The last year has led many businesses to reconsider their reliance on a traditional historic office space set up.
For some, remote work has fostered productivity and provided flexibility for employees that has enabled a continuation of employment in a safe space. For others, it has been a siloed year which may have led to an introverted feel.
After a year at home, employees are excited about returning to an office that gives that work/life separation and in-person engagement, feeling the buzz of people around them but need more of a balance to suit individual needs.
A shift to a hybrid workplace can help towards an inclusive happy team, it can provide the best of both worlds for both the employer and the employee, but the shift does need to be looked at as each business is unique and there will be challenges to look at.
How do we start the conversation and the transition?
Involve all of your team: Ask them how would they work best, how can you support them with this? You then get a full picture of the appetite from the team directly-if they want to be fully office based- can you support a diverse team? Ongoing, get their feedback on how it’s going, it’s always an evolving situation.
Review your office set up: Changes may need to be made, can you accommodate hot desking? How would this work for the team? Is there room for productivity and collaboration?
Introduce new workplace policies: Clearly communicated policies are critical to ensure employees understand how a hybrid model works for them. Spend time thinking through policies and recommendations on in-person attendance, work hours, meeting etiquette, office space use cases, etc.
Invest in the right technology and ensure the right tech is available for the right people, meet their needs not just tech to get by on.
From collaboration and meeting room tools to high-speed internet connection and AV systems, through to personal tech, technology underpins the hybrid workplace.
Manage cultural change: Using input from employees, assess how to keep your workforce connected to each other and to your company values and mission -these should be clearly communicated. Keeping existing celebrations and traditions alive helps provide continuity through change.
Keeping existing celebrations and traditions alive helps provide continuity through change and shows recognition of their value and the value the team place on them.