The gradual return to work will be gradual, and not all employees will be able to return to work simultaneously. As a result, a hybrid working model will emerge, with some employees working from the office and others from home, or a combination of the two.
During this time, HR professionals will face a variety of issues and will need to develop solutions to keep their employees happy and productive.
What to Think About When Making the Transition to Hybrid Working?
What role does physical space and technology play while running a hybrid model?
How can you then create and maintain a culture based on trust, enjoyment, and productivity?
When most of the staff isn’t physically present in an office, how do you ensure their voice is heard?
How do you properly manage performance?
How do you commemorate significant anniversaries and achievements?
These are just a few of the recent issues and considerations that my team and I have had.
How do you establish and sustain your company’s culture?
Many companies spend years developing their culture; it is the core of any firm, demonstrating who they are and why they do what they do. So, in a new hybrid working world, how can you not just reinforce but also grow on that culture?
Make sure you conduct weekly team catch-ups; by now, everyone should be used to video conference calls.
Make sure they’re not all work-related; having fun and celebrating accomplishments should be a big part of its culture. Continue to use technology to stay in touch and ensure that good news stories are shared throughout the team and company.
Inclusion is becoming increasingly crucial.
When the majority or a portion of your staff is absent, inclusion becomes more critical than ever. Just because you can’t see someone doesn’t imply they aren’t present and contributing equally to the group.
Because everyone has had a different experience throughout the epidemic, the idea of diversity and inclusion is changing right now.
This could be due to their living environment or the type of employment and tasks they have been assigned. People will return to work with various experiences and possibly different perspectives.
Ensure that you have the required open lines of communication in place so that employees may express their issues or provide feedback. Regardless of location, ensure that all employees participate in corporate and team activities not to feel left out.
Remind your staff that you’re all in this together and that every employee, whether in the office or at home, has a role to play in keeping the company’s culture alive in the next era of work.
Prioritising employee well-being
Everyone’s remote working experience is different, and everyone has faced various challenges while in lockdown, whether it’s due to other obligations like childcare, solitude, or a lack of workspace.
Many people will be anxious about their finances and their loved ones’ health and well-being. This is on top of any fears employees may have about returning to work or continuing to work from home, all of which might significantly impact your employees’ mental health and well-being.
Consider how frequently you communicate with people and whether you’re allowing them to be vulnerable.
When you don’t see your personnel regularly, this becomes very tough. You can’t just assume that someone is fine because they are going on with things in this case. The current situation has undoubtedly harmed many individuals, and it has the potential to worsen over time.
What is the most effective strategy to encourage community ownership?
To make the workplace a safe place for everyone, everyone must take collective responsibility. When a company opens its physical space, it is apparent that the employer has a responsibility to ensure that all of its employees are as secure as possible and that the essential social distancing, health, and hygiene measures are in place.
It does, however, necessitate that everyone in your organisation shares that standard duty.
As a result, the idea of us all being in this together becomes very real – not just a hashtag – we are genuinely stronger together because every human in the workplace has a responsibility to play in building a safe workplace through their actions.
It’s less about enforcing other behaviours from the top down and more about emphasising that everyone has a role to play in establishing an atmosphere that draws everyone together and brings everyone together safely, whether remotely or physically.
Is it time to put more emphasis on learning and development?
Another important aspect is that of learning and growth. You’ll also need to assess whether your current training is adequate for your staff and the abilities they’ll need in the new work environment.
But, if you can’t get everyone into a classroom, what does training look like? It would be best if you considered it fundamentally differently than training done onsite in a single room, based on our own experience over the last few months.
You’ll have to work harder to hold people’s attention, so consider splitting the training into chunks to make it easier to consume.
Adapt your existing training to fit this new era of work and focus on the abilities that are now lacking; for example, if you’re utilising more technology than usual, make sure your employees know how to use it.
The importance of planning for change has been highlighted throughout the last few months. This is a prime time for us all, so taking a step back and reflecting on it gives us plenty of opportunities to think about how we work, examine what worked in the past, and decide what we want to bring into the new hybrid working environment with us.