A year of change is what 2020 has been for organizations far and wide. Not only have the work models changed but the entire strategy towards interactions, engagements and appraisals have changed too.
According to PwC’s US Remote Work Survey, “over 55% would prefer to be remote at least three days a week once pandemic concerns recede, and 68% executives think that a typical employee should be in the office at least three days a week to help maintain a distinct company culture.”
From now on, most organizations envisage to have a flexible model of working that embraces the goals of keeping the employees safe, yet giving them a place where they can have occasional interactions, work on team building and move towards common goals. Hybrid Work Model bridges the two requests and offers a balance between traditional and remote work.
The 3-2-2 model splits the work week to three days in office, two days remote, and two days off. A Gartner survey highlighted that, “82% of company leaders intend to implement hybrid work model going forward.”
With more and more organizations embracing this model, it’s no longer about just implementation but about execution too. For HR managers, the question is no longer about why, but how to make this model work well in their organization.
Here are 5 tips to ensure hybrid team success.
- Building on Shared Purpose & Values Changes are often met with resistance, so was the case when everything moved online and undoubtedly the hybrid model and the concept of hybrid teams are no different. The essential step here is to get all the employees on the same page. Building on shared purpose is as important as having the organizational values and mission aligned. So, communicate, let the employees know why this model can work and how it can help them manage both personal and professional life without compromising on health and wellness. Create a desire in them to be part of something different, to set an example that other organizations can possibly learn from. This interest can often help the employees connect with the company’s shared purpose on a more personal level.
- Define Flexible Vs Remote Work Policies For many organizations, the shift to remote work was rather sudden, and many were unprepared for such a transition. Policies and even infrastructure readiness were things that came in after the requirement surged. Employees and the management had to wing it to keep the processes running. With hybrid teams in the picture, it is essential to have clear definitions of the policies pertaining to flexibility and remote working.
- Building a Strong Culture of Communication & Transparency Communication is not just about logging into the intranet and saying ‘Hi’. In a hybrid work environment when half the employees work from home and the other half works out of the office, the communication portal also dabbles as the discussion forum and conference area. It hence becomes necessary to build a strong culture of Communication & Transparency to ensure that the workflows function smoothly and that the employees stay in the loop.
- Create a Level Playing Field for AllWe cannot compare remote working and working in the office on the same level, which is why quality of work takes precedence over desk time. Set the objectives right to ensure that all employees work towards it rather than nitpicking on trivial details. Leaders must strive to create a level playing ground for all regardless of their team members’ location. It also means that communication and engagement should be prioritized for the hybrid team.
- Consistent ExperienceIt can be tough keeping the hybrid team working, but consistency is the key. It’s important to ensure all employees are receiving a consistent experience, whether they are at the office or remotely based, this includes internet facility, breaks and even benefits like food coupons and rewards. It is also essential to be clear about the expectations, to ensure that employees are clear about their individual responsibilities and their role within the team. Let the hybrid team be aware that they are equally accountable and that it is monitored to avoid blame-shifting.
Setting an Example
As mentioned earlier, those tips are based on our own experience.
At Mundrisoft, our HR team has been working on maintaining the operations without affecting the work culture in a virtual setting. We recently celebrated our 9th Annual Anniversary, where we had a blend of in-person and virtual team bonding setting. A new experience for all, we successfully celebrated by having a closed gathering for those who could come to office (following all the safety guidelines, of course) and connecting online with the rest who joined in from their homes.
We streamed everything that was happening at office LIVE. Everyone enjoyed games, stand-up comedy, musical performance and everything that was happening in office. The interactions toggled between online and offline throughout the day, keeping everyone engaged regardless of their location.
While this may be a rather simplistic scenario, we have been successful at making the hybrid model work over the past few months. For organizations still wondering on what to do as the current situation prevails, hybrid team and the hybrid model seem to be the best option available. It may take time to get used to it, but it is definitely worth implementing.