Hybrid work is quickly becoming the new reality for workers in regions where pandemic restrictions have been reduced. However, employees are used to working remotely, and a sudden switch to hybrid work without proper planning can lead to increased fatigue.1 How can you make this transition seamless? Here are some tips and tools to get your employees ready to start thriving in a hybrid work environment.
1. Create a clear transition plan
After over a year of remote work, shifting to a hybrid work model is going to be a major change for your employees. According to a global study, 70% of workers want to be a part of a hybrid workforce.2 However, ensuring they thrive in a hybrid environment will require you to plan ahead so the transition phase is smooth.
When planning, consider the following:
- Schedule the transition: Determine when, how many and which employees will return to your workplace.
- Make your office safe: Consider how you will ensure your workplace conforms to the latest pandemic safety guidelines.
- Keep tabs on in-office workers: Scheduling who is in-office and who is working remotely on a daily basis is integral to organizing your workforce and preventing an overcrowded (or empty) office. Teams that benefit the most from the tools available in an office environment should have priority over others that work better remotely.
- Evaluate workplace tools: Find out if you can use your current tools and processes to support collaboration between remote and in-office employees. If there are any gaps, start looking for solutions.
- Communicate your plan: Think about when and how your plan will be communicated, so that everyone knows what to do and expect during the transition.
Communicating the transition process and keeping employees updated on any changes will help prevent workers from feeling stressed by a sudden and unexpected change in routine.
2. Prepare your workplace
Before COVID-19, employees were expected to be in-office during working hours. Now, workplaces are designed to serve specific business needs that remote work can’t fully address. Typically activities like team collaboration, working sessions and social interactions are easier to perform at a higher quality when they happen face-to-face.
Ask yourself, what can employees do at the workplace that they can’t do better remotely? For example, if a big part of your business relies on communication and collaboration between teams and clients, then streamlining your workplace to focus on those needs will play to the strengths of the office environment. Here are some of the benefits:
- Your team will use equipment that has been approved for your workplace.
- You’ll have better control over background elements for client video conferencing and the audiovisual quality of these meetings.
- If you invest in a powerful and fast network for your workplace, you won’t need to worry about the reliability of an employee’s Internet connection.
- You’ll know exactly what resources your workers will have to host clients for in-person meetings.
Overall, streamlining your office to address qualities that remote work can’t is what a hybrid workplace does best.
3. Keep your teams connected
In a hybrid workforce, more effort needs to be made to ensure that remote employees feel connected with the rest of the company. One of the biggest challenges of a hybrid workforce is trying to prevent the feeling that the company has been split into an in-office group and a remote group. Keeping these groups connected will alleviate feelings of isolation or disconnection between the two groups.
This can easily be prevented by investing in cloud collaboration tools that support unified communications. Communicating over the cloud is more cost effective in the long term than traditional business phones, while also being an easy way to bring your hybrid workforce together on any device. Here are a few ways you can use these tools to keep your teams connected:
- Host all company-wide meetings online: This ensures that all employees stay informed on updates or changes.
- Welcome new hires from anywhere: Have one-on-one meetings with new hires, regardless of where they are working from.
- Make socials hybrid, too: Company socials can have a virtual component to include remote workers.
- Using cloud storage is key: Store all work files and documents on a shared cloud drive that is accessible from anywhere.
- Work with your managers: Learn how their teams can best collaborate wherever they are.
4. Keep your business safe
Once you’ve established a plan to transition to a hybrid work, protecting your business from potential cyber dangers should be your next priority. It is critical for cloud collaboration to be safe from cyber threats, especially when those threats are happening more frequently at the moment.4
Letting your employees use their own devices for remote work comes with security challenges. Here’s how to keep your business safe.
The bottom line: Transitioning to a hybrid workforce can be easy with the right planning and tools in place. Communicate your plan to every employee, streamline your workplace to conform to new safety guidelines, keep your staff connected to the company and stay updated on the latest cybersecurity measures.
A fast and reliable Internet connection at your workplace and cloud-based communications technology for your remote workers ensures that collaboration is successful in-office and remotely, and your hybrid workforce is set up for success.
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