HR Strategy & Advisory
Published on 01 Jun 2022
If there’s anything we’ve learned throughout the past couple of years, it’s that companies and their employees can in fact adapt to new ways of working including working remotely, something that seemed like a daunting and impossible task prior to the Covid-19 pandemic. With lockdown restrictions gradually lifting, companies such as tech giants Zapier and Automattic have decided on operating fully-remotely, while many others are gearing towards operating as hybrid companies, aiming to get the best of both worlds when it comes to the potential benefits derived from both models.
What’s the difference?
Fully-remote companies are ones who have decided to conduct its day-to-day operations completely online without a designated physical location for its employees. This means giving employees the liberty of working anywhere, anytime as long as they have stable internet connection and an electronic device. Companies working on a hybrid model on the other hand, such as the likes of Google and Amazon, have opted to have employees meet a few times a week for meetings or discussions with some work activities still being done off-site.
According to a survey done by Forbes in early 2022, the Covid-19 had enabled nearly 46% of employees of various companies to work remotely while the remainder were split between in-office and hybrid respectively. This would mean that majority of people in the workforce are still commuting to the office at least once or twice a week. Workspace provider WeWork believes there to be a multitude of benefits from a hybrid work environment which include: minimized operational costs, employee flexibility and increased productivity, just to list a few.
Tips on transitioning to a hybrid working model
Business magazines such as Forbes and the New York Times are claiming that more and more companies are transitioning to a hybrid work model. Hence, it is essential that employers find a conducive approach in making sure employees are able to once again redefine their working environment for themselves while maintaining motivation, engagement and productivity. This transition could be made easier with a few of the following suggestions:
Redefining workplace policies
Putting in place supportive workplace policies will enable employees to cultivate a better work-life balance while working in a hybrid setting. Ensuring that workplace policies can accommodate to a change in work environment is essential in making sure employees’ interests are firmly in mind when balancing working remotely or working in the office. This may include changing working hours in the office, or prescribing suggestions on conducting hybrid meetings to determining how to gauge personal performance and output.
Providing efficient resources for a hybrid work environment
Hybrid companies should be able to provide employees with the necessary tools and technology in order to make their working experiences as smooth and user-friendly as possible. Employees should be provided with practical and collaborative solutions that allow them to work with other colleagues who are working remotely as well. Such considerations should include how user-friendly the programmes and software are, and whether it ensures to improve HR operations and properly substitutes working in a physical environment. For example, this can include online collaborative spaces and shared calendars for the work organization.
Establishing boundaries and clearer communication
Setting clear work boundaries can help employees stay focused and avoid being easily burned out by their workload. Employers and managers can advocate for a balanced work life by establishing clear communication, and setting realistic goals and expectations for employees to follow. It helps assist employees in navigating through their tasks and agendas better which can also help with productivity in the long run.
It would not be realistic to expect that society is entirely familiarised and will be efficient in operating as hybrid companies – and be aware that the situation may rapidly change again at any time. Employees should also be provided with a reasonable amount of time to re-adapt to working under these new conditions. Given the increasing number of companies who will continue to adopt such working models, and probably with very different approaches even between teams in the same company, we can expect continuous innovation and advancements in how we work. With that said, we must also remember that it is all a work in progress; both employers and employees are equally responsible for enabling the transition into these new ways of working.
The right HR technology will support your organisation’s needs, whether you are fully-remote or adopt a hybrid model. Speak to our team at OS HRS to discover how our solutions can meet your unique needs!