Success in a hybrid work environment requires employers to move beyond viewing remote or hybrid environments as a temporary or short-term strategy and to treat it as an opportunity
The onslaught of pandemic has transferred the operating model of organisations across the world. Businesses are embracing a culture of hybrid working to carry out their operations seamlessly. Hybrid working provides greater flexibility for the workforce to work from home or their designated work locations. This novel working model has advantages and presents some challenges like handling productivity drop, people engagement etc. Let us look at some of the strategies for building a robust hybrid workplace that can achieve enhanced business outcomes.
Participation in office meetings through remote working can be less engaging due to constraints posed by infrastructure and technology. Integration of physical places with technology can help in providing remediation and evoking active participation during brainstorming sessions and important discussions. Leveraging on software systems can help deliver better distributional equity during meetings and reduce the gap in remote working. Ensuring uninterrupted power supply through power backups and setting up a proper office environment at home would help in achieving sustainable results by positive collaboration and meaningful engagement.
Remote employees may feel isolated and left out since they are not connected well with the in-house team. This can lead to more anxiety and behavioural changes resulting in low productivity and plummeting employee engagement levels. In order to address these issues, leaders need to review their employee policies and re-align themselves through a well defined strategic framework. Conducting virtual happy hours and having water cooler conversations can create better team bonding and make the remote workers feel more inclusive and connected with the larger sessions of the workplace. Creating a virtual community through focus groups and building an asynchronous communication style would empower people working remotely. This would also result in reducing the need for micro-management by encouraging the team members to share daily progress updates and achievements.
New technologies like skype, podcast, video conferencing and webinar have reduced the demographic challenges and geographic divide by getting the businesses more closely linked and inter-connected. Businesses can make use of these systems to their advantage and look at beefing up their strength by recruiting people with very good skills for the future. This would help in load balancing during peak hours and managing their operations efficiently by providing round the clock support. Work from home would also turn out to be more beneficial for employees with physical disabilities who can continue to stay connected and contribute to the growth of the organisation through remote working.
Hybrid working also helps in reducing the cost and overheads for companies, due to reduction in office expenses through real estate optimisation, rentals and logistics. This would also result in mitigating any health-related risks due to pandemic spread by following regulatory standards and social distancing etiquettes. Balancing the groupthink activities with the team and individuals would give more personal space for remote workers to come up with creative ideas for growth and development. Hybrid model is here to stay, and a lot depends on how the leadership team can gain a competitive advantage by staying positively engaged with their workforce.
We at Xforia technologies have a flexible hybrid work culture that supports employee welfare and helps in achieving seamless service delivery and operational resilience.