ease.

Ensuring a two-way dialogue through the process, listening to employees and conducting gatherings or weekly team meetings can help managers understand the productivity rate of each employee.

2. Invest in mobile accessories

At the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, work-from-home requirements forced millions of employees across the globe to drastically transform the way we worked. We quickly had to adapt to online communication tools, such as, zoom, Skype, and google to keep people online and connected.

Many firms that had stored the files in paper at the office quickly realised that they had to move them online to keep efficient and support the hybrid work model and . With no end in sight of the pandemic, firms should invest in more technology. Simple technology such as laptops, mobile phones or even providing allowance for internet and mobile data will help make the process smoother.

3. Create a hybrid work policy

One of the lasting impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on the labour market has been that it has made people realise the importance of workplace flexibility. Developing a hybrid working policy will allow both employees and employers to have a configured system that will keep the flow at work. Work components such as attendance management, leave, provision of equipment, cyber-security, and the exact ratio of home-to-office hours and days should be clear to employees.

Firms should update their employee handbook or update the their internal sites. Creating a hybrid working policy will help managers to avoid losing control of their staff, and allow them to effectively monitor employees no matter where they are working.

4. Customise parameters for assessing performance

To get the best out of your employees in hybrid working, managers can also opt to customise their style to the needs of their workforce. Some workers may perform better with detailed instructions, while others may only need clarity on objectives and deadlines. Regular online meetings can help employers understand what staff are struggling with specifically.

Employers can also take a flexible approach to assessing performance and getting the best out of their employees. Setting a fixed number of hours to clock in, or constantly monitoring your remote staff may can put unnecessary strain on them, or worse, demotivate them.

5. Focus on employee wellness and mental health

The uncertainty of the pandemic has shone a spotlight on employee mental health. For many people, moving to a remote working style was a challenging adjustment, even without the fear of an unknown and mutating virus circulating throughout the community.

Organisations can customise ways to help encourage and motivate their employees. Some of the options that firms could take is by providing training, having promotions, creating wellness action plans, gathering outside of work, and making work-life balance a priority by speaking to employees.

Simple acts such as a catch-up text, employee discounts for shopping or food, and positive feedback could greatly help to boost confidence and morale in your employees.

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