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6 Essential Tips for a Successful Hybrid Work Environment

Hybrid work environments are transforming business. As you plan your own, use this guide to maximize employee satisfaction and productivity.



 
There’s simply no denying that the pandemic has changed how companies operate. A hybrid work environment is the new normal, and many employers are shifting to this model. The days of assigned workstations and rigid work hours are disappearing as we move into an era of remote employees and flexible schedules.
 
In a hybrid work environment, employees have more freedom to work when and where they choose. Depending on your approach, you may have hybrid employees who shift between remote work and in-office time as needed, dedicated remote workers, or full-time onsite staff. The good news? Accounting for all of these different situations is possible with a few steps.
 
This guide will explore the essential features of a hybrid work environment so that you can optimize your company culture for employee satisfaction and productivity. Are you ready to embrace flexible work?
 

Meet the Hybrid Workplace Model

 
The hybrid workplace combines remote work and in-office work, allowing employees to split time between the two. However, it also encompasses several hybrid workplace models, including:
 
  • Flex: Employees can work at home during designated “flex” days.
  • At-will: Employees choose when and where they work each day.
  • Split-week: Employees split the week between onsite and remote work, often in alternating teams, to save on office space.
  • Weekly: Employees alternate between onsite and remote work weeks, often in alternating teams to save on office space.
  • Designated teams: You’ll choose which teams can work from home and which work onsite.
 
The best model for your business will depend on how your company operates. Because many job seekers now prefer a hybrid work environment, it could be in your business’s best interest to make the change. In fact, just 4% of employees prefer to work in the office five days per week, and around half say they’d look for work elsewhere if their employer didn’t offer their desired model.
 
A hybrid work environment could increase your chances of attracting and retaining top talent, so it’s a win-win — your employees get a better work-life balance, and you get better employees. Plus, if you choose an office layout that’s more compact, hybrid models can cut your company’s real estate costs by reducing your required office space.
 
It’s hard to argue with benefits like happier employees and cost savings. And while hybrid workplaces use varying models and office layouts, there are shared elements that help them succeed. By exploring those essentials now, you’ll ensure a smoother integration of the hybrid model for your business.
 

6 Hybrid Work Environment Essentials

 
Setting up a hybrid work environment might sound intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. By focusing on these essentials for successfully integrating a hybrid model, you can ensure your bases are covered from day one.
 
While every hybrid workplace is different, you’ll see shared elements that support employees while helping businesses stay ahead of the curve.  
 

1. Clear Remote Work Policy

 
Before you implement your new hybrid workplace model, you’ll need a clear remote work policy that ensures everyone is on the same page. This policy will help your existing workforce and future employees adjust to your chosen hybrid environment, so there’s no such thing as being too thorough with it.
 
Include a company policy for components like:
 
  • Reserving or finding workspaces (e.g., hot desking or hoteling)
  • Which work arrangements are available to which teams
  • Contacting business leaders, managers, team members, and human resources
  • Reserving in-person conference rooms
  • Reporting current work location or schedules to avoid confusion with other team members
  • Check-in and communication requirements, and which programs to use
  • Essential in-person meeting rules for hybrid and full-time remote employees
 
The specifics will depend on how your business approaches the hybrid work environment. It’s usually best to involve your employees in the transition to a hybrid model early so they can provide input and prepare for the change.
 

2. Real-Time Digital Communication

 
Communication is essential for a distributed workforce, and you’ll want to establish clear rules on how it’ll work for your business. Here are some communication solutions to consider:
 
  • Video conferencing and meeting room software (e.g., Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts)
  • Messaging programs (e.g., Slack, Google Chat, or Discord)
  • Email directories for your hybrid teams
 
Your solutions should enable real-time communication between remote team members while providing a metaphorical water cooler. It can also help to encourage friendly socialization on messaging programs and host informal video conferences from time to time.
 

3. Project Management Tools

 
Quality project management tools help your teams coordinate their workflows and improve the employee experience. Your managers can use these to organize projects and oversee teams, which are essential tasks in a hybrid work environment. Trello, Asana, and Jira are some popular options.
 
You can also invest in HR software that offers project management capabilities. Some of your choices include BambooHR, Gusto Review, and Monday.com.
 

4. Screen Recording and Sharing Software

 
When you split up your workforce, you’ll often have home office employees working with onsite team members for the same project. And because they’re no longer face to face, screen recording and sharing software can make it easier to stay on the same page.
 
A hybrid work environment can improve employee satisfaction and productivity, but not if their workdays are more confusing and time consuming. Instead, you can make it easier for your employees to work together and troubleshoot any issues with screen recording and sharing apps like Loom or Zappy.
 

5. Face-to-Face Gatherings

 
Your employees might be excited to eliminate their commute, but this doesn’t mean that you should skip all face-to-face gatherings. Scheduling times when your employees get together away from work duties can foster connection. Plus, social support can help prevent burnout in your employees, which is ultimately beneficial for your business.
 
These gatherings don’t have to be mandatory, but they should be fun. Consider asking your employees what they’d like to see for in-person get-togethers. Depending on where you’re located and what your team members enjoy, anything from a happy hour to walks around a local park can do the trick.
 

6. Ergonomic Office Equipment

 
We often describe ergonomics as “the science of work.” Providing your employees with ergonomic office equipment can offer real benefits, such as:
 
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved quality of work
  • Higher morale
  • Reduced absences
  • Fewer workplace injury expenses
 
This is a two-pronged approach for most hybrid workplaces. First, you’ll need to add ergonomically designed furniture to your onsite office and provide financial support to help your employees set up their home offices.
 
In the office, this usually includes choosing ergonomic office chairs, sit-to-stand desks, and accessories like standing mats and monitor arms. You might ask your remote employees to place their orders based on a list of pre-approved ergonomic options. Alternatively, you can offer them a home office stipend along with recommended equipment.
 
You might also consider teaching all employees about the benefits of good posture and how to maintain it while working. This will help them get the most out of the ergonomic furniture you’re investing in so that you can reap the benefits of improved productivity and performance.
 

Are You Ready for the Hybrid Work Model?

 
The hybrid work environment is set to become the future of work. The hybrid workforce is growing and businesses are rethinking work, which means that the talent pool can easily seek out employers offering their ideal schedules. Companies that make the move will be ahead of the curve.
 
This could include a complete office redesign to foster a productive and functional hybrid environment, which can be easier and more cost-effective than it sounds. Our Design My Office feature will ask questions about your office and give you personalized recommendations for affordable office furniture and accessories. Plus, all of our products are covered by a worry-free return policy and a warranty, so you can relax and focus on what really matters: running your business.
 

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