Before we get into how to prepare for it, let’s discuss what hybrid working is.
The hybrid work structure allows flexibility for those who would like to continue work from home after the pandemic, while other team members work from a central location or office. In the UK, employers expect the proportion of regular home workers to double, from 18% pre-pandemic to 37% post-pandemic, which is why more companies are getting ready to commit to the hybrid structure.
This is beneficial to you as an employer, as the hybrid pattern makes employees feel happier, healthier, more productive, less stressed and more in control of their lives, they’re more likely to deliver.
Now how can you, as an employer, prepare for hybrid working.
Just telling your employees they can split their week between home and the office and then crossing your fingers won’t work, you need to develop a clear and concise hybrid culture.
Team leaders must set the tone that wherever they are working, at home or in the office. They must commit to role-modelling hybrid working themselves, to ensure their teams get on successfully with the new structure and don’t push boundaries.
Managers have to be trained to support and communicate with people they don’t see on a daily basis. They need to trust their team to deliver and have the same work ethic wherever they are.
Key elements of the employee lifecycle, like recruiting, onboarding, training and performance management, need to be reworked and reframed to match a hybrid model. This may mean the need for a stronger structure when taking on new employees to ensure they get the right training and support without any miscommunication.
Employees need to be given the support to work well remotely. This could mean more training, investing in project management systems to ensure an easier flow of work, or committing to a daily team call to keep everyone in the loop.
All members of your company must have a clear understanding of the different dynamics across the company. Communication has to be a core element of your business culture.
Hybrid work can provide employees with more flexibility, free time, and autonomy. Many organisations are finding new ways to tackle this new structure already. However, it’s important to remember it won’t ‘just happen’, it takes time and investment to get it right.