Since the world seems to be in the final phase of the global pandemic, companies have begun asking their employees to report back to work. However, the employees have become accustomed to the remote and hybrid working models of their organizations and are reluctant to spend most of their waking hours in their offices.
This has created a conflict of interest and the perfect solution seems to be ‘Hybrid Work’. With a hybrid working process, both the employee and the employer get what they want. Hence, it proves to be an ideal solution moving forward. However, HR is faced with several issues concerning the successful implementation of a hybrid working process.
Let us clear your doubts regarding hybrid working and help you understand how to make hybrid working a success…
Different Hybrid Work Models
Several kinds of hybrid models can be implemented by an organization. The model that you choose should be the one that best suits your company’s ethics and practices. It should be chosen after considering your employee’s availability as well as their valuable input.
Below, we have provided the common hybrid models for your consideration:
In this model, every employee is provided with a fixed weekly or monthly schedule and it would have a pre-defined amount of working from home and office. This model leaves with very little flexibility for the employee since they are required to follow the pre-set plan. On the other hand, this option is the easiest for the company to implement since they can plan out their processes as per the hybrid model.
Depending on Employee
In this model, the employee is the one who chooses when to come to the company and when to work remotely. This is ideal for the employee as they are in complete control of their working location. They can manage their professional and personal lives well and plan their daily tasks as per their convenience. They can work from the location where they are most comfortable as well as have minimal distractions. However, this model is a nightmare for HR as they need to allocate desks and computers for the employees as per their changing weekly or monthly requirements.
Many companies have opted for renting out a coworking space for their employees in the aftermath of the pandemic. In this hybrid model, the employees can use their office as a coworking space instead of a full-fledged office. Hence, they would work out a plan together. The company is concerned only about employee productivity in this case. The employee can either work remotely or from their ‘coworking’ space as and when required.
In this model, the employees are required to mostly work from their offices. It may involve most of the staff working from their offices and some being able to work remotely. Depending on the employee’s responsibilities, they might be asked to come to the office or work remotely. In this hybrid model, the employees have minimal input and are required to work remotely for a specific duration. Hence, this model should be avoided since the remote workers might get ignored unknowingly due to their prolonged absence from the office and consequently, lower face time with the management.
How to Maximize Employee Engagement for a Hybrid Workforce?
Hybrid Work Advantages
There are several advantages for both the employee and the employer in the case of Hybrid Work. Let us take a look at some of them:
Improved Job Satisfaction
With the hybrid work models, employees can manage their time better. They can provide more time to their family and personal life as they are able to spend more time at home. They may even indulge a bit in their hobbies or family time during their break time. Additionally, they need not commute daily which gives them additional time with their loved ones. All of these factors help improve their job satisfaction, which translates to better productivity.
Having a hybrid proves cost-effective for both the company and the staff. The company avoids paying the maintenance cost of the hardware and the infrastructure, while the employees save on daily commuting costs. Additionally, the organization save the efforts required in setting up new offices and desks, lower utility bills and associated expenses. Similarly, the employees can save the efforts required to manoeuvre in daily traffic to reach their offices on time, thereby leaving them with more energy to complete their daily tasks on time.
Lower Absenteeism & Attrition
With the rise of remote work, companies have observed a decrease in the average absenteeism and attrition rate of their employees. This has happened owing to a multitude of factors such as the ability to work even during smaller ailments, which would have resulted in a leave under normal conditions. Additionally, as the employees are working from home, they can complete tasks on time by working after hours if required. With the added flexibility, they can improve their productivity and job satisfaction, which has again contributed to the lower absenteeism and attrition numbers.
Better Work-Life Balance
Since the employees can spend more time at their homes, they have a better work-life balance. This has led to an increase in their job satisfaction, which is evident from their improved output. This leads to an improvement in the employees’ mental health. The employees are willing to stay longer with their company due to the added flexibility and improved work-life balance. Hence, having hybrid work models is beneficial not only for the employees but also for the organization.
Hybrid Work Challenges
It is not easy to implement a hybrid work schedule as it comes with the following hybrid work challenges too:
It is comparatively harder for HR to keep their employees engaged when they are working remotely. Traditionally, they are trained to understand even the subtle signs of lowering and take necessary measures to counter it. However, in the absence of these signs, they need to dial up their HR skills to keep their employees engaged while working remotely.
Onboarding remotely can be hectic and inefficient. Even if the newly appointed employee has adequate technology at their place to adjust to the new workplace, they might still have limited knowledge about the company culture, which is something that they need to experience. Hence, HR might not be able to provide the complete experience in the case of remote onboarding.
Since a part of the company is working remotely, it might lead to lower brainstorming sessions. This lowers the innovativeness of the company and in today’s changing business environment, it might be fatal for the company. Hence, HR needs to take additional steps to ensure that the employees stay innovative.
Since some of the employees would be working remotely, they would not be in front of the C-Suite. This in itself lowers their chances of promotion at work. Here, once again, HR could come to their rescue by providing the required work reports to the upper management while they are looking forward to promoting an employee.
The Future of Remote Working in India
Making Hybrid Work a Success
Let us take a look at some of the most effective methods to make hybrid work successful at your company:
The first order of business should be to ensure that the employees don’t feel pressured to adhere to the hybrid work structure as it beats its purpose. Unless there is a job requirement, it is better to let the employee decide for themselves which hybrid work method do they wish to adopt for themselves. Providing a flexible hybrid structure also creates a win-win situation as the employee who likes to work from home can opt for that while those who wish to come to the office can do that too.
Your remote team must be rewarded and recognized as much as the team that is present in the office. Having the hybrid approach leaves remote employees with various barriers to promotions and career development. Hence, HR needs to take extra precautions to mitigate this issue by ensuring that the upper management treats everyone equally. Even the managers need to be educated so that they do not harbour any unconscious towards the office-going employees.
When we converse via written communication, several non-verbal cues such as tone, posture, body language are lost. Hence, one needs to take extra precautions to ensure that there is no miscommunication. Additionally, companies need to plan every activity keeping the remote workforce in mind. Having inclusive communication also requires one to use such kind of written language that does not offend anyone and doesn’t showcase someone in a poor light.
Adopting the practices explained in this article would not only help in improving the employee engagement rate among your hybrid workforce but also help them stay longer in the company as well as give their best for completing the daily tasks. It also helps them stay back with the company for a longer period. Hence, deploying these hybrid working practices would ultimately lead to a successful company.
To read more trending HR-related blogs, click here.