More companies are piloting new workspaces each day. They’re choosing to shift to either hybrid or totally remote models. However, the switch won’t be complete until they can also tweak or replace the practices they considered standard before now. Today, we’ll be looking at the approaches organizational leaders should adopt while shaping their hybrid and offsite working strategies.
That said, let’s determine the requirements of hybrid and remote work cultures before we suggest solutions for smoother transitions:
Why Go Hybrid or Remote?
COVID-19 may have necessitated business changes that translated into the remote work culture. However, experts believe many companies will choose to retain these structures even after the pandemic recedes.
Moreover, if you want to provide your employees with an ideal work environment, allowing them the flexibility of full- or part-time remote work is a big part of it. Only then can you ensure happier and more engaged employees.
Employers can build effective work cultures with such flexibility, provided they have more than getting work done on their minds.
Some of the benefits companies gain after establishing a flexible work culture include:
- Increased employee morale
- Enhanced employee productivity
- Reduced absenteeism
Not to be missed: The Undeniable Productivity Perks of Letting Employees Work Remotely
You’ll be able to build the ideal work environment if you keep the following things in mind:
What can Help You Build the Ideal Workplace Culture?
Microsoft’s Work Trend Index report demonstrates that a successful shift to hybrid working involves the following players and resources:
1. I wish we could all get along like we used to in middle school–Technology
Bridge the employee Me to We gap with the right tech. Leaders of change must equip workers with the tools needed for work. That remains the case, whether said employees will be working out of their homes, on-the-go, or onsite. That means using tech that improves work, instead of impairing it!
For instance, when it comes to modes of communication, companies should use a mixture of asynchronous and synchronous ways of working. With the former, employees can communicate on their own schedule via emails and texts. Allow your workers to send those at any time and reply in the same way, i.e., at their convenience.
While the majority of tasks can reach completion with the previous method, there’s a time and place for synchronous communication methods, as well. For instance, in-person conversations are great during onboarding and video conferencing is great when you require an immediate, coordinated response.
In other words, use both as and when you need them. For example, timegram lets managers track their teams’ progress by compacting member activity into Highlights. It means the team members are free to work during their own peak productivity hours.
2. It’s Like Having ESPN or something–Trust
Trust on all levels is the very foundation of an ideal work environment. For an employer, it refers to how you treat your employees. There are two main reasons why you should trust your people to do the job in the best way they can:
- First off, if they think they’ll have you looking over their shoulder, your employees might get irritated and feel stressed out. They might think you have no faith in their skills or competency. Believe us when we say your employees will pick up on your attitude very quickly!
- Secondly, what’s your alternative? Micromanagement? Trying to do everyone’s jobs will be extremely stressful (for you), and a source of unhappiness (for them).
So, should you give them your unconditional trust? That won’t be smart, either. You’re running a business after all.
Instead, consider having a fallback. For example, use an automated time tracking tool and you’d be able to dig up proof of work when you need it without invading anyone’s privacy. Furthermore, if you choose a privacy-first tool, such as a timegram, you can assuage employee fears about screenshots and keystroke logs. Because that isn’t how this tool carries out employee monitoring!
3. That’s why her hair is so big. It’s full of secrets–Transparency
Transparency should be an attribute on every ideal work environment list! Reciprocate the trust they’re placing in you with honesty from your side. Of course, that doesn’t include confidential client info. But otherwise, be open about everything that concerns them.
Additionally, your workforce will appreciate being let in on how you make important decisions. For instance, you’ve decided to use a tracking app, like timegram, to monitor your remote or hybrid employees. Inform them of your decision and explain:
- Why you’re implementing it
- The objective you intend to achieve
- What you’ll be measuring with it
Not only will that help them recognize–and appreciate your openness–this measure will also help your employees accept this change more readily.
The ideal workplace for employees would be one that keeps them engaged. A great way of doing that is by making them believe in what your organization stands for. Another method to ensure employee engagement involves open communication. Combine for maximum effect, i.e., encourage all workers to find out about all pieces of your business and practice an open-door policy. For hybrid workplaces, holding monthly town halls (kinda like the AMAs on Reddit) can take care of both. Completely remote companies can provide employees with ways of contacting the higher-ups, such as an email that goes directly to them minus any middlemen.
5. Is butter a carb–Wellness
If you’re used to overlooking employee wellbeing, be ready to bear the cost of negative consequences in the long-term! Thinking of running your employees into the ground is shortsighted. And when you work on the issue, consider these sides to the equation:
- Employees should have the freedom and time to nurture the right work-life balance.
- People who maintain that balance feel more productive.
- Recognition of how much an employee invests in the company and its mission extends way past their weekly hours.
- Showing up to work while sick damages morale while emotional instability can manifest in the form of co-worker spats, etc.
Since it’s essential to focus on both physical health and mental wellbeing, consider allowing unlimited employee sick leave. Similarly, lining up personalized wellness and meditative sessions can work wonders for the overall morale.
6. On Wednesdays, we wear pink–Workload
Prioritize addressing the symptoms of overworking and digital exhaustion. If you intend to prevent it from ever becoming an issue, combat it with:
- Adequate work allocation to manage employee workloads
- Balancing synchronous and asynchronous ways
- Encouraging and respecting breaks during working hours
timegram is highly useful in this regard. Work allocation and load management become easier with its visual planning dashboard and intuitive timelines. Likewise, employees can choose to take a break from work and omit it from their timelines (while logging time) since it’s not a productive activity. They’ll have the freedom to do so without having to pause and unpause the time tracking tool.
Not to be missed: Going Remote? These 4 Tips Will Help Manage Your Team
7. You wanna do something fun? You wanna go to Taco Bell–Development
Many employees quit companies that don’t give them a chance to learn new skills or develop professionally. Therefore, don’t make that mistake! Instead, line up access to resources that could help your workers upskill or even get better at what they already do. By doing so, you demonstrate your willingness to invest in your employees’ development.
Once they have a better handle on their current job or outgrow its confines, don’t forget to take the next step. That involves rewarding them through regular promotions or giving them more responsibility.
Moreover, you can also retain good talent with lateral movement instead of vertical. For instance, if a worker wants to switch careers, empower them by letting them do so within your company, instead of letting them quit.
8. You go, Glen Coco!–Reward
Naturally, your employees won’t appreciate you shortchanging them, no matter how interesting the work or the workplace is! Whether you do it via benefits, competitive salaries, or stock options, compensate your people for the work they’re putting in. Appreciation and rewarding contributions are essential for achieving the following objectives:
- Prevent rising internal resentment
- Creating a powerful run-on effect centered on belonging
- Keeping employees working across borders connected
- Reminding employees of the importance of the roles they’re playing
A Note about WIIFM (What’s In It For Me?)
The more deeply you understand the personal influencers of your employees, the better you can make the work environment. Remember, though, personalization will be the key here. So, for example, avoid sending off a team member to an intercity training session if they’ve just had a new addition to the family. Similarly, don’t assign a new project to someone returning after a familial death. Instead, offer them various options, such as time off, or a shift in schedule, such as the 2-2-3 schedule.
Finally, your list of important things in a workplace should also have this one last ingredient. Discover your employees’ personal development goals and provide opportunities to achieve them. That can mean:
- Handing them fascinating projects
- Allowing them to work with other teams
- Starting a fundraiser for causes close to your employees’ hearts
- Planning team-building exercises
- Resolving workplace problems they may be facing
Not to be missed: Your Definitive Guide for Building a Remote Work Policy
timegram–That’s so fetch!
Transform your enterprise into one of the ideal work environment examples by designing and following a good hybrid/remote work strategy. Neither are now flashes in the pan, i.e., these ways of working are here to stay.
The more remote but right talent a company hires, the direr their need will be for such a strategy. And if you can successfully create cohesive teams that work remotely, you’ll be able to improve their project deliveries, enhance profitability, and achieve your business goals.
timegram can assist in making your work strategy a reality via smoothing out collaboration between teams, simplifying resource allocation, and accelerating productivity. And once you’ve optimized it to work for you–we can help you do that–tack on this immortal Mean Girls line:
I’m sorry that people are so jealous of me, but I can’t help it that I’m popular.
How do you make a remote/hybrid workplace an ideal work environment?
Employers can improve working spaces–whether remote or otherwise–with the following measures:
- Allow flexibility in working hours
- Use employee-centric ways for productivity measurement
- Grant socializing opportunities to create a sense of community
- Leave time and work management to the employees and good tracking tech
- Don’t indulge in micromanagement to avoid trust issues
- Prioritize employee wellbeing
What are the 5 C's of hybrid/remote work?
Alternative ways of working are now the new norms across different business sectors. Therefore, employees mostly face similar concerns no matter their field. Those challenges are the 5 C’s and comprise culture, communication, connection, coordination, and creativity.
What do you need for a hybrid/remote workplace?
The best practices involve making employees a part of the streamlining process, investing in the best-for-the-company tools and tech, improving employee experience through a focus on wellbeing, and ensuring timely work delivery via consistent but non-invasive employee tracking.
What makes a successful hybrid/remote work environment?
Most research on this subject indicates flexibility is crucial in determining when, where, and how your people will work. It’s only by realizing that and creating a culture of trust can employees and employers both navigate the complexities of offsite work.
Why is Mean Girls so iconic?
The movie resonates with the youth due to its exploration of the power of social dynamics and how it affects us. Sure, the African wildlife analogies don’t seem as tasteful now, but the rest is pure gold.