Hybrid working is culmination of many lessons that were learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, and its aftermath. How can businesses achieve hybrid success?
The business world has been irrevocably changed due to remote working. While many decided that they preferred working in the office, for just as many others, remote working was a revelation to them. The hybrid model allows on-premise work and remote work to intersect within a business, so that everyone is happy, productive, and adding value to the organisation. But how can a business pull of hybrid working the right way? We discussed this matter with TechQuarters, who, like many other London IT support companies like them, have helped their clients extensively in this area over the past few years. Below are seven tips for creating a successful hybrid workplace.
- Employee Engagement
The biggest lesson learned from the COVID-19 pandemic, for businesses, was that employee engagement is not dependent on proximity. In fact, giving employees the freedom and flexibility to work in the way that best fits their lifestyle and work patterns can drastically improve their engagement with the organisation. To maintain good employee engagement – whether they are in the office or working remotely – employers must listen to their workers, recognise their feeling, opinions, and efforts.
- Employ the Right Tools
One thing is for sure: Hybrid working cannot be achieved without technology. Though technology doesn’t guarantee success in and of itself, leveraging the right technology (and in the right way) gives businesses the best chances for success. For instance, during their work providing IT support London companies needed during the COVID-19 pandemic, TechQuarters found that, by far, the most frequently used tools in their own organisation, and the organisations of their clients, was Microsoft Teams – a communication and collaboration tool. Knowing what tools support hybrid working is crucial.
- Nurture the Virtual Community
While hybrid working is distinguished from remote working in that there is still a physical workspace, and people working in it, the workforce must be connected by virtual means. The virtual community is very important to a successful hybrid workplace. It is plain from the popularity of social media that communities can be built without proximity, and businesses should focus on this. Furthermore, implementing and encouraging both synchronous and asynchronous communications (i.e., calls and meetings, vs. chat and email) is very important in building a functional virtual community.
- Time Management
A recent trend in business, with regards to hybrid and remote working, has been a boom in meetings within the average organisation. Managers and leaders feel that, in lieu of in-person collaboration, having lots of communications will be necessary. While communication is important, and synchronous communication such as calls and meetings can be very effective, it is best not to overwhelm users with lots of meetings. Furthermore, it is just as important for users to block out time for deep, uninterrupted focus.
- Give Credit Wherever It Is Due
Another important aspect of creating a strong hybrid community is making sure that everyone in the organisation feels seen. When some groups of workers are remote, and others are in the office, a divide is at risk of developing. Equally, in virtual communities, bigger efforts and achievements may overshadow the smaller efforts and achievements (which are just as worth celebrating). Ensuring that all efforts, big and small, are recognised and accredited can work wonders for employee moral in a hybrid context.
- Make IT Support Accessible
As has already been mentioned, IT is crucial to hybrid working. This means that IT support needs to be easily accessible to all. TechQuarters already had a lot of experience with remote support, as their years providing IT support financial services companies relied on has been mainly remote in nature. Remote IT support is certainly not a new thing, and therefore hybrid businesses need to make sure that it is there, available for all employees working outside the office.