The future of work is hybrid but what does it mean for businesses? How to develop team dynamics between in-office and remote workers? How to make hybrid working right? There are little bits and pieces to consider when making hybrid work a success. In this article, we’ll cover internal communication, company culture and feedback topics as well as speak about work materials, technology supply and right tools to work with in a hybrid workplace.
Communication and culture
If we would need to name two things that probably suffer the most in hybrid workplaces, it would be two C’s: Communication and Culture. A company must take on a challenge and develop best practices of employee communication as well as create a sense of company’s culture despite two-tier workplace.
Communication is a key. This inevitable tip applies in many spheres and hybrid workplace isn’t an exception. Communication must be a priority because despite employees working place, they need to be included, raise their opinion, feel valued and motivated. Poor communication raises a risk of division between in-office and remote workers, leaves information and knowledge gaps, builds barriers of connection between colleagues which also influences business performance. Communicate with employees there they’re at: Workplace or maybe Slack and don’t forget about email. Engaging internal newsletters is one of the easiest ways to keep your people connected and informed office-wide.
Focus on culture. It’s necessary to create a hybrid work environment around company’s core values. Think how to invest in company culture and find opportunities to be creative. For intense, gamify employee’s trainings, make them interactive so learning could be informative but also attractive. Work on your enforcement of company’s values in a fun way: if your company highly regards open communication between employees, invite staff members for a virtual coffee to connect with each other; if one of the values is teamwork, think about arranging team building activity or suggest to play online game which would involve the whole team.
Gather Feedback. How to develop that desired plan for hybrid workplace communication? Ask employees opinion. In the end, they are the ones fully experiencing this work model thus it’s crucial to know what they feel is missing, needs to be improved, should be changed, etc. Learn your employees needs by gathering feedback. Send a survey to your staff members to help you to determine how employees feel about hybrid working. By gathering and gauging data, you can create a hybrid model that works best for the whole company. Note, that survey can also be prepared simply in a newsletter. Here are some ideas for the questions you might want to ask:
- How many days per week do you prefer to work in the office?
- Do you have a suitable environment to work remotely?
- Do you feel included and well informed about changes in the company?
- How would you like to receive updates and news about work?
Technology and tools
To make communication and work processes as smooth as possible, a company needs to make sure that employees are provided with right technology and tools. Employees should be able to switch between different work environments effortlessly.
Provide employees with work materials. For instance, if a meeting is organized in the office but a part of a team works from home at that moment, the leader of a meeting needs to ensure that if distributed material is printed, remote workers would have access to the same information online. Another example, if somebody from a team is using a whiteboard during a meeting, it’s necessary to assure that people behind the computer screens can see what’s drawn or written – point a camera to a whiteboard. Another point to consider: if your team is spread across the globe, keep in mind meeting timing so everyone could be present, share agenda ahead of time and send follow-ups to ensure that all employees are on the same page.
Technology is necessary for a hybrid workplace. A company needs to provide with right equipment to ensure that employees can work comfortably from their chosen environment without any issues or distress. How well employees are equipped to do their job is very related to their productivity. Technology allows employees to have equal opportunities at work. On top of that, technology is also one of the key points when hiring talents. It’s certainly included in high-priority list when considering benefits company has to offer to a new employees.
Forget hybrid without right tools. Connecting is complicated when it’s split between office and remote environments. Good news is that there are tools to make things better. We’re talking about conferencing platforms and communication tools. A question to ask yourself when in consideration which tools to use: are those tools responsive? Especially in hybrid workplace, it’s crucial that employees could access information from anywhere – even on their mobile phones. This way staff members can communicate, get updates and other information, book meetings rooms or retrieve documents no matter where they are. For employees, right tools allow flexibility. For companies, they make hybrid work possible and manageable.
In brief, things to consider when in hybrid work model:
- Encouraging transparent communication
- Following company’s values and mission
- Asking employees for feedback
- Assuring same work materials access
- Investing in technology and equipment
- Finding right communication tools
Did you find this article useful? How do you make hybrid workplace work? Share with us in the comment section or via Twitter @EnovaPoint. More on effective employee communication in the next week’s blog post!