Millions of U.S. workers are quitting their jobs in what some call the “Great Resignation”. However, some see it as a “Great Reappraise” as the employees seek great flexibility.
Accept it or not, hybrid work culture is here to stay. Many organisations have realised the fact that employees desire the flexibility of both worlds and are not willing to compromise. Hence, managing a positive work environment becomes more important than ever. So what should we do to have a positive hybrid model in our workspace? Fortunately, you have landed on the right page.
In this article, we’ll explain;
- What is hybrid work culture;
- Importance of the adopting a hybrid model;
- Benefits and challenges that come in the way of a positive hybrid work culture;
- Points to make your hybrid environment productive.
Let’s find out what organisations need to know about the hybrid work culture in depth.
What is hybrid work culture?
A lot of buzzwords like Hybrid work or work flexibility are being thrown around in the market. But what does this actually mean? Many people misinterpret remote working with a hybrid model. However, it’s not completely true. A positive hybrid work culture gives the power to employees to choose their suitable working environment.
In simpler terms, a hybrid model allows employees to work at home for 2 or 3 days and can come on-site for the remaining days of the week. A survey conducted by Pulse of the American Worker found that around 87% want to work remotely at least one day a week. No doubt, hybrid work includes a bit of both work flexibility and the future of work.
The shift to the hybrid model has affected the work culture in numerous ways. Since on-site and remote employees share different levels of connection. Clearly, the evaluation of technology has outsized the role of how companies implement their hybrid work culture. And many new technologies are on their way to support diversity initiatives. For instance, with the help of AI, organisations can easily keep a record of how men and women were speaking through speech recognition technology.
Are you wondering about the benefits and challenges of a hybrid culture? Continue reading the article for some personal tips and tricks on positive hybrid work culture.
Importance of a positive hybrid model
As the business begins to reopen post-pandemic, many employees wonder if going back will actually help or not. Many executives constantly fear that their organisation’s culture will become fragmented leading to lower engagement levels. In this time of societal change, corporate operators struggle to reinvent their company culture. Well, it all depends on the company’s culture and policies.
The issue does not lie in where your team works, but it lies in bringing value when they work. From an organisation’s perspective, the process involves various considerations to develop a cohesive culture.
There’s nothing like a wrong or a right culture. It’s teamwork that will help to achieve the company’s success. Furthermore, the trick to ace your culture adoption includes making your employees comfortable and connected to it.
The only thing you actually need to focus on involves understanding your employee’s potential and allowing them to perform it in their comfortable way. Hence, providing hybrid options to employees comes to the rescue. As it gives options for employees to choose their productive workspace or have a combination of both.
A WEF survey finds that 66% of workers want flexible or hybrid working models from their desired companies. Moreover, around 30% of employees are ready to quit if their employer calls them back to the office.
A positive hybrid work culture enables organisations to hire internationally and not only focus on fully remote or fully in-person work. Moreover, it also helps to ensure that the remote workers are on a level playing field.
Putting people in closed boxes results in compromising their actual capabilities. However, only building a company culture in a hybrid workspace is not enough. Your organisation needs to take care of essential aspects to implement the culture change effectively.
Benefits and challenges of hybrid work culture
Let us now understand the pros and cons of developing a hybrid culture.
The benefits of a positive hybrid work culture include:
The prime advantage of a positive hybrid work culture is flexibility. Research conducted by Lister found that 56% of U.S workers have a job that can be at least done partially remotely. It also stated about the flexibility of employees to shift their working hours can have a huge impact on the retention rate.
Another survey conducted by Crain’s Future of Work survey reported that 78% of respondents feel that incorporating flexibility in work offers an effective method to retain employees. A flexible work model enables employees the right time and place to work for achieving their best. Hence, they don’t necessarily have to be tied down to any regulations.
No doubt a hybrid working model helps organisations save money from some additional expenses. Since most of your employees haven’t been working on-site regularly, not many of your resources are being utilised. Therefore, it results in reducing the budget for office furniture, computers, and power bills.
In fact, not only the organisations but the employees also enjoy the benefit of reduced costs commuting to their office. To give an example, remote employees can save a lot of time and spending on their travel expenses. Furthermore, working from home will also help in saving up on their lunch deals too, as they will no longer crave eating out in the cafeterias.
The freedom of becoming your own boss results in improved productivity. A survey conducted by McKinsey states that around 58% of workers say that hybrid work has increased their productivity. Human potential is boundless. Many employees say they feel more productive when they don’t have anyone keeping an eye on them.
The hybrid work model gives the option to choose between working from home and in-office work or a little bit of both. Having the freedom to work from your comfort place improves overall job satisfaction. Employees can save a lot of their commute time to enjoy additional activities in their routine. For instance, they can utilise their travel time to meet up with friends or go to the gym.
While the benefits of hybrid working have so much to offer, we still have some considerations to look for. Let’s have a look at some of the basic challenges of the hybrid work model.
Challenges of a hybrid work culture
Not suitable for everyone
A hybrid might not be good for everyone and some people might consider hybrid work as an entitlement. For example, some industries like education, healthcare, or manufacturing might not fit perfectly with this model.
Clearly, not all employees adjust to the working-from-home environment. Some employees require human interaction to feel confident with their work productivity. Most of the Gen Z employees crave some on-site work in some form, says Accenture’s report.
These teammates might suffer to keep up with the work progress when not provided an office environment. Therefore, it results in employee burnout, leading to reduced productivity in the organisation.
A hybrid workspace sometimes results in communication gaps between the team. I have seen organisations spending a lot of time reframing the project due to a lack of communication. Maintaining effective communication between remote and on-site employees is tough. Especially if the company hasn’t prepared effective remote working tools.
Building a successful positive hybrid work culture
Certainly, organisations still struggle to adapt work patterns accordingly. But how to make sure that a hybrid work model will not hinder your team’s productivity? Here we have shared some of the most crucial tips and tricks to build a positive hybrid work culture. These easy-to-implement techniques will make sure that your employee’s productivity remains top-notch!
Prioritise onboarding and training
Starting a new remote job requires much more attention than just giving rounds of office or introducing colleagues. If not done properly, your employees might end up having a feeling of unwantedness.
The initial stage of interaction plays a crucial role in creating a positive work environment. Here the team leaders should put some extra effort to provide a holistic view of how things actually work in your company. Managers should help the newbies to effectively understand their role in the company.
Some tips to keep in mind:
- Incorporating a reliable buddy system and educating them on psychological safety at workplaces;
- Feedback on onboarding experience.
Workspace learning for professional development
Workplace learning includes another criterion to be focussed on. Sharing experiences and knowledge help the team members refine their experience and improve overall development.
A study by Panopto and YouGov states that you can save millions of dollars by providing all the information and learning to the employees that they need to complete their job. Your organisation should facilitate new opportunities for learning that will embrace their productive skills in a shorter time.
Embrace the unknown with comfortable work environments
Employees might find it difficult to concentrate in an environment they get distracted easily. Support your employees to develop an environment-friendly home workplace. Hence you need to focus on creating a productive environment.
- For in-office employees: You can provide comfortable furniture that helps them to promote focus. For example, adjustable desks, soothing lights, or well-positioned desktop screens.
- For remote employees: In the case of remote employees, plan some additional budget for them to purchase some home-office equipment resources to enhance their productivity. To give an example, provide some premium memberships for online tools to help them.
Mental health of employees
Certainly, a hybrid environment involves setting up emotional, intellectual, and physical ways for successful implementation. Apart from providing a suitable working environment, you should also concentrate on your employees’ mental well-being. To overcome this you can organise some out-of-work activities that will help to improve your employee engagement.
Unite employees with effective communication
Another important aspect to build a positive hybrid work culture includes improving your team engagement. Communication provides the most important key to building a foundation of trust among the teams.
It’s the team leader’s responsibility to establish effective communication between the team. Hence, it’s important to make sure that in-office members are able to effectively collaborate with remote employees. A couple of ways to improve your team collaboration includes:
- Utilising reliable communication channels like Hangout;
- Including co-workers in decision-making tasks or involving them in all the significant mail chains relevant to the project;
- Provide equal opportunities;
- Encourage team members to share ideas.
Create cultural goals
In my experience, the ultimate building blocks of implementing a positive hybrid work culture include leadership, purpose, and activating work culture. Culture means providing a method of working that will help employees get started and believe in the desired culture effectively.
Your company should be clear with its priorities and goals. Every company has its own directions. And providing an idea about your goals helps employees to feel united and involved with the working culture.
Frequent check-ins and consistency go hand in hand
According to Harvard Business Review, 46% of employees feel that the best supportive managers include the ones that conduct regular check-ins.
Showing that you care and having consistent follow-ups helps to make them feel valued. Hence, this results in boosting consistency, especially in the case of remote employees, where they don’t have the option of landing on the manager’s desk and asking a quick question.
Some quick tips include:
- You can always incorporate popular collaborative tools that aim to support the flow of communication;
- Ask for your team’s opinion in the decision-making process.
A hybrid work model offers the organisation a blend of in-office and remote work. Therefore, enabling their employees to work at their comfort places (whether on-site or remotely) on the basis of the project requirements. In the end, the rising trend of hybrid work has become a reality for many of us.
All the signs point to hybrid working being the future norm. While we can witness visible advantages of hybrid arrangement, it also demands pre-planned steps and considerations. You need to first consider deeply about your business strategy and then should highlight the desired points that will help your success.
About the Author
Atul Naithani is an SEO Executive at CronJ, a Software development Company that helps businesses to develop web apps, mobile apps, blockchain solutions, and other custom software based on their needs. Atul is experienced in digital marketing and SEO.