In recent years, many companies have realized just how effective hybrid work can be. Employees are happier, more productive, and spend less time and money commuting when they can work from home or the office. Ad-hoc hybrid setups, however, can lead to miscommunication and inefficiencies. If you’re planning to implement a hybrid model at your workplace, use these best practices to ensure success.
Create a Hybrid Workplace
Effective hybrid work can help your teams be more efficient and collaborative. With careful planning, you can ensure that everyone has the resources they need to do their best work. Use these steps to implement a hybrid workplace setup:
Step 1: Start with Good Data
Whether your team has been fully remote or working onsite, you don’t want to rush into a hybrid setup. Take the time to talk with your managers, as well as rank-and-file employees. It’s important to know how your employees are feeling, how they prefer to get work done, and what concerns they have about returning to the office or working from home. A company-wide survey can provide insights to inform your hybrid policies going forward.
Step 2: Assess Strengths and Weaknesses
Hybrid work offers many benefits, but this setup isn’t without its challenges. Look at your current technology, systems, and policies. Do you have the right tools in place for teams to work collaboratively? Can you implement health and safety measures that will make workers more comfortable with returning to the office? Make sure your managers have the resources they need to support staff members remotely and in person.
Step 3: Establish and Communicate Hybrid Policies
Once you have a full understanding of your team’s needs, it’s time to implement your hybrid work policies. There are many options for hybrid work schedules, including:
- Split week: With this model, employees are in the office two or three days each week, working remotely for the remainder of the week.
- Cohort model: In this setup, your entire workforce is divided into cohorts that take turns coming into the office. For example, Cohort A comes into the office on Mondays and Tuesdays, and Cohort B comes in on Wednesdays and Thursdays.
- Manager-led: In this model, managers set the schedule for their team. For example, a manager might ask all team members to work from the office on Mondays but let them choose their work location for the rest of the week.
- At will: This means that each employee has the flexibility to decide when they want to work from home and when they want to be in the office.
Whatever arrangement works best for your organization, it’s critical to communicate your company policies upfront so employees know what’s expected of them. If you’re implementing a new system like desk hoteling or hot desking, make sure each employee understands how to find and reserve workspaces using desk booking software. Clarify your implementation timeline so there are no surprises.
Step 4: Rethink your Layout and Technology
One of the benefits of hybrid work is that it offers more flexibility in your physical space. With a portion of your employees working remotely each day, you have the opportunity to reduce your office’s square footage. This can lead to major cost savings on overhead: Fortune reported that companies could save thousands of dollars for every employee who worked remotely just two or three days each week.
Rather than having an assigned office or desk for every employee at your organization, you can set up a variety of workspaces. You’ll likely need individual workspaces, dedicated conference rooms, and flex spaces where teams can work collaboratively and have ad hoc check-ins.
Consider modular furniture, such as tables that can be arranged in different setups. That way, your conference room can accommodate a day-long workshop or a quarterly board meeting. To allow team members to search, sort, and book the spaces they need, invest in desk and meeting room booking software.
You should also consult with your IT team to ensure you have the right infrastructure and security protections in place. Employees should have a seamless experience whether they’re working onsite or remotely.
Step 5: Solicit Feedback and Adjust as Needed
Even the most thoughtful implementation plan can lead to some hiccups. If hybrid work is new to your organization, there are bound to be adjustments along the way.
Be sure to reaffirm your mission, values, and company culture. Even when employees are remote, they should still feel connected to your organization. Take care to make fully remote staff members feel included and engaged, whether that’s through regular video calls or occasional team bonding activities.
Solicit feedback from your team on what’s working well and what isn’t. For example, you might find that your office is noticeably crowded or empty on a particular day. This might mean that you need to reassess your scheduling practices.
Finally, your workplace analytics can also offer valuable information about how the office is being utilized. Workplace management software with built-in analytics can track and report on occupancy rates, meeting density, and space utilization.
Shifting to a hybrid workplace can be a big transition, but it’s a change that can offer significant benefits for your organization. With the right tools and processes, you can ensure that the switch to hybrid work is a positive one.
How to Help Hybrid Employees Succeed
Hybrid work should be a frictionless experience for everyone on your team. That’s where Robin comes in – our platform simplifies meeting room booking and workspace reservations. With Robin’s workplace management software, it’s easy to:
- Create a map of your office layout
- Book desks and meeting rooms based on amenities, date, or location
- Track meeting attendance
- Send company-wide announcements
- Monitor and report on key analytics