It’s the latest buzz word in the employment market right now, but are hybrid work arrangements a good fit for your business?
Since the start of the pandemic, many employees were provided with the necessary tools to do their work from home. As we return to a new normal, and the office, the desire to remain working from home, for at least some of the working week, is high on the list of requirements for many jobseekers.
So what is meant by hybrid working? Hybrid work is a flexible working model where employees work partly in the physical workplace, and partly remotely – at home or from another workspace.
As an employer you may feel uneasy about the effect of hybrid working on your business, with productivity, client service and team culture topping the list of concerns. But if you don’t offer hybrid work arrangements, are you damaging your employer brand and running the risk of losing good quality employees?
Let’s take a closer look at two of the key concerns you may have.
Usually the over-riding feeling is that productivity will nose-dive on the days your employee is working from home. There will be too many distractions, such as home chores or child-care. But weigh these up against the numerous social chats occurring daily in the office, and the removal of the commute to and from the office, and you might be surprised to find your employee is no less productive at home than in the office. Indeed, there is an argument that employees are more focussed on their work whilst at home, as there are far fewer incidental interruptions from work colleagues during the day.
Remember here too, that scheduling regular check-ins with your employee will help to keep this arrangement on track. It can be easy to fall into the hole of ‘out of sight, out of mind’. Employees can quickly feel unloved and under-valued once communication diminishes. Establishing a routine around frequency and method of maintaining contact will be beneficial for both employer and employee
If not in the office, how will your team remain connected and continue to have the sense of a community working towards the purpose of your business? There are many great Apps such as Microsoft Teams and WhatsApp that enable workers to stay connected and in contact whilst working remotely in different locations.
Aside from using technology to stay connected whilst working on particular tasks, it will be important to remind your team how they are all working towards shared goals. Holding your employees accountable will also demonstrate that the work they do is really important to your business.
Your hybrid working arrangements should also be perceived as fair. For some employees, such as a receptionist, it may be more difficult to work from home than others in the team. And perceptions around ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ will need careful consideration; having apparent favourites will damage to your team to some degree.
A ‘place and faces’ have immense power in keeping teams connected and purposeful. Having days when all of the team are expected to be in the office together, at least once a week, will be beneficial in maintaining a sense of belonging within your team.
Establishing a hybrid working model in your business may seem like it fits in the ‘too-hard basket’. But the fact of its rising importance on employees want lists cannot be ignored. Open discussion is key. Take the time to understand why your employees need flexibility and ask them to explain how it will happen in a practical sense. Maybe consider offering the hybrid working model on a trial basis and put measures in place around productivity and accountability – again, invite your employee to establish what these will be.
A positive workplace culture is nearly always one of the top challenges for business, whether or not they have a hybrid working model in place. If there is a desire from your team to embrace the model, it could go very far to sustaining, or even improving, your workplace culture if done in an open and equitable way.
If you have any questions that myself and the Jobs In CQ team may be able to assist with, please don't hesitate to contact us.
Director and Business Talent Scout
Jobs In Central Queensland™
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