If there’s one thing we’ve learned in the corporate world over the last few years, it’s that the business landscape is constantly evolving. Businesses changed, adapted, and transformed during the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and many have integrated models they used during these times into their current operations.
Many workplaces shifted to a popular model during social-distancing measures: remote work, where employees worked from home and teams communicated over video calls. As social-distancing measures lessened, many companies kept elements of remote work while also returning to the office to some extent for a hybrid workplace.
Hybrid work models all share the same idea of combining remote and in-office activities, but their schedules are what sets them apart. In fact, 74% of U.S. companies are now using a hybrid model. Within this percentage, most companies use one of the following hybrid models for their schedule:
Data is still being collected to see which of these approaches will be the most successful overall. Still, in the end, each company moving to a hybrid model will need to discern which approach will be the best fit for their operations and teams.
Companies moving to a hybrid workplace model must make clear expectations for their employees and communicate these expectations. Management should balance trust for their employees with their company goals and policies. Some companies may use technology or applications which allow management to see when their remote employees have been online and how long they’ve been offline.
Management will need to set clear expectations for how long is too long to be offline – and if a team member is offline for quite some time, are they still working and just not active on the application? Further, are there specific tasks that should be done in-office and specific tasks for remote days? All these questions and more should be considered so that management can set clear expectations.
Even if a company is using a hybrid work approach that is remote-first or flexible, there is still immense value in having new employees train in person and having veteran employees attend in-person training when needed. After a new employee is onboarded and starts with the company, they start learning their role and meeting the rest of their team.
Although socialization and networking can happen over a virtual call, many people find in-person conversations more genuine and easier to navigate. For this reason, having a training period for new employees entirely in person may be beneficial.
A hybrid model can require updating and integrating new technology into the workplace. Each employee should be outfitted with the basics they need to complete their tasks (laptop, monitors, headphones, routers, etc.) from home and decide whether they will need to bring in equipment for in-office days or if there will be equipment that stays in the office.
New applications, work management systems, and cameras can help enhance the remote aspects of this model. Systems like Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Slack are especially popular, but each company should research to find the best program for them.
Similar to training, team building is typically easier to navigate in an in-person setting. Every company has different approaches to team building – companies that didn’t have formal team building before moving to a hybrid model may see the value in organized activities since organic team building is less likely to happen remotely.
Team building doesn’t always need to be the stereotypical “trust fall” type of exercise. Any activities that employees can partake in together without the stress of their work tasks fosters a sense of community: try out team meals, an outing to an arcade or sports event, or even a community volunteer project.
In a hybrid model, security is essential in-office and cybersecurity for remote days. Your office space should still be up-to-date on security cameras, badge ID access, etc., even though there are fewer people in the office on many days. Employees should undergo cybersecurity training to avoid scammers and hackers that could interfere with their remote work. Each employee should ensure their home wifi network and equipment are secure.
Many workers prefer remote or hybrid models to avoid the stress and inconvenience of daily commuting. Most workers don’t want to have to search for a parking space and even pay extra for a parking permit. A quality office space should have secure parking available – bonus if it is covered parking for the elements. Even though hybrid workers may not be at the office daily, they will still appreciate the convenience of secure parking.
If you’re looking for a new office space to call home, look no further than the Globe Building. We are located in the historic and innovative Tucker Boulevard Tech Corridor in downtown St. Louis, MO. With our fast internet, flexible spaces, evolving tech, secure parking, and SCIF space, we are an excellent fit for many types of business. Connect with us today!