We see revolution everywhere. But wait! We are not talking about political upheaval or environmental changes. This is about the technological revolution being done in every field. Automation is the last resort if you want to succeed in your profession. 

Being said that, the latest trend adopted and implemented at any workplace is the hybrid workforce. Hence, hybrid work has become the “new normal” as companies continue to be accustomed to advancements. 

In this blog, we’ll discuss some of the key hybrid workforce best practices that are being used in 2024: 

The Hybrid Workplace 

In such a workplace, staff opt for any one of these: 

  • On-site—– employees work solely on-site. 
  • Remote—- employees work remotely. 
  • Hybrid—– employees work both from home and in the office. 

Why Adopt a Hybrid Arrangement? 

The pandemic forced a change, even though technology had already paved the way for a flexible work environment. This arrangement worked well for handling a difficult situation rather than causing office tasks to be stopped.
Moreover, the epidemic made it possible to combine remote and on-site staff, which is how the hybrid workforce was created. Additionally, because this new structure gave employees the flexibility they wanted, it made way for the durability of this hybrid structure.

Now, organizations have learned that workers like to have leniency where and when they work. People looking for a healthy work-life balance might benefit greatly from the flexibility that a hybrid work model offers.  

Fun Fact 

According to a study by Stanford University, remote workers are 13% more productive than their in-office counterparts. Flexibility and reduced distractions often lead to higher levels of output. Remote work also promotes better work-life balance.

Read More: Benefits of Digital Workforce Management

Challenges to the Hybrid Approach 

These are some common challenges that organizations have to face while opting for the hybrid approach: 

  • Technological Inadequacy 

The availability of appropriate technology infrastructure is essential for communication between onsite and remote staff. These tools include laptops, printers, hardware, reliable internet connectivity, and other collaboration gear.
If a problem arises with any of these, work will undoubtedly be disrupted. 

  • Lack of Team Collaboration 

The concept of collaboration is hindered when team members operate remotely. When coordination is neglected, it becomes a laborious activity that causes delays in output.
So, a lack of teamwork tends to push creativity and problem-solving away. Also, many spontaneous encounters can occur due to reduced alliance. 

  • Communication Barriers 

Communication problems in a hybrid work environment are frequently caused by:  

  • Fragmented talks across several media
  • Inconsistent information sharing 
  • Fatigue from frequent digital interactions

This further creates opportunities for miscommunications and misinterpretations among colleagues. Moreover, having an excessive reliance on digital communication technologies can limit the opportunities for in-person contact. 

  • Information Security Issues 

Employees who operate remotely are more vulnerable to social engineering, phishing, and exposure to unsafe networks. They consequently probably discover themselves caught in the never-ending circle of online dangers. 

Thus, it becomes a challenge to ensure their safety and security. 

  • Distance from Company Culture 

When coworkers get along well, converse casually, and take part in activities and events, the true spirit of the corporate culture can be seen. This is possible through face-to-face interactions. While employees who work on-site can easily engage in casual chats and take part in events, remote workers find it challenging to have access to these resources.

Hence, you will need to develop and put into practice a variety of solutions to overcome these obstacles. Such solutions must fit into the work settings to get optimal outcomes.

Read more: Benefits of Automating HR Processes

Best Practices for a Successful Hybrid Work Environment 

If you want to make your workplace a success using the hybrid model, here are some best practices to be implemented: 

1. Team Building 

Building a strong team is essential to the efficient operation of the company. As a result, you need to involve your staff in team-building exercises and assist in bridging the gaps between remote and on-site workers. For the required collaboration, companies can use automated workforce management software like Smart Workforce.

Virtual team-building exercises would be ideal for promoting unity and cooperation. Among these activities are:  

  • Online personality tests  
  • Digital team-building workshops 
  • Cross-functional meetups 
  • Digital icebreaker activities 
  • Remote collaborative games etc. 

2. Flexible Work Policies 

Create workable policies that, regardless of the workplace, bring out the best in every employee. Make sure you clearly state these policies so that there is no space for misunderstanding.  

Here are some ways you can put flexibility into practice:

  • Establish a consistent work schedule policy, such as two to three office days and two to three remote days per week for employees who work from home.
  • Establish core online collaboration hours that all employees should overlap on a daily and weekly basis.
  • Permit schedule modification according to job and worker requirements.
  • Prioritise setting clear output expectations over strict hourly constraints.
  • Ensure that productive remote work is supported in all manners relating to work.

Normalizing a common hybrid strategy that gives them the freedom to pursue their job and optimize it to the point where it enables them to provide the necessary performance is crucial in this situation. Also, this will assist you in creating a trusting culture within your staff. 

3. Performance Measurement 

This element is essential to creating a positive workplace culture. Regarding each employee’s performance expectations, objectives, and measurements, you need to be equally explicit.  

Additionally, be sure to hold frequent check-ins with the members so you can talk about progress, get comments, and deal with any problems that arise.

Regularly held, honest conversations do not allow for anonymity. Hence, every performance will be watched intently and given the credit it deserves. 

4. Feedback Mechanisms 

Feedback is necessary to make sure that everything runs well. Create a regular employee feedback mechanism so you can get their thoughts on how well the hybrid model is operating.

This will enable you to identify any issues with the hybrid operation and attempt to make adjustments in response to input from your staff. 

And what might be the best forum for getting comments? Well, with all the options available, a survey is the most successful. By conducting surveys regularly, you can stay informed about the opinions of your staff. After that, you need to demonstrate your proactive responsiveness by taking the initiative to discuss and resolve any issues brought up by your staff. 

5. Create a Unified Culture 

The current trend is returning to the workplace, which can lead to a predisposition to favor those who work there. Remember that a hybrid work approach combines both in-person and remote labor. Employees are important anywhere they work. 

Regardless of where they work the majority of their workdays, everyone should have equal access to training, promotions, and other benefits to foster a cohesive company culture. It entails making significant announcements that have an immediate impact on everyone—not revealing information to remote workers after informing the in-person audience.

When a culture is truly unified, people will feel liberated to work in a way that best suits them, rather than what gets them the most attention or favors, and hatred will be avoided.  

6. Use a Workplace Experience Platform 

Your hybrid office operations and logistics are streamlined by a workplace experience platform, which functions as a single hub. These platforms give you access to all of your workplace data and allow you to see trends in attendance rates, space consumption, and other areas. 

In addition, they will display the most and least used areas in your office, providing you with a data-driven approach to keep it looking better.

To assess the business-level efficacy of your hybrid strategy, a quality workplace experience platform should interface with your productivity, HR, and business intelligence tools.  

Also, you will be able to secure funding for more investment if you can link improvements in productivity to improvements in office attendance or staff satisfaction with new workspaces.  

7. Prioritize Space Management 

How your workplace is set up and how you use the space can affect how productive you are and how well you follow the “minimum days in-office” requirements in your hybrid work policy. 

Thus, the “open office” concept and the cubicle farm are out. Flexible workspaces that support various types of work are in. According to the U.S. Workplace Survey 2022 by the Gensler Research Institute, workers desire to return to workplaces that support a variety of work styles and increase their productivity.  

Thus, locating a place for brainstorming sessions should be as simple as finding a quiet area for focused work. 

Final Thoughts 

Understanding the key elements of a successful hybrid workplace is one thing, but implementing them is quite another. The first steps in gaining management and staff support and buy-in are having a well-defined plan and being open to adjusting it to fit your particular situation. 

Now, it is up to you to apply these practices successfully in your workplace setting to achieve maximum results. Utilized fully, this approach not only helps explore your staff’s true potential but also gives everyone peace of mind.