Are You Planning To Launch A Hybrid Working Model?
Are you looking into a hybrid working model for your Vancouver business? Doing so can come with a lot of advantages—but you have to make sure you manage it correctly.
One of the primary lessons the COVID-19 pandemic taught the business world is the value of remote work. Thousands of businesses learned firsthand how remote work capabilities can help them tap into new talent pools and create a better work/life balance for their employees.
That’s why so many business owners are looking into a hybrid working model as the standard for their organization once the pandemic concludes. If you’re considering a similar arrangement for your team, make sure you do it effectively and securely.
Advantages Of The Hybrid Working Model
Regardless of when the COVID-19 pandemic is over, you need to come up with a plan of action for your business now. Will you return 100% of your staff to the office? Will you continue with remote work as you have so far? Or will you take a hybrid approach?
The remote work model offers a number of benefits that you’ve likely taken notice of over the course of the pandemic. Remote workers have seen the benefits as well:
- 77% of remote employees say they’re more productive when working from home
- 76% of employees prefer to avoid their office completely when they need to concentrate on a project
- 98% of remote workers want to continue to work remotely (at least some of the time) for the rest of their careers
However, for all the ways remote work is beneficial to both the organization and end-users, it’s not without its challenges.
Key Challenges Associated With Hybrid Work
When the COVID-19 crisis hit, it hit fast. Despite what, in retrospect, may have seemed like a gradual build-up, it was virtually over the course of a single weekend in March that businesses across the US had to pivot to a remote work model.
Obviously, the first priority was maintaining business continuity. You needed to make sure your newly remote workers had the technology and the remote access necessary to do their work.
But the process doesn’t end there — security is a complicated undertaking for remote work models. In fact, 36% of organizations have dealt with a security incident due to an unsecured remote worker.
Continuing with a remote work model, whether entirely or in part, will require:
- Enhancing security measures
- Providing the right hardware for users working permanently from home
- Implementing more permanent file-sharing, collaboration, and communication tools
Tips For Managing A Mix Of In-Office And Remote Workers
Beyond security, you also need to consider how you’ll manage your team when they’re not all in the same place. Keep the following in mind when developing your management processes:
- Recognize The Value In Different Work Environments: Some staff members will be better suited to one style of work than the other. In some cases, either due to distance, home life circumstances, or other personal reasons, some employees may need to continue working from home. Make sure to focus on what your team members can contribute, regardless of where they do the work. It can be easy for in-office workers to resent remote workers, thinking they have it easier. The fact is that both settings come with challenges — in-office workers have to commute each day, but remote workers miss out on the social side of their job. Encourage your team to recognize and understand these differences.
- Meet On “Common Ground”: If a given team has both in-office and remote workers, those working in the office shouldn’t meet on their own. Even though it’s just a matter of walking to the other’s desk, it excludes the remote team members. Make sure that your employees understand that all meetings should be virtual by default, so that remote workers can contribute to the discussion.
- Adapt Your Communication Practices: If you’re going to manage a hybrid work environment, you need to understand that remote workers, based on their timezone, schedule, and workflow, will not be as immediately available as those in the office. This means you can’t make last-minute snap decisions. Understand that getting input from all team members will take more time, but if you’re planning ahead and anticipating correctly, this shouldn’t be an issue.
- Make Sure Everyone Knows The Plan: Communication protocols are especially important in a hybrid work environment. Without being told to do so, some staff members will update you multiple times a day. Others will follow a “no news is good news” mindset. Make sure to dictate a policy for how and when communication is to take place every day.
- Make Sure They Socialize: Switching from a full office to their quiet house long term can be difficult for workers — don’t forget to schedule time for business and casual communication. Your employees should still communicate on a regular basis with one another and with you.
- Give Them The Right Tools: Removing barriers between your in-office staff and your remote workers means equipping them with the tools to do so, and making sure they’re all using them. Those working in the office may be able to get by just talking to each other, but that will exclude remote workers from important conversations to which they can contribute. Make sure your staff has access to and is using the right team-based virtual platforms, where they can have group discussions, collaborate on shared files, and meet as needed.
Need Expert Assistance Managing Your Hybrid IT Environment?
If you plan to continue with remote work in one way or another, you may need to change your model of IT support. As you and the other c-level executives at your business have likely discovered since the start of the pandemic, your ability to work remotely depends directly on your IT support.
Compunet InfoTech can help — over the course of the pandemic, we’ve gained extensive experience in helping our partners to launch, optimize and secure remote work capabilities. Now that the mad rush to go remote is over, it’s time to perfect your processes, and you don’t have to do so alone.
Get in touch with the Compunet InfoTech team today to get started.