Hybrid work is here to say.
It’s the headline splattered across your LinkedIn Feeds.
It’s the topic of conversation in your team's Slack channels.
In fact, your mother-in-law brought it up over dinner last night.
You’re not fighting the transition but you are stuck scratching your head about just how to implement a completely new style of work.
We get it, new can be hard. So let’s make starting out a bit simpler.
4 steps to ensure a great hybrid experience
1. Invest in technology to effectively connect
You have five employees in a conference room and three team members dialing in virtually.
How do you make sure everyone is included?
First, you need the right technology.
That means getting rid of the conference room speakerphone from 1998 and investing in video conferencing tools, room displays and audio solutions.
When considering what tech to invest in, you want to focus on three main areas:
If you miss out on any of these components, you’re bound to have some team members that feel left out.
Second, you need protocols in place to maximize meeting efficiency.
Investments in meeting technology only go as far as the practices that back them. Arm your team leads with tips on how to run a more effective hybrid meeting. Run workshops on how to engage remote employees in meetings more strategically.
The world of hybrid work is still a new frontier for most professionals, sharing ideas into how to get the most out of every team member is a great way to jumpstart success.
Bonus Tip: These investments in tech should also extend beyond meeting room equipment. There are a wide range of tools out there that can facilitate both communication and collaboration, we call this a workplace tech stack.
2. Reinvent your space
The old standard of office design isn’t cutting it anymore. Shared tables, open floor plans, limited meeting spaces - these setups were made for a pre-COVID world.
Leaders that want to create an enjoyable workplace experience should consider how to make the office more effective for employees.
First, there is the task of scheduling. Team members need a simple way to find and book spaces for their days in-office. This could be a desk-booking for the afternoon or a conference room for a day of team planning.
Workplace software eliminates admin headaches for your team members and ensures they have a place to work before they step foot in the office.
Second, you need to consider what your employees are coming into the office to do. While some team members want to work from an office regardless of their schedule, a big majority of others plan to come in for collaborative tasks and then leave for more focused work.
When revamping your office, create spaces for different preferences. This doesn’t have to be earth-shattering either.
Maybe the back corner on the second floor is dedicated to quiet work while the first floor is full of collaborative spaces.
The make-up of these plans will look different for every business but your office should always be designed with employee needs in mind.
3. Make Data-Driven Decisions
Talking to your employees is critical to making good decisions about hybrid work environments.
But data can help you see what people aren't telling you. Your teams might think they want to come in every Tuesday but in actuality they are all showing up on Mondays and Fridays. When you let the data do the talking you can make plans based on actual proof points.
For example, data can help you see which spaces in your office are being utilized the most and which employees are in the office at any given time.
This helps you create a space that’s actually reflective of who’s using it and how. Having this data on hand helps you plan around high-volume days and ensures you have the information you need to stock and prepare the office space accordingly.
4. Communicate early and often
When it comes to workplace policies, change is the name of the game. And this has never been more true.
With variables like the Delta variant floating over our heads, it’s hard to tell what the next year has in store for us.
The one guarantee? Your team members want to hear about your plan.
A recent McKinsey report found that employees feel anxious about a lack of communication surrounding hybrid work policies. In a time of so much uncertainty, people just want to know what is expected of them and when.
To create a great workplace experience, your team members need to feel safe and secure. That starts with communication.
Make sure to provide information regularly about any shifts in workplace strategy. In moments when there isn’t much to report, communicate with your team anyways, open the floor for questions, let them know their options regarding workplace safety.
In times of change there is no such thing as over-communication, your team members need leaders that are transparent and direct.
The future of work is here
We are standing at a crossroads in the world of work.
Companies are enabling more flexibility than ever before. Those that aren’t are suffering the impact of the Great Resignation.
For businesses looking to make hybrid work stick, the true test will be in how they continue to innovate and iterate on their workplace strategies.
Robin can help make the logistics of hybrid work a lot less complicated. Sign up for a free demo today.