Your Guide to a Hybrid Work Environment in 2022
The farther we get into normalizing remote work, the more solidified it is becoming as a viable model for businesses to continue using. Hybrid work environments offer many benefits, and also present their own challenges for businesses. Many may feel like they are out of their depth relying on technology, but it’s important to remember that utilizing remote work to your benefit can help you save time, money and expand the diversity of your workplace. In this post, we’ll explore some of the benefits of using a hybrid work environment along with some ways to get your feet wet researching different models and methods for implementing hybrid work policies at your company. Keep reading to learn more!
Explore Different Models
As with any developing trends, there are many forms that a hybrid work environment can take. Some companies may choose to adopt an office-first approach, meaning that their office functions as a headquarters for major meetings and business operations, while allowing more administrative and busy work tasks to take place from home. Other businesses may opt for a remote-first approach, meaning that remote work is the primary way most employees will be a part of your company. Do some research into different companies and business owners such as Kevin Miller who have seen great success in developing hybrid work environments for their companies.
Some companies may opt to rent out third party offices, or coworking space. These are becoming increasingly popular for new entrepreneurs, business owners and remote workers alike. These spaces are a great solution for employees who work remotely, but want the focusing capabilities that an office has. Plus, these spaces often have resources and tools that employees can use such as printers and strong WIFI connections. Coworking spaces are a great middle ground for companies that mostly function remotely, but have a handful of employees that would like the option of using an office space.
Greater Employee Retention
One of the big benefits to adopting a remote or hybrid workspace is a higher rate of employee retention. With more options for flexibility, more employees are finding that they can live fuller lives by working remotely. They have more control over their schedules, workload and job responsibilities making them more likely to stick around. Prior to the pandemic, the employees of many companies were feeling burnt out from long commutes and the expensive cost of living in big cities. Now, employees are more free to live within their means and spend more time on the work itself rather than worrying about centering their lives around an office commute.
The hope is that employees who work remotely will be able to have a better balance between their personal lives and work lives. We’ve seen that unfortunately, that’s not always the case and sometimes employees are expected to be more available than they were when they came into the office. Companies need to keep their expectations reasonable and remember that employees need to have clear expectations and an agreed upon end of day to stay productive and motivated. If you expect your employees to work longer hours when they’re remote, you’ll just end up burning them out more than they were when they were in person!
Implementing Your Own Policy
When it comes to implementing your own hybrid work policy, ask yourself a few questions. What type of model works the best for your business? Can you operate with primarily remote employees? And if not, what job types do you anticipate needing in the office? Many administrative positions can be successfully done remotely, but more hands-on positions may still need to be in person, such as warehouse workers and production line employees. From there, consider what kind of schedule your remote employees should follow. You may be hiring people that live in different time zones than your headquarters, so make sure you consider the implications of that and plan ahead to make sure you can effectively collaborate with your team. At the end of the day, it’s going to come down to your preferences as a business owner and what details about hybrid work you can take to benefit your company.
Let’s review what we’ve covered in this post. For one, you’ll want to do some research into what kinds of models are out there. Research some successful companies that are operating in hybrid or remote models, and decide what about those models works for you, and most importantly what doesn’t work. Each business has its own unique qualities, and no blanket model is going to work for every business. Secondly, make sure you respect your employees' availability and set clear expectations for their work hours. The major benefit of a hybrid model for employees is greater flexibility for their lives, and overloading them with work will have the opposite effect. Consider adopting a hybrid model and enjoying the benefits of greater flexibility!