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Five Steps to Prepare Your Employees for a Hybrid Work Model
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If you’re like many other managers and company owners, telling your employees that they are required to work onsite all the time may sound like an unreasonable demand. This is especially true given the fact that so many workers have fully embraced the flexibility of working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic and – as much as we’d like to think otherwise – chances are that the pandemic is far from over. But while requiring that all employees work full-time in the office may not be the answer, many managers aren’t prepared to employ a fully remote workforce either. That’s why so many company executives have adopted a hybrid work model, which is basically a combination of the two extremes. In this article, we provide five steps that you’ll need to take to make your hybrid work model a success.

Step 1: Establish a Centralized System – Your employees will need to access the tools they need to get their jobs done and communicate with you and their other team members no matter where they may be physically located. If you have been allowing your employees to work from home during the height of the pandemic, chances are you already have a system in place. But if you don’t, this step will require establishing a cloud-based system that will provide them with the variety of tools they’ll need to accomplish their work-related tasks. Depending on your company’s individual needs, that system will most likely offer word processing and spreadsheet functions, task and project management tools, as well as some form of video conferencing and possibly screen-sharing capabilities. If you have your own IT staff, they can help you choose the best system for your needs, as well as handling the details involved in setting up the system and providing access to all employees. If you don’t have your own IT personnel, it’s worth finding a reliable contractor to help you establish your system.

Step 2: Open Lines of Communication – One of the tenets of the hybrid work model is the ability to have some employees working from the office while others are working from home, both on a part-time basis. That means that those employees working on-site will need open lines of communication with those working from home, and vice-versa. The brainstorming that used to occur in the break room, or the quick visit to a co-worker’s desk to ask a question, isn’t possible if half the team is working from home. This makes establishing and maintaining open lines of communication between team members essential. Be sure to schedule staff and/or team meetings on a regular basis. Distribute a detailed agenda beforehand and make sure each employee has the chance to share ideas and ask questions during the meetings. Video conferencing is always preferable, so be sure that all employees have access to reliable conferencing software and strong internet connections.

Step 3: Ensure High Productivity Levels – A hybrid work model will never succeed unless all your employees – both on-site and remote workers – are as productive as possible. While there are several tools designed for this purpose (such as website blocking software and “spyware”), we believe that the best way to measure employee productivity levels is with MySammy. Our cloud-based software is specifically designed for remote workers, but can easily be implemented with your on-site staff as well. MySammy measures productivity levels with the full knowledge of the employee, and provides a variety of statistical information that assists management in assessing the performance of each employee.  

Step 4: Encourage Employee Feedback – This step is particularly important in the initial stages of adopting a hybrid model. Ask for feedback from your employees to determine if the new system is working for them and how it might be improved. Only your team members can tell you for sure whether there are weaknesses in the system and how those issues might be addressed. Encourage this feedback from both employees who are working on-site and those that are working remotely. Once you collect comments, follow up on them and make whatever changes are necessary to ensure the success of your hybrid plan.

Step 5: Consider Rethinking Your Physical Work Space – It’s entirely possible that once you adopt a hybrid work model, you’ll end up with more office space than you actually need. It may be well worth the effort to consider redesigning your current space to increase efficiency, or even to reduce the amount of square feet you currently use. Of course, you’ll want to retain enough space for those times when the entire staff gathers for meetings or on-site training sessions, but redesigning and/or reducing your current physical work space will be more efficient and can even save you money in the long run.

There is a good reason why hybrid models have become such a popular choice for managers and company owners alike: they work. Start establishing your hybrid work model today by signing up for your FREE MySammy trial!

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