Hybrid work, simply put, allows for employees to work both in-person and remotely. This flexibility meets the demands of both employers and employees but it is important to approach the future of work with the lessons of fully remote working at the forefront.
To ensure maximum productivity, regardless of where your employees are working from, there are a few key items to consider.
Create a Safe Office Environment
The approach to a safe and accessible workplace has shifted with the pandemic. Where the emphasis was previously on open-concept workspaces, connected conference rooms, and the like, there is a need to focus now on air quality and flow to limit the transmission of airborne illnesses.
However, according to Arizent, only 17% of employers indicated that employee safety was a top concern with rethinking office space. They also found that most surveyed employers did not plan on offering vaccinations through work nor require vaccination records to return to the office.
The Cleveland Clinic recommends enforcing social distancing when possible with the additional suggestions of:
- Limiting the number of employees who can be in the building at a given time (flexible or staggered schedules help)
- Increase physical space between employees with reducing the use of elevators and creating one-flow traffic through hallways (you get the added bonus of some extra steps with these suggestions too)
- Staggering break times and limiting the number of in-person meetings
Build a Strong Team Culture
One of the best ways to create a resilient workforce is to invest in a strong corporate, or team, culture. MIT Sloan recommends that you spotlight your team culture by making it visible, talked about, and a cornerstone for all your activities. Ann Swidler, a sociologist, says that a “tool kit” of cultural habits and practices means that your employees know how and when to apply your cultural tenets in everyday life.
To have a healthy and impactful culture, it is important that your cultural values translate from rote memory to showing up in common practices and workflows. This also means that your culture cannot remain static and through healthy conflict resolution and internal discussion, your teams can adapt and grow whether inperson or fully remote. To thrive in this new environment, it is important that you reinvent rituals to build trust with your workforce, wherever they are working from.
Additionally, leadership can curate moments of connection across the organization to bolster teams, foster relationships, and nurture team culture. To discover strategies to do this, check out our full white paper on how to empower your remote/hybrid teams for four effective methods.
Focus on Technology
Arizent’s 2021 Future of Work survey examined the upcoming investments in technology to support the shifting models and workforces. While tools are clearly included, nearly 50% plan to accelerate investments in cybersecurity in the coming year to two years.
Harkening back to the days when employers would bring their own technology (e.g. laptops, phones, etc.) into the office with them, Accenture predicts that companies will soon move into the realm of “bring your own environment” as we move into the future of work.
Technology will be needed to support work from anywhere in the world, at any time. This is reflected in Deloitte’s CEO poll that indicated 82% expect to increase spending on technology innovation in the coming months. Work from specific sites can be determined based on business needs and what works best for the employees. Policies and tech need to catch up though to carry the evolving workforce.
Prepare Your Employees for the Future of Work
While these three strategies will be effective, there are additional methods for consideration that we detail in our full study on how employers can empower remote workforces. Plus, to avoid the pitfalls and challenges learned in the initial months of the pandemic with fully remote work, employers also need to be aware of the inequities created for various demographics within their teams to improve future work culture.
At Burnalong, we believe people who feel good, who experience support from their employers, and who receive holistic benefits to focus on their overall wellness, do better work. Schedule a quick call to learn how we can work together to build a resilient culture centered around employee wellness, no matter where they dial in from.