The world is undeniably in the midst of a major transformation when you know that remote work, rather than being a luxury, has become a necessity—the new normal.
Since the pandemic began, in early 2020, companies and businesses have had a lot to learn about virtual collaboration.
As businesses are preparing to include remote work as a working option for new employees along with regular office work, in line with the changes brought on by the pandemic, these practices are becoming more ingrained.
It is expected that the hybrid-work arrangements will continue to be commonplace well into the future.
With a little normalization, businesses may get tempted to commit the mistake of reverting back to old work practices by imposing a pre-pandemic mentality on a post-pandemic reality.
The disruption seems to have left a permanent mark, and there’s little chance that a full reversal of the adopted practices of the pandemic era is even possible.
The real question is how the organizations can ensure productivity and motivation in remote working employees. The increase in employee flexibility, convenience, and effectiveness are readily apparent.
How can employers and employees ensure that they don’t lose their competitive edge when working remotely?
Shift Towards the Hybrid Work Model
It is apparent that remote work is here to stay. Almost 60% of U.S. workers prefer working remotely with no immediate interest in returning to the office.
The situation presents many problems for managers who are in charge of employee productivity as they grapple with questions like how to manage hybrid teams or how to ensure that the employees stay motivated?
Given the work flexibility that remote work offers to employees, managers have to keep themselves in the know about what the employees are working on and when. Yes, this is indeed not an easy job, and it will require some getting used to.
Besides this, it’s proven through psychological studies that the ability to perform and thrive at work is dependent on how well one integrates into the work environment.
As a result, employees struggling with collaboration and self-motivation might feel disadvantaged in the hybrid working environment.
But this is not something that can be considered a disadvantage for long, as our natural tendencies to adapt and assimilate will take over and we’ll find ourselves liking the prospect of working hybrid.
This fact is evident from the report by Salary.com, in which about 40% of employees sought a hybrid work model post-pandemic. Also, 51% of employees have reported that they are on board with the hybrid work idea.
The bottom line is that a large number of workers have accepted the new norm of hybrid work. There are specific skills required to thrive in such an environment where you have to work both from home and the office.
So, if your team is about to go into hybrid mode, or has already made the transition, the following is a comprehensive guide that will ensure you and your team are all set up for success.
Develop Customized Performance Boosters For A Hybrid Work Environment
According to the CEO of Harrison Assessments, Dr. Dan Harrison, many executives are still cautious and hesitant to embrace the new hybrid model.
Unquestionably, many companies are eager to return to the old working conditions, and might even feel justified in clinging to the idea that physical office work is somehow superior for collaboration to hybrid work.
Hence, when experimenting with a hybrid workforce model, it’s crucial to figure out ways to maximize your team’s productivity.
In addition, it’s essential to build effective protocols that are designed to enhance efficiency.
It’s no surprise that hybrid work is becoming a permanent part of our lives where 83% of employees prefer the shift to remote work.
The flexible employee work arrangements combined with companies striving to create a productive environment have resulted in reaching a fine balance that stands to reap benefits of both the worlds: remote as well as office work.
It’s important to keep the team’s requirements above all else. It’s equally important, however, that the team doesn’t feel left out of the loop on key developments happening in the company, and as a manager or business leader, you should strive to promote understanding and relationships.
In order to keep up with the ever-changing business landscape, it’s essential now more than ever to wholeheartedly embrace change.
A report by McKinsey revealed that more and more enterprises are prioritizing upskilling their workers in anticipation of transformative trends sweeping across industries.
According to a LinkedIn report, taking learning initiatives is essential for employee development.
To avoid stagnation and to maintain a steady growth rate, leaders need to evaluate their team’s performance and look for areas where they can improve their skillset and knowledge.
To succeed in the hybrid work environment, managers must create optimized and flexible work schedules allowing employees to complete tasks so that they can have time for upskilling.
Creative Problem-Solving Frameworks
Undoubtedly, the hybrid working situation is still new for many employees, and companies must present employees with creative solutions to facilitate the transition.
It’s the organization’s responsibility to help employees sidestep the hurdles along the way.
A smooth transition would entail no disruptions in the actual operations of the business. Navigating through various changes could result in stress and frustration for both the employees and employers, but with flexible and innovative problem-solving frameworks, they might be able to overcome some concerns.
Working in a physical office has its own set of advantages, i.e., efficient in-person communication and collaboration, break room chats, and impromptu meetings.
Use your office days focused on getting the most that you can get done, and on the days you work remotely, you can release the foot from the peddle a little and enjoy working a little more relaxed.
Take Full Advantage Of Hybrid Work
Certainly, the transition to hybrid is a step toward bringing about healthy workplace culture.
Offering the flexibility of remote work allows employees to strike a balance between their life and work, which will lead to better mental health outcomes.
The organization gets a wider net to hire from when offering remote work flexibility.
According to a survey by Zapier, 62% of female workers agreed that working remotely, or in some combination of office and remote work, is on top of their priorities, whereas 53% of the males also favored such a combination.
As companies navigate the post-pandemic era, it’s essential for them to create strategies that can address hybrid work challenges.
Navigating a hybrid work environment can indeed be difficult. Disruptions and distractions of hybrid work notwithstanding, employees favor, overwhelmingly, the prospect of working in a hybrid model.
Managers and business leaders are tasked with ensuring that employees can transition smoothly by providing innovative solutions to their challenges and maintaining steady communication between them and their teams so that information gaps could be eliminated.